How To: Vellum Candle Centerpiece

Pretty things for cut-and-paste crafters

How To: Vellum Candle Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding

As one of the less crafty people on the APW staff, I’m always glad when we have a tutorial that takes literally no artistic skill to create. And huzzah! That’s what we’ve got for you today. Since we couldn’t afford floral centerpieces for our wedding (hello, young and broke) I came up with a similar project to this one for our wedding. Except… mine was not nearly this pretty. (APW didn’t have tutorials back in 2009! I can’t be blamed!) But because I’ve been in the trenches with this one, I do have shopping tips for you, because that’s my thing. You can buy cylinder vases on Amazon for $14.99 for a set of three or $100 for thirty-six, which can add up if you’ve got enough tables. But since these vases are available year-round, if you wait it out, there’s usually a 40% off coupon for Michael’s or Joann’s that can make it worth your while (and since this project is non-destructive, you can possibly even sell the vases afterwards). Also, if parties in the Hogwarts’ Great Hall taught have taught me anything, it’s that candles are magic ambiance-creators and therefore totally worth it.

The trick to this project is early vellum scouting, because so much of the patterned vellum available is covered in baby footprints and things that say “Marriage” and “Forever.” We found one of these patterns at Michael’s and the other at Paper Source, but you can also check out local specialty paper stores for more diverse styles. Once you find the right patterns, the rest is so easy you could task your twelve-year-old niece to do it. Just wrap, cut, and tape. A stick lighter will go a long way to making your life easier when it comes time to light the candles, and if your wedding venue has a no-flame rule, this is the perfect opportunity to use those flameless LED votives. We added napkins from West Elm (which are currently on crazy sale, so go snap them up because they are hott) to give the whole thing an extra layer of pattern mixing, but you could easily forgo those or use fabric squares instead. And unlike most centerpieces, you can reuse these at home when you’re done and create the Great Hall in your living room. Reason enough to make this yours? I think so.

How To: Vellum Candle Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding How To: Vellum Candle Centerpiece | A Practical Wedding


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  • AR

    These are cool! Another tip for the vases: check out Dollar Tree stores (or for cylinder vases, priced at $1 each!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      What?! #Win

    • Shia

      Walmart has 12 case of mason jars for $10.97, but I love Dollar Tree!

  • KC

    These look gorgeous (and yes, so reusable, especially if you either go with a non-specifically wedding-y vellum to start with or if you use different “sleeves” for different holidays – cobwebs for Halloween, fir branches for Christmas…). This is genius. :-)

    I’d note (as someone who has had vellum come unstuck at annoying times) that it’s worth checking before crunch-time that your vellum and tape selections will remain in close acquaintance for as long as you want them to. :-) (most vellum and most tape work together fine for decent periods of time… just apparently not quite *all*, much to my irritation, and I unfortunately don’t remember which kind of tape it was that “flunked”)

    Also, if you have access to a papercutter (office, library, university?) and you’re doing a ton of these, you can not-have-to-cut-straight-lines-with-scissors on the vellum. Measure, stack your vellum, swoosh, and your paper-cutting is complete!

    • Good idea! And depending on your budget, a paper cutter can be another thing to buy with a 40% off coupon from Michael’s or Joann’s!

      • Laura

        Yes! And paper cutters can be used for years to come as well! Or, in the moment… like for DIT invites, thank you cards, etc.

    • Lauren

      Double-sided tape worked wonders for me. And then the tape doesn’t show and it looks more seamless.

      • KC

        Oooooh. That’s smart.

  • SarahG

    So, random, but I shared this on another how-to — I was at a wedding with these kind of centerpieces, where the glass cracked and the paper caught fire, and flamey flames resulted. Any advice on how to pick glass that can actually deal with heat? Or should people just give up on tea lights and get LEDs?

  • Phoebe

    These look fantastic! I might make some of these for our annual holiday party. Also, I wanted to say that Ikea is another place to check for vases, candle holders or even plain old drinking glasses. We didn’t fancy them up with vellum, but these worked great at our wedding and are $1.34 a piece:

  • YetAntherMegan also has some great deals on bulk candles. I’ll be using these

  • Laura

    These are gorgeous. And BONUS – if you don’t make them too weddingy they can be used again. Also, I know we are going for EAST here… BUT if you have a stampy person in your life (like I do), maybe you could emboss? (like this:

  • Lindsay

    Wait, where are the actual instructions? I’m not crafty in the least but am interested in making these. The “one & done!” pictures are great, but step by step how to would be nice!

    • 1. wrap the vellum around the glass hurricane, 2. tape (like you are wrapping a present), 3. trim the top of the vellum with scissors to be the same height of your candle holder (another option: measure the height of the candle holder and cut the vellum to size before taping it on). Happy crafting!

  • We have exactly 100 tall white religious candles (you know, the ones in the glass pillars? Only these don’t have iconography on them) left over from our wedding. HOLIDAY PROJECT, SORTED.

  • Candles Recharge

    This is a great idea & oh so simple! Love it!
    I am totally going to share this tutorial on our blog :)

    And yes as others have mentioned, using flameless tea light candles would ensure that no fires happen. You could even ditch the glass holder if you used battery operated tea lights (like we have) & that would make this project even cheaper to do!

    We can deliver anywhere in the world and have top quality flameless tea light candles so please do check us out:

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