What Can You Put in a Candle Holder Besides Candles?

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Candle holders are far too exquisite to be stashed away in storage. These decorative vessels can take on new life and purpose when filled with items beyond just candles. From providing organization to displaying floral arrangements, the possibilities are endless.

This comprehensive guide reveals clever and creative ways to repurpose candle holders throughout your home. You’ll discover practical tips for tackling projects, from using floral foam to testing lighting. Decorative inspiration abounds with ideas for coordinating and showcasing holders in stunning arrangements.

And simple DIY candle holder ideas allow you to expand your collection on a budget. With this wealth of innovative repurposing and styling ideas, you’ll be inspired to finally put those stored-away candle holders to use in delightful new ways.

Tips to Help repurposing candle holders


  1. Use strong adhesives like E6000, hot glue, or clear-drying craft glue when attaching items to candle holders for a permanent hold. Allow at least 24 hours to fully dry.
  2. Select candle holders that are clean of wax residue and in good condition before repurposing. Test any electrical components to ensure they work.
  3. Anchor real flowers well with floral foam or tape inside holders to keep arrangements looking fresh. Consider waterproofing outdoor candle holders.
  4. For a quick seasonal switch, save and reuse decorative fillers like beads, candy, pinecones, etc. Wrap holders in new ribbons, fabric, or garland.
  5. Display repurposed candle holders creatively – grouped together, elevated on trays, and mixed with books and other décor. Reuse holders in different rooms.
  6. Check weight limits when using holders for raised centerpieces. Low-profile bowls and vases are best. Secure loose filler with museum gel.

Pretty Posies

One of the easiest ways to repurpose a candle holder is to turn it into a vase for fresh or faux flowers. Small bud vases and taper candle holders are perfectly suited for holding a single stem or two. For fuller arrangements, use pillar holders, hurricane vases, or wide-mouth jars.

If using real flowers, be sure the holder will hold water. Test it out before arranging flowers. For faux blooms, use floral foam or tape to secure stems. Consider using florist’s wire to bend stems for shaping bouquets.

Escaping the ordinary vase, a candle holder provides an unexpected vessel for displaying flowers. Make it quick and simple by just tucking a bloom into a taper holder. Or get creative with a mosaic of flower types and colors in one large hurricane vase.

For parties or seasonal decor, wrap some ribbon around the candle holder. Choose a wide, floral ribbon for a soft romantic feel or metallic and raffia for a more organic look. Affix a large bow or let the ends fall gracefully.

Lovely Greens and Herbs

House plants and herbs can also find a home in old candle holders. Almost any small potted plant can be used. For a unique touch, consider air plants, succulents, or mini cacti.

To display plants in pillar holders, first attach the pot to the holder. Place a dot of hot glue on the bottom of the pot and center it on the candle holder before the glue dries. Allow it to fully dry for a few hours. For a more secure, permanent hold, use a strong multi-surface adhesive like E6000.

The planting pot can be hidden by wrapping the candle holder with burlap, jute, or other natural fiber ribbon. Use a glue gun to neatly secure. Leave an opening at the top to accommodate plant growth.

For taper holders, simply set the small plant pot inside the taper for a quick tabletop display. A trio of taper holders with coordinating pots lined up together makes a charming centerpiece.

Tip: Select wide, sturdy candle holders when displaying plants to prevent tipping. And always remove plants before moving the holder.

Natural Decor – Seashells, Rocks, and Sand

For effortless nature-inspired candle holders, look no farther than your local beach or backyard. Seashells, pebbles, and sand can transform candle vessels into beach-chic decor.

Fill the bottom of pillar holders, hurricanes, or jars part way with sand. White sand looks especially striking against glass holders, creating a peaceful, coastal vibe. Next, tuck in small seashells, sea glass, coral pieces, and driftwood.

For more interest, combine natural elements with candles or faux florals. Float a large pillar or cluster of votives in the sand. Or nestle stems of pampas grass amongst the shells and sand.

River rocks, aquarium gravel, and marbles also make terrific filler for candle vessels. Use them alone or pair them with candles floating on top. Submerge solar lights in the rocks to create dazzling illumination at night.

For a brilliant ocean look, spray paint gravel in ocean colors like turquoise, silver, and sky blue before adding to the holder.

Get Creative with DIY Décor

Part of the fun of repurposing candle holders is exercising creativity and making custom pieces. With common craft supplies and household items, your holders can be transformed into one-of-a-kind decor.

Cover the outside of plain glass holders by adhering lace, burlap, or colorful duct tape. Use a hot glue gun or clear drying craft glue. Or mod podge on images or tissue paper for a unique look. Stencils and paint are another option for adding ornamental designs.

Fill holders with something unexpected like wine corks, pine cones, buttons, fabric scraps, or colorful beads. Or arrange items in a theme like “autumn leaves” or “beach treasures”. Display photo tealights or battery string lights instead of candles.

For holidays, the options are endless. Fill holders with themed confetti, small ornaments, wrapped treats, or battery-operated mini lights. The right embellishments can make candle holders work for any season or occasion.

Handy Storage Solutions

Candle holders can pull double duty as storage solutions around your home when filled with practical everyday items. With their wide openings and ample space, holders keep items neatly corralled while adding a decorative touch.

Empty canning jars anchored onto short candlesticks make perfect bathroom storage. Fill with cotton balls, swabs, hair ties, and other small necessities. For a finished look, screw on the jar lid or add a binder ring handle.

Use pillar holders or hurricanes in the kitchen to store utensils like whisks, spatulas, and wooden spoons. Position near the prep area for easy access while cooking. Or line them up on your kitchen counter and fill with packaged snacks, tea bags, granola bars, or othergrab-and-go foods.

In a bedroom, turn candle holders into jewelry storage. Use pillar holders for hanging necklaces and taper holders for rings, earrings, and bracelets. Or fill them with hair clips, perfumes, or small decorative items for display on a vanity.

For the home office, transform candle vessels into an organizer for pens, pencils, scissors, and sticky notes. Place them on a desk, table, or shelf to keep supplies neat but also readily available.

Stunning Raised Centerpieces

Candle holders take on an elegant new purpose when transformed into pedestals for displaying serving ware, vases, bowls, and other decorative pieces. The raised height creates stunning focal points on tables, sideboards, mantels, or shelves.

Almost anything can be anchored to a candlestick holder to create a pedestal. Plates, trays, jars, baskets, and terrariums are all excellent choices.

Use a strong multi-surface glue or hot glue gun to adhere vessels onto pillar holders, wide taper holders, or sturdy glass cylinders. Allow a full 24 hours to dry before using.

To highlight your pedestal piece, consider placing it on a decorative tray, wreath base, mirror, or coaster. For added drama, set on candelabra stands or multi-armed holders.

When designing pedestals, think vertically! Stack plates or bowls from large on bottom to small on top. Create height with cylinders or containers of varying sizes. Mix and match pieces for lots of texture and visual interest.

Display Tips for Showcasing Repurposed Holders

Once you’ve filled your candle holders with fabulous new items, it’s time to style them around your home. Follow these tips for creating stunning arrangements that make decor shine:

  • Group identical holders together for bold impact. Repeat shapes, heights, and decorative elements.
  • Alternate sizes and styles for lots of variety.
  • Align holders evenly spaced apart or clustered together.
  • Place 3 holders together in odd numbers for visual interest.
  • Elevate on trays, cake stands, boxes, or risers for dimension.
  • Hang holders on the wall or display solo on small ledges or shelves.
  • Mix with books, photo frames, bowls, and other accessories in arrangements.
  • Wrap holders with ribbon, garland, string lights for seasonal decorating.
  • Reuse holders throughout the home—bedroom, kitchen, office, entryway.
  • Freshen up décor by changing holder fillers with the seasons.

The design options are infinite with repurposed candle vessels. Let color, texture, light, and shape guide you in creating lovely vignettes and artistic focal points. But most importantly, embrace your creativity and have fun in giving new life to candle holders!

Tips for Repurposing Candle Holders

Follow this advice to ensure success when upcycling candle holders:

  • Select holders that are clean and in good condition. Remove all wax residue.
  • Test electrical and solar items to be sure they work before inserting into holders.
  • Use strong adhesives like E6000, hot glue, or clear-drying craft glue for a permanent hold.
  • Allow glued items to dry completely, at least 24 hours before handling.
  • Anchor stems of real flowers well with floral foam or tape for stability.
  • Consider waterproofing porous holders used outdoors with sealants.
  • Check weight limits and use low profile vases, bowls, or jars for raised pedestal platters.
  • For removable plant holders, place plastic nursery pots inside decorative pots.
  • Use Museum Gel to secure loose decor filler like beads, river rocks or candy.
  • Display candle holders safely out of reach of pets, kids, and high-traffic areas.

DIY Candle Holders

If you find yourself needing more candle holders to repurpose, try making some easy, inexpensive ones:

  • Invert glasses, mugs, or bowls over votives candles for instant holders.
  • Affix cup hooks around cans, pails, and metal containers to hold taper candles.
  • Drill holes in slices of wood to hold taper candles.
  • Fill empty glass jars with pebbles, beads, buttons, or sand, and nestle in pillar candles.
  • Coat the inside of clear glass jars with glue and glitter or sand to hold votive or tea lights.
  • Tie twine around Mason jars and attach unscented candles with hot glue to make rustic luminaries.

Parting Thoughts

Candle holders are far too lovely to store away. With a myriad of possibilities, give them new purposes as decorative accents, storage solutions, and inventive centerpieces. Spark your imagination by filling them with beautiful blooms, river rocks, seashells, or fun DIY creations.

Display your repurposed holders artfully around the home and change them up with the seasons. No need to wait for special occasions to bring out and enjoy candle holders. Their repurposed charm brightens spaces every day.

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