2 Un-Glazed Terra Cotta (Clay) Flowerpots
a metal loaf pan
4 tealight candles- UNSCENTED
a cooling rack (like you use when you bake cookies, seriously)
a couple basic landscaping bricks (optional, but HIGHLY recommended, and BTW- These are NOT fire bricks.)
a nickel or small piece of tinfoil
When I first met a fellow who made one of these, he made me nervous. He balanced the clay pots on the loaf pan, which seriously made me wonder how he dared to leave it in his house at all. So, I've revamped the directions I've seen to make this topple proof.
First, place the tea lights in the loaf pan and light them. Place a brick on either side of the loaf pan.
Place the Smaller Clay pot upside down on the cooling rack, directly over the lit candles in the loaf pan.
Place the Large plant pot Over the small plant pot, creating a Heat Hut.
Here's what the temperature looked like in 3 minutes:
after 35 minutes: it has reached full heat. At this point you should NOT attempt to touch the plant pots with your bare hands as you will get badly burned.
Depending on the brand of your candles, they should continue to burn about 3 hours.
To replace the candles simply slide out the loaf pan, replace the spent tealight with a new Lit tealight and return it to the spot beneath the pots.
Some Notes: While this does generate quite a bit of heat, this is obviously NOT going to heat a 2500 square foot house. You can, however, use 2 of these set ups to keep an 10x12 room fairly comfortable if you light it as soon as the power goes out and avoid opening and closing doors, etc.
Common Sense- Shouldn't have to say it but we will:
- DO NOT Use Larger Candles, the tea lights are more than sufficient. Use of larger candles COULD result in the pot overheating and cracking
- Do not use more than 4 candles at a time (see above)
- Do not "Balance" the Pots on the Loaf Pan - use a cooling rack for stability
- Do Not Use Scented Candles- Seriously, you'll just get a massive headache from them.
- Make sure the Terra Cotta pot is UNGLAZED - otherwise it will give off fumes (imagine that!)
COMMON SENSE DISCLAIMER: This mini heater can easily reach 300F in a very short period of time,
like ANY emergency heat source, It is Inadvisable to leave it unattended in a room with children or pets.
Now that we got the common sense disclaimer out of the way, check this out! This simple heat source would work fantastic in a small greenhouse to keep the chill off plants overnight! Follow the directions carefully, do not substitute items, do not use LARGER candles or votives. Do not use a glass loaf pan or an aluminum foil loaf pan.
thanks to Budget101 for the tutorial and photos