How To: Glitter Votive Centerpiece

All glitter everything!

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

Glitter Tape Votive Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding

Today’s How-To was inspired by real life APW weddings. I spend a lot of time at reader weddings during the summer, and it’s interesting to see how, even though you guys all have individual tastes and styles, and your aesthetic is usually a pretty far cry from the WIC aesthetic, there are still trends within APW weddings. The funny part is that, of course, the APW trends are usually nothing like what you’ll see in glossy magazines or mainstream wedding media or even on Pinterest. Because what y’all are making is so cool that you’re way ahead of the curve on that sh*t.  Case in point: GLITTER. It was like opening up a birthday present every time I arrived at a wedding this summer and discovered even more sequin and glitter-bedecked garb than at the last one (because there just isn’t enough shiny stuff in the world, you know?) The thing is, every time I asked how one of my clients had executed all the amazing stuff they made, the rough answer was, “our house is now covered in glitter.” Which, I don’t know about you, but that’s a dealbreaker in my house (nothing infuriates Michael so much as loose glitter. And God forbid we get it in the car.) So I was beyond excited when we discovered glitter tape at Joann Fabrics (which you can also get on Amazon, just sayin’) and Michelle Edgemont came up with this dollar store candle hack. Total cost? Less than $20 for the lot of them. Win!

To create this project, you’ll need three things:

  • Candles (we wanted inexpensive candles, so we bought a handful of religious pillar candles from the dollar store and just removed their wrappers).
  • Glitter Tape
  • Scissors
  • Someone with a decent handle on geometry

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Photos: Allison Andres / Styling: Michelle Edgemont

This project works particularly well if you’re the kind of person who has good ideas, but is all thumbs when it comes to art (read: can’t draw). That said, a little creativity goes a long way here. I was blown away when Michelle started making all kinds of different patterns out of the glitter tape that I simply never would have thought of (fun fact: did you know that Michelle used to make patterns for a living? Girlfriend knows her stuff.) My attempt, on the other hand was…uh…not so good. So I recommend getting together with your most stylish or artistic friend and putting your heads together if you want to deviate from the ideas above. Or if you like what you see, but want a little more variety, just take these examples and create variations on the theme by playing around with the placement of your patterns (i.e. do some candles with stripes at the top, some with stripes at the bottom, and some with stripes in the middle.) The candles are so cheap, you could go big impact and fill a whole table with these (bonus: extra nighttime ambiance!)

As you’ve probably gathered from this series so far, I’m the kind of DITer who prefers rote crafting. Put me in a chair and give me a repetitive task that requires just a touch of creativity and I’m your gal. And these totally fit that bill. Plus, they can be made way in advance of your wedding, and your apartment will even survive the process.

How To Make A Party Store Banner

How To Make a Carnation Backdrop

How To Make An Oversized Love Sign

How To Create Ombre Honeycomb Wedding Decor

How To Turn Grocery Store Cakes Into Wedding Cakes

How To Make A Bright Oversized Bouquet

How To Make A Recycled Watercolor Jar Centerpiece

The Entire APW How-To Series

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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  • Emmers

    Love the candle hack! Wouldn’t have thought of removing the labels. The dollar tree store online also has plain white candles (basically these, without the label), if you feel like mailordering:

    I think the find-cheap-religious candles is also a superb idea!

    • I usually see the votive candle in grocery stores, and there are usually a couple colors of plain glass along with the printed candles.

  • Fun office project: make your own idol candles out of strong female characters.

    I totally haven’t done this already. Nope. >_>

    • Kestrel

      Oooh, I want a Kaylee one – our lady of machines and cheerfulness or something!

    • MK

      Pictures! I demand them!

  • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

    I did not know glitter tape was a thing. I need to use the candles I have before I start this. I need to use the candles I have before I start this.

    Ya’ll. My bathroom is going to be so fun.

    I need to use the candles I have before I start this.

    • Alison O

      Mmmm if the candles you have are situated in glass or something else the glitter tape will stick to and not melt problematically or catch fire on (if that happens? haven’t used glitter tape), you should spruce up your existing collection!

      • SarahG

        On the fire safety note: don’t make candles out of drinking glasses or anything that’s not specifically meant to have fire in it! My cousin did this for her wedding (tall water glasses wrapped on the outside with pretty paper). Halfway through the wedding, the centerpiece on our table cracked and the paper caught fire. Everybody else was kind of drunk and I was the only one with a non-flammable liquid in my glass, so I threw my lemonade over it. The bride and groom never even noticed, fortunately! But seriously, people: safety first.

        • meg

          You and me. We’re in the club of centerpieces-that-have-caught-on-fire. Which are the only centerpieces a girl ever remembers, if you ask me.

          • SarahG

            Now, that is kind of an awesome club (only because nobody got hurt, of course).

  • KC

    I definitely needed to know about glitter tape. I’d also note that sequins tend to be less EVERYWHERE than glitter, but also pack a fair glittery punch, and can also be acquired pre-attached to fabric (I especially note this because after Halloween, there are often really fabulous novelty fabrics that are very much on clearance – I scored some at 90% off once – so early to mid November is a great time to go out looking for spangly fabulousness). (I would take the time to note that fabric with glitter pre-glued on it, still equals glitter everywhere. It. Comes. Off. Exactly when/where you do not want it to.)

    Query: how does glitter tape hold up to candle heat? (or, with these candles, maybe the glass doesn’t heat up at all?)

    (I ask this because of ill-advised glue-gunning; turns out, if the item you are attaching things to will reach a higher temperature than the melt-point of low-temp hot glue… things don’t go so well. ;-) ) (on the plus side, when stuff is on the outside of the candle bowl, it doesn’t tend to catch on fire, yay!)

    (two other do-not-get-glitter-everywhere solutions: cheapo glitter nail polish and glitter fabric paint. I mean, at least insofar as you can keep the nail polish/fabric paint under control…)

    • Corrie

      I’m pretty sure that glitter modge podge exists too….talk about endless options!

      • KC

        I have a probably unreasonable fear of mod-podge. I have had many friends who, once they realized they could mod-podge things, had difficulty *not* covering all household items with collage “art” (chairs, boxes, end tables, salt and pepper shakers, whatever). And I am not skilled in collage arrangement (and, um, neither are some of them…). So I’m staying away from that particular drug so far… ;-)

        But as a source of glitter, that I could get behind… :-)

        • MK

          It’s basically thin Emler’s glue (with additional super powers), so you could easily easily mix some tiny glitter into it for paintable glitter! (Saw that in a wedding craft, actually, for painting the soles of heels to make them fancy)

  • Moe

    Wait. What? The label comes off the religious candle?!?!?


  • Alison O

    The project’s cool, but this also made me realize that the original labels are quite visually interesting and could contribute to a neat look. Love the colors, esp. in groupings.

    Would want to consider potential negative cultural appropriation issues, though. Think it would depend on what the rest of the wedding is like. Wouldn’t use them ironically.

    • We actually seriously considered using candles like these as-is – I’ve had a thing for religious iconography for as long as I can remember, and Claire Danes’ room in the Baz Luhrman Romeo + Juliet didn’t help – and ended up doing something else precisely because we felt a little ooky about using them purely for aesthetics. I would LOVE to see it done by someone somewhere someday!

    • SarahG

      Yeah, I grew up with a lot of these around (ex-Catholic) — what I was told by my mom was that they were candles for the Three Days of Darkness (you can Wikipedia it). My mom kinda thought it was BS, but my grandma gave them to her, so they lived under our bathroom sink. She never lit them (because the apocalypse hadn’t happened yet). My old roommate used to collect them because she thought they were kitchy and fun, and this made my mom extremely uncomfortable. Even though the rational side of her thought the whole Three Days of Darkness thing was a bit nuts.

      Anyway… yeah, they are cool looking, but they mostly remind me of being completely freaked out by my childhood religion :) I imagine some people would take offense.

    • meg

      Yeah, totally NOT cool to use in a non religious wedding, but totally BAD ASS to use in a hip religious wedding.

  • If you order the candles online from the dollar store, they have them without the wrappers for $1 each – 3 steps instead of 4 = even lazier girl. love it!

  • Hintzy

    I love it! I’m thinking I might run with this idea using puff paint or similar – I’m accustomed to doing henna, so that is just a natural handwork for me.

    • KC

      There’s also chemical glass etching stuff, but I don’t know whether the consistency would be at all similar to henna… but that would be So Cool to have henna-pattern-style etched glass.

  • Maggie

    How did you know I had just been in the shower pondering the easiest way to make glitter chevron worship candles! This is amazing! I was definitely going the Mod Podge glitter route.

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