Make This: Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

The other day, I accidentally made today’s DIY project. I was planning to make something else entirely and then a little lightbulb went off in my head and I switched gears. Don’t you love it when that happens?

So, today’s edition of Make This will take you through making these modern, painted candle votives for just about any occasion: Mother’s Day, a housewarming party, a wedding. You name it – these DIY votives can adapt to pretty much anything, which is great. But the best part about this DIY is actually the price. About $5 worth of plaster and $5 worth of tealights will make roughly 50 completed votives. That makes each votive $0.20 to make from start to finish. Does it get any better than that?


  • powder plaster (available on Amazon)
  • plastic container for mixing
  • silicone square mold (this is the exact one I used)
  • tea lights (available on Amazon)
  • acrylic paint and paint brush
  • metal or wooden spoon
  • matte medium (optional)

How to make your own:

Written step by step instructions below images…

Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

1. Scoop powdered plaster into a small container and mix with water according to directions.

2. Stir water and plaster mixture until you achieve desired consistency, which should be similar to pancake batter. Plaster sets very quickly, so you will want to work fast.

3. Pour mixture into square mold or gently scoop the mixture in with a spoon.

4. Wait 2-3 minutes for it to start to set up. While it’s setting up, remove the candles from the metal shell they sit in. And place one in the top of each square. Then add coins or other small heavy objects to weigh it down, so it say in place.

5. Set aside and allow the plaster to harden for at least one hour (dry time may vary).

6. Carefully remove the plaster numbers from the mold one at a time and let them finish air drying for a full 24 hours.

7. Now that your numbers are completely dry, you can seal them with matte medium (optional) and then begin painting them.

8. Wait for the votives to dry completely, add the candles back into the tealight shells and you are done.

Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

There are so many uses for these little guys. You could give a set of votives to your mom for Mother’s Day, use them as a housewarming gift for a friend, or turn them into cool wedding favors.

Or keep them all for yourself.

Want more DIY ideas? Click here.

Concept, photography and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff for Paper & Stitch

55 comments | Click here to reply

Make This: Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget: The other day, I accidentally made today’s…

Brittni Mehlhoff (@papernstitch) | May 8th, 2013 at 8:18 am

RT @papernstitch: Make This: Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget: The other day, I accidentally made today’s…

@hthrvghn | May 8th, 2013 at 8:27 am

So cute! RT@papernstitch Make This: Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget: The other day, I accidentally made today’s

Geri (@thelanguidlion) | May 8th, 2013 at 9:17 am

These are awesome!! I love the idea of using them as a housewarming gift!
Kelly @ Studio DIY recently posted..Five Ways to Serve Breakfast in Bed

Kelly @ Studio DIY | May 8th, 2013 at 10:48 am

Thanks Kel! I have these all around my house right now. Wish I had a housewarming to go to so I could unleash some of these. Ha!

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 10:58 am

These are beautiful! I absolutely love how you painted them too. xx. McKenna Lou
McKenna Ryan recently posted..Pinwheel Bouquet :: Kid Craft

McKenna Ryan | May 8th, 2013 at 11:20 am

these look great! definitely bookmarking this post for my next party
juni recently posted..A LOT OF PRINTED MATTER

juni | May 8th, 2013 at 11:29 am

This is brilliant!

Coffee mornings | May 8th, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thanks McKenna, Juni and Coffee mornings. They were so fun to make. I think I have a new addiction.

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Brittni, these are so cool! And I love it when that lightbulb moment happens 🙂

Stephanie @ henry happened | May 8th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Amazing – and easy! – Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget via @papernstitch

Stephanie Gerber (@henryhappened) | May 8th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Thanks Steph. Yep, definitely love those lightbulb moments. And speaking of love…I love your ‘Fresh Flowers Idea’ roundup from today – so many pretty ways to use flowers. And thanks for including my project!

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Ooo love these! Thinking of doing some watercolor inspired ombre colors. Thanks for the idea!
Lorraine | Harvesting Love Events recently posted..Paint it Gold!

Lorraine | Harvesting Love Events | May 8th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Oh, a watercolor ombre effect would be perfect for this project! Thanks for stopping by Lorraine. Your blog is great! Just checked it out.

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I just found your blog through Designlovefest and will be following you. your content is stellar! I’ll take note of the votive idea for a rainy day.


Jane | May 8th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Well, thanks Jane. So glad you found me.

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

So adorable! As always, you DIYs are inspiring! Thanks you for sharing.
– Dusty.
– Dusty. recently posted..Tulips.

- Dusty. | May 8th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Aw, thanks Dusty. 🙂

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I love this idea, so simple but effective. I’ve been looking for some sort of candle holders I can put out in the garden without worrying about them being blown over and smashed (which is what usually happens), these would be perfect! Xx

Lemonade Budget | May 8th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Awesome Lemonade Budget! Let me know how they turn out.

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

How clever! I want to throw a party just so I can do this DIY 🙂

Rachel | 52 Weeks Project | May 8th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Thanks Rachel. You should definitely throw a party so you can make these. 🙂

papernstitch | May 8th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Looks like a super fun project! Does the matte medium make a big difference on the outcome? What exactly does it do?

Christie | May 8th, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Hi Christie. It just seals the plaster, making it less porous when painting. It didn’t make a big difference for my votives, but I like to have that option. Just in case.

papernstitch | May 9th, 2013 at 12:29 am

such an awesome DIY! love that and can’t wait to try this as well * all the best julia

julia I mintlametta | May 9th, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks Julia. I’d love to know how it turns out for you if you try this DIY.

papernstitch | May 9th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Moms love candles. You love mom. So make some candles for mom’s day! #DIY how to:

PlanetReuseMrkt (@PlanetReuseMrkt) | May 9th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

amazing!!!! I love it!

Zina | May 10th, 2013 at 3:21 am

[…] painted plaster candle votives from scratch by yours […]

6 DIYs for your Weekend | Paper & Stitch | May 10th, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thanks Zina. And speaking of amazing…that first yellow dress from Etsy on your blog right!? Love it!

papernstitch | May 10th, 2013 at 12:11 pm


Nice day 🙂

Nuria Vert et Foncé | May 11th, 2013 at 4:07 am

This is wonderful!! I love this perfect project and will do it this week!
Art by Karena
Karena recently posted..Introducing Mary Tinduski of MJH Design Arts

Karena | May 12th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thank you very much!
Happy Days!

nermin | May 12th, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I used colored plaster instead of painting saved myself. Step, you can use god color and change the color of your plaster I did! Had fun dong it!

Sherry | May 14th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Awesome Sherry! Love that idea. Makes the project even easier.

papernstitch | May 15th, 2013 at 10:52 am

RT @papernstitch: @FunctionalGirl I sure do… This votive DIY is super budget-friendly each one costs about 20 cents to make

@FunctionalGirl | May 23rd, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Such a neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

Rebeca | June 23rd, 2013 at 10:15 pm

LOVE this idea! Does it matter what kind of plaster to use? Or could you tell us what brand you used?

claire | July 5th, 2013 at 10:39 am

Thanks Claire. I don’t think it matters what kind of plaster is used. I bought mine from Hobby Lobby in the kid’s craft section. So, it seems that any kind (no matter how inexpensive) will work.

papernstitch | July 5th, 2013 at 10:51 am

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any of you know the name of matte medium in Spanish?

adriana | March 18th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

What kind of sealer did you use here? I have plans to use these in my wedding. Have been looking a an inexpensive way to scatter tea lights all over the tables. Thanks for sharing!
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Lexi | April 3rd, 2014 at 7:53 pm

You can use gloss or matte medium if you’re looking for a sealant.

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Hi, do you think that the silicon mold will work with concrete?

Sofia | January 15th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Yep. It will. 🙂

Brittni | January 16th, 2015 at 12:08 am

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