10 Easy DIY Candles for a Festive Season

Candles are particularly valued during the holidays for their cozy ambiance and their ability to illuminate the decorations around them. But this year, why not embellish the candles themselves? Here are 10 simple ideas to get you started.

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  1. Fragrantly Festive


    Dress up pillar candles with a ring of beautifully scented cinnamon sticks. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the sticks, and then adorn them with a length of ribbon, a sprig of holly, a small ornament, or even red-and-white bakery string!


  2. Just Add Water


    To make this reflective design, pour water into a mason jar until it is about three-quarters full then add a small sprig of boxwood, holly, or pine, and top with a handful of cranberries. Add more water to bring the berries to about an inch below the top of the jar before topping it off with a floating candle.


  3. Illuminate the Outdoors


    Freeze ice luminaries for your garden path! First, fill a small bucket or container about halfway with water and then place a smaller container inside, filled with weights so it sinks down a little. Add berries and greenery around the sides of the small container and allow to freeze. Use hot water to remove your luminaries and set tea lights inside.

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  4. Pretty Papers


    Doilies, sheet music, or even copies of old letters from family and friends can be called upon to create memorable candle wraps. Measure the paper around the base of a battery-operated light and then attach with double-sided tape. Grouping a few together on a base with a touch of decorative greenery makes a quick and easy centerpiece.

    Related: 12 Days of Christmas DIY


  5. Rustic Charm


    A strip of birch bark tied around a clear jar with simple twine and embellished with a sculptural twig adds a wintry note to any holiday arrangement. If there's no birch bark to be had, create your own faux version using thick white or gray art paper and a charcoal pencil.


  6. Winter Warmth


    Before you get rid of old sweaters, repurpose their cuffs as eye-catching candle wraps. Consider a palette of winter white as well as red, green, or even a medley of colors. Donate the unused parts of any sweaters to a clothing recycling center in your area.


  7. A Sweet Treat


    Cluster candy canes around the base of a pillar candle for a table setting that is sure to get guests talking. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the canes and finish with coordinating ribbon.


  8. An Enchanting Centerpiece


    To re-create this tiny tabletop wonderland, dress the sides of tea lights with lace and adhere them to a piece of florist's foam. Then have fun filling in all around with moss, berries, seed pods, cinnamon sticks... even small ornaments—let your imagination soar!


  9. Stenciled Style


    Small cookie cutters let you design your own holiday motif or message on a pillar candle. Press the shape you wish to use onto the candle's surface and hold it in place while you lightly tap it with a hammer.


  10. A Touch of Sparkle


    A gold or silver paint pen is all you need to transform clear glass votives into one-of-a-kind decorations for tables, mantels, or windowsills. Try simple polka dots, crisscrossed lines, swirls, or snowflake designs.


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