Survival Skills Blog & Off The Grid Guides

Warm a Room with Only a Candle and a Few Terra Cotta Pots



The terra cotta pots concentrate the heat using convection. While you won’t heat a whole house with it, it can definitely warm your hands and make a cold night much more bearable with this method. Several of these going at the same time can comfortably warm a room. You can purchase one of these and see just how they work from or you can make your own for just a few bucks.
All you need to create your own is:

• Three small unglazed terra cotta pots that range from large to small, i.e. ( 6”, 4”, 2”)
• One solid steel bolt
• Washers in varying sizes that fit in the bottom of the pots
• Several nuts to act as spacers between each pot
• Metal stand to hold the radiator ( oil burners work quite well )
• Electric drill
• Mason bit ( same size or slightly larger than the bolt)
1. Drill a hole in the center bottom of each pot ( be careful as too much pressure will shatter them)
2. Place the bolt through the hole in the largest pot with the head of the bolt on the outside
3. Turn the pot upside down and slide a washer over the bolt
4. Place the medium pot inside the large pot
5. Slide a washer inside the medium pot
6. Thread two nuts onto the bolt followed by another washer
7. Place the final pot on the bolt
8. Finish with one last washer and nut

Now simply set it on your stand and place a candle under it.

Keep in mind that 4.25oz standard glass jar candles work the best and never use a pillar candle as it will melt and cause a huge mess.


Suggested Videos


  • Scot H says:

    Very nice idea. Do you have a good example of a metal stand to hold the pots?

    • Joe says:

      Hi Scot,
      Thanks for the comment, I’ve actually used a metal oil burner stand that I got from the dollar store, I had to break off some of the decorations but after that the ring that holds the oil plate worked pretty well at holding the pots up and it gave the candle a nice sturdy base. I suppose you could always take some stiff wire or old coat hangers and fashion your own. Let me know if you have any luck creating your own, I’d love to hear it.


  • Roy Teter says:

    How do you keep candels from going out?

    • Joe says:

      The air flow around the candle will provide enough oxygen to keep the flame going.

  • Dave B says:

    Can you describe or illustrate how the candle is placed under the pots? I somehow can’t visualize it with the description and image provided…

    Thanks, sounds like a great tip.

    • Matt says:

      ^ Yeah, what he said!

  • 0

    I have been looking for this candle heater plan for a long tome . Thank you for posting it. I reposted it on my website and gave you credit for it. Thanks for all your good information!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.