How to Make a Candle Holder

Butterfly candle holders are an easy project for crafters of all ages and skill levels.
By Rachel Paxton
February 2009

Butterfly candleholders are easy to make and a great gift idea.
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Butterfly candleholders are easy to make and a great gift idea. The materials are inexpensive, and you can use your imagination for a variety of designs. To get started, you will need:

Small glass candleholders
Butterfly wrapping paper
Yellow tissue paper
Decoupage medium
Cuticle scissors
Small paintbrush
Damp paper towel

You can buy whatever glass candleholders you like (or use some you already have). I bought mine at Walmart for about 60 cents. You could also find them at thrift stores or yard sales.

I chose butterflies for my design, but you can choose whatever design you’d like, keeping in mind the tastes of the person you’re making them for. You can cut out pictures from anywhere, including calendars, greeting cards and magazines. Thin paper decoupages best.

After you have some pictures in mind, use cuticle scissors (the kind for cutting fingernails) to cut out the pictures. These scissors work better on small pictures and cut rounder corners. If you're not going to use the pictures right away, store them in resealable bags.

You can buy decoupage medium at any craft store. It is normally found with the glue. It allows you to permanently affix a picture to another object, giving the object an overall glossy effect. Make sure the glass you're working with is clean. Tear a piece of tissue paper into approximately 1-inch pieces. Use the paintbrush and brush some decoupage medium onto the back of one of the pieces of tissue paper. Position the tissue paper on the glass, and then brush some more decoupage medium on top of it. Continue gluing on pieces of tissue paper, overlapping at the edges, until the entire candleholder is covered (including the bottom – set the candleholder on its top to dry). Brush one last coat of decoupage medium over the entire candleholder. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off any excess decoupage medium.

After it has dried for an hour or so, position the butterflies (or other pictures) on top of the tissue paper by brushing some decoupage medium on the backs of the pictures, then placing them on the glass. Brush another coat of decoupage medium over the entire glass and set the candleholder on its top to dry again. After the decoupage medium has dried, repeat this process 2 or 3 more times, drying after each coat.

That's it! These candleholders are only limited by your imagination. Use different colors of tissue paper and a variety of pictures for different themes. You could make candleholders with holiday themes for Christmas or Easter. They also make great birthday presents, hostess gifts or party favors. They are easy to make, and you can make several of them at one time.

About the author: Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card-making and gift-giving ideas, as well as more family memory-making activities, visit

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