Crafts & Hobbies Information

Butterfly Candle Holders

Butterfly candle holders are easy to make and a great gift idea. The materials are very inexpensive, and you can use your imagination for a variety of designs. To get started, you will need:


Small glass candle holders
Butterfly wrapping paper
Yellow tissue paper
Cuticle scissors
Small paintbrush
Damp paper towel

You can buy whatever glass candle holders you like (or use some you already have laying around). I bought mine at Walmart for about $0.59. You could also find them at thrift stores or yard sales.

I chose butterflies for my design, but you could choose whatever design you'd like--maybe keeping in mind the tastes of the person you're making them for. You can cut out pictures from anywhere, including calendars, greeting cards, magazines. Thin paper decoupages best.

After you have some pictures in mind, use cuticle scissors (the kind you cut your fingernails with) to cut out the pictures. These scissors work best on small pictures and cut rounder corners than regular scissors. If you're not going to use the pictures right away, store them in ziploc bags.

You can buy decoupage at any craft store. It is normally found with the glue. It allows you to permanently affix a picture to another object, giving the object an overall glossy effect. Make sure the glass you're working with is clean. Tear a piece of tissue paper into small (approx. 1 inch) pieces. Using the paint brush, brush some decoupage on to the back of one of the pieces of tissue paper. Position the tissue paper on the glass and then brush some more decoupage on top of it. Continue gluing on pieces of tissue paper, overlapping at the edges, until the entire candle holder is covered (including the bottom--set the candle holder on its top to dry). Brush one last coat of decoupage over the entire candle holder. Use damp paper towel to wipe off any excess decoupage.

After the decoupage has dried for about an hour (or more), position the butterflies (or other pictures) on top of the tissue paper. First brush some decoupage on the backs of the pictures and place them on the glass. Brush another coat of decoupage over the entire glass and set the candle holder on its top to dry again. After the decoupage has dried, add 2 or 3 more coats of decoupage after each coat has dried.

That's it! These candle holders are only limited by your imagination. Use different colors of tissue paper and a variety of pictures for different themes. You could make these with holiday themes, like for Christmas or Easter. They also make great birthday presents, hostess gifts, or party favors. They are very easy to make and you can make several of them at one time.

Photo of completed project:

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit

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