Not too long ago I did a video where I used a couple clay pots and small candles to make a small space heater with the idea of heating a tiny house. This idea had been floating around YouTube for awhile and I wanted to see how it worked so I could share it with you considering most of are interested in small spaces, heating them when necessary and doing it on the cheap.

The results were pretty good (at least I thought) but I still wasn’t completely convinced that the clay pot heater generated enough energy to make a noticeable difference in a tiny space’s room temperature.

So building on the tea light heating idea, I decided to try a new concept that I had been marinating on for awhile combining it with the practice of using thermal mass (using heavy materials to soak up heat) to heat a space. The results I feel were impressive and on this video we have the numbers to prove it.

I believe a heater like this has the potential to effectively heat a small space that is well-insulated or extremely small space (think micro cabin) that isn’t.

Once the heater was warmed up, it reached temperatures over 200 degrees!

Here is the video that gives you the idea behind this little heater and how to easily build one for yourself:

Here is a breakdown of the project cost:

  • Cast iron skillet: $3 at a second-hand store
  • Clay fire brick: Free, found on Craigslist
  • Aluminum bucket stand: $3 at Home Depot
  • Tea Light Candles: $3.99 for 100 at Ikea

    Taking this idea even further, if you were willing to use even more candles you could use a cast iron dutch oven and fill it with more clay fire bricks that would eventually dispense even more heat once up to temperature.

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    Do you have ideas for building on this idea, or have you tried a DIY heater for yourself in the past?

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  1. Kerry

    I have researched everywhere for clay bricks. $40 bucks was the cheapest I could find including shipping for a mess of them. I was wondering if I could break up planters or something instead. I live in a tiny house trailer with a matching yard. My income is nearly nil which is why I can’t afford a new heater or the bills for it. The park would not allow me to store the excess tiles in my yard. Also, does it matter if they are colored? I saw a bunch of clay toys in all different colors which would be good for doll houses. Could easily fill pans with those but maybe not made as well as bricks. Love your sight but it wouldn’t let me join. Thanks for being there.

  2. Kerry

    Yes, I built the flower pot one but I worry about fire. I would not worry about fire in cast iron I could leave it in the kitchen. My oven has a chocolate melting burner I could probably put the skillet over instead of candles too.
    The other I want to try is the flower pot one I can hang from the wall. It is also very pretty. My pups could not get into it. Thanks again for being there.