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BellaOnline's Candlemaking Editor

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Easy Candle Decor & Gifts

Guest Author - Angela Webster

You don’t have to be rich or a professional candle maker to give beautiful candles as gifts or to have your home decorated with uniquely beautiful candles all the time. Some of the specialty candles found at the stores are quite expensive. Wax prices have been on the rise so even a basic plain pillar or jar candle can be a little pricey. Be on the lookout for candles and candleholders that are on sale or find them at discount stores. Turn those plain candles into something special with a few inexpensive embellishments and a little imagination. Of course, you can make your own candles and still use these decorating ideas to turn simple candles into nice gifts or easy home décor for the holidays or everyday.

To transform a plain pillar candle or candleholder, just glue any of the following embellishments to the outside for a unique, upgraded look. When gluing directly onto a pillar candle, you should use something like Mod Podge craft glue because it is non-flammable.

Cinnamon Sticks – buy them at a craft or dollar store where they are cheaper than the spice aisle at your grocery store. Stand them up along the outer edge of the candle or candle holder. You could vary the lengths or keep them all one size.

Whole Coffee Beans – buy inexpensive yet fragrant beans. Maybe you even have a bag of old ones around the house that smell great but may not taste so good. This would be a perfect way to use these up!

Rhinestone Gems – big or little, a lot or a few, one color or multiple, the choice is yours. These little “gems” will give your candle or candleholder total bling-bling appeal.

Small Candies (without a wrapper) – peppermints, candy hearts, red hots or lemon drops would look cute in rows or vertical stripes.

You can amp up the look of a plain container candle as well.

Some container candles have large and very well adhered stickers on them. If you want to decorate a container candle, consider whether you can do so around the label or whether you’ll be able to get the label off or cover it up to make room for your own decorative ideas. Don’t remove labels if they are provided as a warning or instructions for using the candle.

Here are a few ideas to get your imagination going.

• Use chalkboard paint to create a small message area on your container or holder. Cover a large area or just a small area to fit your message. This would work nice on votive holders to write your guests’ names for a dinner party…if you have that kind of dinner party. You could tape off an area to paint or just paint freehand. Erase and change the message to fit the season or occasion. To go with this, you could make a small felt pocket to hold a piece of chalk and to use as an eraser.


• Wrap cords of leather or suede around the container. Glue it or pull it tight and tie it off. You could also use a full piece of leather or suede the size of your container for a sleeker appearance. Depending on whom you are giving this to, you could hook on a few spikes, skulls, feathers, or guitar picks, just to mention a few ideas.

• Use parchment paper in your printer to print pictures or designs. Glue this to the container or holder and the images will light up from behind when the candle is burning.

• Tie a ribbon with a charm depicting your interests or the gift recipients’ interests for a super simple upgrade. Use raffia, hemp twine, shiny silver or gold ribbon or elastic cording to attach the charm and call it a day.

• Lightly glue a strip of burlap, velvet or lace around your container. Add a pin, button or brooch to finish-it-off.

• Small or medium sized mason jars filled with about an inch of sand and a tea light make nice luminaries to light a walkway or to decorate indoors. Start by tightly wrapping a wire around the top of the jar a few times and then create a handle by looping and bending the wire to attach to the wrapped wires. Wrap colored ribbon or strips of material that coordinate with the seasons around the top to cover the wrapped wire but not the handle. Make several of these and line your walkway or just place a few on your porch. You’ll definitely want a long handled lighter to light these. You could forgo the wire but it’s nice to have a handle when gathering them up. These could be used indoors or out.

• Rhinestones would work on containers too. Depending on how hot your glass container gets (some can get pretty hot), the glue may heat up and become soft and cause your items to fall off. Using hot glue designed to melt at a higher temperature would be a better option for these kinds of embellishments. You could also use a shorter burn period (i.e. two hours instead of four) which wouldn’t allow the glass to heat up as much.

• Cut up road maps or pictures from magazines. Attach them with a small amount of glue to get them to stay where you want them. Carefully and evenly, wrap a strip or two of clear packing tape over the design.

There are hundreds of embellishment options out there so let your imagination go wild. Candles are great gift that are appreciated by most everyone.

When giving these as gifts, you may want to emphasize the importance of safety along with the standard candle warnings. Remind the receiver not to burn the candle longer than the recommended time and to keep an extra watchful eye on all candles with embellishments. Due to an array of environmental conditions such as drafts created by fans, windows, doors or people walking by, some candles, especially pillars, can start to burn unevenly which could cause a safety issue.

Remember to rotate your candles, keep your wicks trimmed and hug your pillars occasionally to keep them burning properly.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Angela Webster. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Angela Webster. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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