How-To: “Stained Glass” Votive Holders

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How-To: “Stained Glass” Votive Holders

My Paper Heart

By Jenny Ryan
Many times when I’m at the grocery or drug store, I can’t resist throwing a few scented votive candles in my cart. When I’m ready to burn them, it’s easy enough to sit one on a cute little vintage china saucer, but I recently decided to try and find a fancier display solution for them. I also wanted the project to be inexpensive, and the materials used to be things I already had on hand. I was inspired by memories of making faux-stained glass in elementary school and came up with these fun little glass votive holders. This project is quick and easy, and a great way to whip up custom party décor on the cheap.

Votiveholder Materials


Tissue paper in your desired colors
Mod Podge (matte finish),
in a pinch you can also use school glue
Glass votive holder to fit your candle(s),
I used thrifted vases and wine tumblers
Paper punches in various shapes


Votiveholder Step1
Step 1: Figure out what colors of tissue paper you’d like to use and what paper punch shapes you want to try out. You can go monochromatic, or choose a wide variety of colors for a playful confetti-style look. Punch out a nice little pile of paper shapes (you can always punch more if needed!) and set them aside.
Step 2: Scoop out a bit of Mod Podge with your paintbrush and water it down a bit so the texture is thinner. You don’t want it super drippy, just a bit thinned-out. I mixed it up right in the lid of the Mod Podge container.
Votiveholder Step3
Step 3: Start affixing the punched-out paper shapes to the glass votive using your paintbrush. Tissue paper is so thin that you can actually pick up the pieces using the wet paintbrush if you like. You could also brush Mod Podge onto the glass first, and then stick on the paper shapes. Either way, brush over the shapes afterward to fully saturate them with Mod Podge. Wet tissue paper can rip easily, so try not to get too rough with it. Take your time and brush gently, attaching more and more shapes, overlapping them however you prefer. Once your glass is fully covered, set it aside to dry.
Votiveholder Step4
Step 4: One your votive is dry, you’ll see that any areas you have brushed with Mod Podge that aren’t covered in tissue paper will have a frosted look. This doesn’t bother me, but if you would prefer these areas to be clear, simply dip a Q-tip in hot water and carefully scrub off the Mod Podge, as seen above.
Votiveholder Finisheda
Votiveholder Finishedb
Step 5: Once everything is dry, plunk in a votive candle, light the wick and enjoy! If you start building a stash of tissue paper – easy enough to do since scraps of it seem to show up around nearly every holiday – you’ll have a variety of colors on hand, making it easy enough to match your candles to any theme you can dream up. Have fun!


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Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

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