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Home Decorating with Candles

Updated on February 12, 2012

Candles. We all have them. In fact, we seem to somehow collect them in droves. They come from holiday and birthday presents, as part of gift sets, and let's face it, impulse shopping. Jar candles never seem to be a challenge to get rid of, but what about those pillars and votive candles that seem to find a place at the bottom of storage containers? They can be so messy to burn down we often tend to forget about them. It's time to use those pillars, ball candles and votives and make them work for your decor. With just a few simple ideas, you can dress up those boring candles and showcase them proudly.


Candlescapes, or "candle landscapes" are very trendy and can be customized to fit just about any decor or theme in your house. Ideas for candlescaping are:

Paper bag luminaries

Paper bag luminaries require nothing more than bags that can be customized with any design you choose, or even just left alone, with small pillar candles inside that emit light through the bag. These luminaries are perfect for lining outdoor decks and patios during evening parties.

Candle holders

Buy five or six cheap, plain, wooden candle holders in all different sizes and shapes and dress them up with a little acrylic paint. You can even add different length and color pillar candles for a truly eclectic look! These candleholders will look great in the center of a dining table, or perhaps even perched atop a mantle.

Southwestern centerpiece

Buy a colorful round platter with a 1/2 inch to 1 inch lip and fill it with a light sand. Now add small cacti that can be found at your local nursery or craft store. Next, purchase small terra cotta pots, again, found at your local craft store, and paint them with wild colors. These will serve as votive holders to accent your cacti for a truly Southwestern vibe.

Glass centerpiece

Purchase a large clear bowl and fill it with an accent color of small stones. Choose three different sized contrasting colored candles and place them atop the small stones in the center of the bowl. Add four or five small containers filled with more of the stones around the edge of the bowl and add tealights for an absolutely stunning centerpiece.


Fabric Candles

For solid colored pillars that need some sprucing up, add a thick ribbon or cut of fabric with a lot of color. If using a ribbon, those with wired edges work best. To create this look, cut a length of ribbon or fabric 1/2" longer than the circumference of the candle itself. Wrap the ribbon around the candle and adhere with a small amount of hot glue. Trim the excess ribbon of fabric. If you wish, you can even add a small embellishment to the front of the candle in the center. To create the look, use a ribbon or fabric that matches the decor of the room you are placing the candles in.

Water Gardens

These gardens are gorgeous as the light from the candle dances atop the water. Creating these water gardens is so simple! Just buy a short, clear bowl and fill the bottom with pebbles, marbles or river rocks. You can even add fake flowers to the bottom if you choose. Next, fill the bowl with clean water approximately 1 inch from the top and add floating candles. Floating candles can be found at most stores for reasonable prices and come in many different styles, shapes and colors. These water gardens are not only great for around the house, but make beautiful centerpieces for weddings and bridal showers.

Apple Tealight Holders

Perhaps one of the most clever ideas for tealight holders is the use of apples. Yes, regular, honest-to-goodness apples. All you have to do is trace a tealight on top of the apple, and cut around the pattern with a knife. The tealight will fit right in as long as the apple itself is firm enough. This project looks gorgeous in the fall around Thanksgiving when several apples are showcased within a basket.


If you are using candles strictly for show, decoupage is the way to go! With very little skill, you can take just about any tissue paper, napkin or decoupage paper and add it to your candles to create a themed pair. Matte finish Mod Podge is probably the cheapest, easiest and most efficient way to accomplish this task, but glue moistened with water will work too. To apply the glue, be sure to use a sponge brush found almost anywhere for pennies.


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    • kat_thurston profile image


      10 years ago

      love the hub. I love candles I love the scented ones because you can decorate with them as well as make your home smell good.


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