Make a fabulous candle holder for tea lights for your holiday table this year! This inexpensive Dollar Tree DIY is fun craft for kids and uses decoupaged napkins to create a unique look. Make several and add flameless tea lights and use it as a centerpiece.
This DIY candle holder can be made for almost any occasion or holiday by choosing different decorative paper napkins. Best of all, it's an inexpensive project since most or all of the items needed can be purchased at the dollar store.
Kids want to contribute to the holiday too! Let them make these tea light candle holders just before the holiday. They may need up to a day to dry, so make them a bit early. Kids can add glitter to make them sparkle.
These could also make wonderful homemade gifts for the holidays. They would also make great homemade hostess or even teacher gifts.
Keep reading our photo tutorial to learn how to make these candle holders for tea lights or click the link below to watch a full video tutorial on YouTube.
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WHAT YOU NEED for Decoupage tea light holders
- Glass jar, vase, mason jar, or another glass item
- Decorative paper napkins
- Mod Podge
- Foam Brush
- Paper or plastic bowls
- Flameless Tea Light
- Paper or another table protector
- Damp paper towel and some dry paper towels
INSTRUCTIONS for decoupage tea light candle holder
STEP 1: Selecting Glassware & Napkins
This is a perfect project to look around your house for old glassware, vases, bowls, or glasses. Thrift stores are also a fun place to look for unique glassware. If you cannot find glassware at home, check out your local Dollar Tree store or another dollar store to find inexpensive options.
We found glassware around our house, at Dollar Tree (for $1 each!) and at our local thrift store.
If you are looking around a holiday, your local dollar store should have decorative paper napkins for the holiday theme. We were looking before Thanksgiving, so there was fall leaves napkins which will be perfect for our Halloween or Thanksgiving table decoration.
There were also Christmas themed napkins, poinsettias, snowmen, and Santa Claus.
While you are at the dollar store, look for Deco Podge in the glue section. Sometimes they have a small bottle for a dollar! Foam brushes, flameless tea lights, and glitter should also be available at the dollar store. This makes this craft very economical!
STEP 2: Cut Out Napkins
Once you have your supplies, you or your kids will be ready to get started. Cover your work surface with some paper or newspaper to protect it from the mod podge glue.
Wash and dry the glassware to make sure the deco podge will stick properly. The deco podge can be put into a bowl to make it easy to brush onto the glassware.
Open up the paper napkin into a single layer and cut around the decorations on the napkin. The pieces will be layered onto the glassware and overlapping so you don't need to cut exactly around each item on the napkin. Cut out pieces from multiple napkins as needed. I used three to four napkins for each item.
Once several pieces of the napkin are cut out, it's time to decoupage.
STEP 3: Add Mod Podge
Using the foam brush, dip into some mod podge and put a thin even coat onto a section of the glassware. The mod podge should be underneath the whole piece of a paper napkin.
Start in one section and then move onto the next after you have the napkin applied.
STEP 4: Apply Napkin Piece
Take one piece of the cut-out paper napkin and place it over the mod podge. Try to keep the napkin laying as flat as possible. Wrinkles will happen though! It is impossible to put it onto a curved surface without some wrinkles.
Use your fingers to smooth out the napkin and any wrinkles that develop. The wrinkles add charm to the item so don't worry too much about them.
STEP 5: Cover Napkin with Mod podge
Next, brush the mod podge over the top of the napkin to seal it. Use a thin even coat. Don't press too hard because you do not want to tear the paper napkin. If you do tear the napkin, just add another piece over top and more mod podge.
Below is a photo of the first piece of paper napkin applied to the glassware and covered with the mod podge. The mod podge will dry clear.
STEP 6: Apply more mod podge and napkin pieces to cover glassware
Continue with steps 3 - 5 until the entire piece is covered with the napkin. If desired, the napkin pieces do not have to overlap and can be placed around the glassware leaving gaps.
I like the look of the glassware being fully covered by the paper napkins but this is a personal preference. See below a couple of photos done by kids with the glassware not fully covered.
Apply more mod podge, napkin pieces and cover with mod podge.
STEP 7: Applying to larger items
I had a larger vase to cover and the Santa and Snowman napkins were perfect for this. I cut out the full scene from the paper napkin and applied it to one area of the vase.
The vase fits a full scene with the snowman and Santa and then another partial scene with the snowman. The top parts of the vase were filled in using pieces cut from the background of the napkins.
STEP 8: covered with napkin & mod podge
Below is a photo of the finished vase with poinsettias covering the whole vase. The mod podge has been applied to cover all of the napkins too.
Clean your foam brush by running it under some water in the sink. The brush can be saved for later when putting on the glitter.
STEP 9: Dried Tea Light candle holder
Once the item is dry, see if any spaces were missed or if you do not like how part of it looks. If so, more decoupage and napkins can be layered on top to change the look.
Decide whether to add glitter. The glitter will mute the design, but it will also add sparkle.
STEP 10: Add Glitter
Before adding the glitter, have a clean empty bowl to use to catch the excess glitter as it falls down. This will help conserve the glitter as it can be poured back into the bottle or stored in a baggie for use again later.
Using the foam brush again, put a thin layer of mod podge over the entire project. Sprinkle the glitter from the container while holding it over the bowl. The glitter can also be taken from the bowl and sprinkled with your fingers onto the project.
Tap the glitter gently with your finger to help it adhere to the project. Once the glitter is all over the project, tap the project with your finger over the bowl to shake any excess glitter off.
I covered the whole poinsettia candle holder with glitter. For the Santa & Snowman candle holder, I decided to only put the glitter in the sky portions. I thought the glitter may hide the snowman and Santa design and I wanted them to show more.
Check how your project sparkles!
Once complete, clean out your foam brush again so you can use it on another project.
Set the project aside and allow the tea light candle holder to dry completely. This could take a full day depending on how much mod podge was used.
Add a flameless tea light to the candle holder and watch the light come through. Below are two samples of candleholders decorated for the Christmas season.
Below are two diy candle holders for tea lights which were made with the fall leaves napkins. The one on the left has glitter added which makes it sparkle in the light. The one on the right does not have glitter so the fall leaves design shows up more clearly. So, decide which look you would like before adding the glitter.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to make these candle holders for tea lights. We enjoyed making them and even made them with our 4-H club. The club members enjoyed making the candle holders.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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