These beautiful candleholders were purchased many years ago in Sanibel Island, Florida. Unfortunately, there’s a hidden problem, and it’s not the tree frogs.
Thick layers of tropical leaves weave their way around the base with three colorful tree frogs crawling among the foliage. Can you spot the problem? If you think it’s the candles, you’re right!
As you can see from this photo, the glass top of each candleholder will only fit a votive size candle. Proportionally, they would look much better with tall slim candles but they just won’t fit. We’re going to change that! The same procedure can be followed for any candleholders you may have. Let’s get started!
6) 12” Navy taper candles
Cardstock (See Crafting Tip in Step 1 for alternatives)
Scissors (or an X-Acto knife)
Fillet glove (optional protection when cutting)
2) Rubber bands
Crinkle Paper (or mini glass marbles)
Acrylic Paint – brown
Bottles of fabric paint – brown, dark green, yellow, medium green
Creating Candleholder Caps
Step 1 – To accommodate slimmer candles, we need to create a cap for the top of each candleholder. Measure the top of the candleholder. If you are using cardstock, cut 3) small 2-1/2” circles, and 2) large 3” circles. Glue the small circles together, one on top of the other like a layer cake. Glue the two large circles together in the same fashion. Center the small circles on top of the large and glue them together. Repeat this step to make the cap for the second candleholder.
Crafter Tip: This project was completed during the Covid 19 lockdown. I had to work with what I had on hand. In hindsight, I believe caps made from matt board or a sheet of plastic would be more rigid, and would only require cutting out two circles, one for each candleholder.
Tracing the Candles
Step 2 – I decided to use three 12” tall taper candles in each candleholder. Hold the three candles in the center of each cap and trace the shape with a pen or pencil. Cut out the center of each cap following the triad shape of the candles.
You now have two caps for the candleholders. Test each to ensure a good fit on the candleholders. Test-fit the candles for a snug fit in each cap. Make adjustments by trimming as needed. Because the taper candles vary in size, be sure to label the bottom of each cap with “L” for left and “R” for right to ensure the candles will fit in a later step.
Painted Base Coat & Glass Marbles
Step 3 – Paint the tops and edges of the caps brown to blend with the branches in the base. You may need to add mini glass marbles or crinkle paper to the bottoms to adjust the candles to the desired height.
Candles in Caps
Step 4 – Slide the candles into the cap. Adjust the cap’s position as needed. Wrap the candles with a rubber band beneath the cap to secure their positioning.
Final Candle Placement
Step 5 – Place the candles and cap into the top of the holder. Temporarily slide the cap up to fill the void with marbles or crinkle paper. This will stabilize the candles in an upright position. To ensure that the caps will stay in place, I tacked three spots along the edge of each cap with hot glue.
Crafter Tip: I found that the crinkle paper provided firmer support than the glass marbles, which have a tendency to shift.
First Layer of Leaves
Step 6 – Create 3-dimensional leaves on top with fabric paint in colors similar to those found in the base.
Second Layer of Leaves
Step 7 – Allow drying time. Add another layer of leaves overlapping the previous one.
Fourth Layer of Leaves
Step 8 – Allow drying time between layers. Add as many layers as you like to build up thick foliage.
These are the completed candleholders with their new candles.
Candleholders – Before & After
Note how much better they look with the taller candles. The blue candles and new three-dimensional painted green and yellow leaves accentuate the rainforest colors in the frogs and foliage.
When you can’t find the candles you need, it’s time to flex your creativity muscles. If you have had a similar creative challenge, please share your experiences in the comments section.
Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!