How to Make Decoupage Candle Holders

comments (4) November 23rd, 2009     

Pin It

CraftStylish_Editors CraftStylish Editors, contributor
Love it! 17 users recommend
Photo: Zach Desart
1 | 2   All

by Amanda Chaloupka
excerpted from "Let it Glow"
CraftStylish Holiday Decorating Ideas, p. 37

Holiday decorating wouldn’t be complete without the ambiance of candlelight. These découpage lanterns add a charming and elegant feel to any room. By covering bubble vases with layers of textured transparent paper and paper varnish, you can create beautiful, personalized candle holders that emit a soft light.

Although the paper and varnish are easy to work with, the result of this technique is often mistaken for stained or painted glass. After the base coat of paper has set, you’ll apply a cutout design in a contrasting color. When the candle is lit, the depth of the layers and paper shine through. This is a perfect holiday-themed craft for the entire family with a design to suit any taste. Craft in multiples so you have plenty of lanterns on hand to decorate your own home or to give as gifts so you can spread the holiday glow.

What You'll Need:

  • Bubble vases, available at any craft store (we used 31⁄4-inch-tall by 41⁄2-inch wide vases)
  • Polyurethane paper varnish, satin finish such as Anita’s (
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tealight candles
  • X-Acto blade
  • Optional: Single-hole punch


buttons More découpage projects:

• How to Découpage a Tray
• How to Transform Holiday Tins
Découpage a Colorful Pendant and Earrings Set!

Choose a festive design

Here are four holiday candle designs to choose from. Pick a design based on your décor and then follow the instuctions to découpage a base layer of paper and apply your design.

1. Pretty in plaid. For the vertical stripes, cut six, 3⁄8-inch-wide by 5-inch-long strips of paper and 12, 1⁄8-inch-wide by 5-inch-long strips. Begin with a wider strip at the top edge of the vase. Apply a thin line of varnish in a vertical line from one point on the rim across the bottom to the opposite point on the rim. Press the wide strip into the varnish, and cover it with another thin layer of varnish. Apply narrow strips 1⁄8-inch to the left and right of the wide strip. For the horizontal stripes, cut 23⁄8-inch-wide by 12-inch-long strips and 41⁄8-inch-wide by 12-inch-long strips. Apply the wider strips at horizontal intervals, and then add the narrow strips.

2. Starry starry night. Negative space allows the lighter colors of this design to shine through. Use torn pieces of dark paper, and cut out stars, or another distinct shape from the center of each piece. Place these pieces over the foundation paper layer, overlapping the edges. The only white space should be the underlayer shining through the cutout design.

3. Holly and snowflakes. This basic design begins with cutting out holly, snowflakes, or other shapes to add as a second paper layer. If the design is small, repeat it around the vase.

4. Bursts of bubbles. Cut out circles in three different sizes from contrasting paper. A single-hole punch can form the smallest circles. Arrange the circles from largest to smallest, starting from the bottom. Wait to apply the varnish overcoat until all the circles are in place.

Découpage the vase

After you’ve chosen your design, it’s time to apply paper to the bubble vases. Before you begin, clean your vase with soap and water, and let it dry.

Tip: Vary your color palette by choosing a variety of papers. Other stunning holiday color combinations include: blue and silver; purple, gold, and green; and maroon and taupe.

1. Prepare the base-layer paper. Rip the mulberry paper into roughly 1-inch wide pieces. Working with small pieces allows the paper to contour to the curves of the vase and prevents creasing. The irregular edges also camouflage the seams.

2. Apply the base layer with varnish.
With a foam brush, apply a thin coat of varnish to a small area on the vase, and press the paper strips into the varnish. Apply another layer of varnish over the paper, smoothing out air bubbles and creases. Apply the next piece of paper so that it slightly overlaps the first. Cover the entire surface of the vase. Allow the first layer to dry.

3. Apply your chosen design.
Use a thin coat of varnish to secure your design to the base layer.

4. Trim excess paper from the rim.
With an X-Acto knife or a razor blade, trim excess paper at the rim and bottom of the vase. For a polished look, hold the blade perpendicular to the vase and run it along the interior edge. If any paper lifts, apply more varnish, and press the paper down to seal it. One coat of varnish seals the design, but I recommend that you use at least three to finish the vase. Let the varnish dry.

5. Add a border, if desired.
Use a strip of paper in the width needed to cover the rim. Beginning at the bottom outer rim, apply the varnish, and align the paper strip. Work around the vase in small sections at a time, keeping the paper level. Allow the varnish to dry. Then, apply varnish to the inner rim, fold the paper over, and press down. Add the last coat of varnish. Finally, add a tealight candle, and you’re ready to set your room aglow.

1 | 2   All
posted in: candles, decopage

Comments (4)

MarshallAngelique writes: Houses and cars are quite expensive and not everybody can buy it. Nevertheless, personal loans are invented to aid people in such situations.
Posted: 9:05 pm on September 11th
ike_trilitadewi writes: it is inspiring me, thank you!
Posted: 3:42 am on May 19th
queenietoo writes: very nice
Posted: 8:06 pm on December 24th
janapl writes: very cool!
Posted: 9:38 am on December 1st
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.