Make This: Modern DIY Candle Votives on a Budget

By Brittni • Updated on 02/15/2024

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

56 comments | Click here to reply

These DIY votives are super cute! They look easy enough for kids to make and would be great DIY teacher presents for kids to make for their teachers.


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Yep. It will. 🙂


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


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


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!


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


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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.


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


Such a neat idea. Thanks for sharing.


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


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


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!


Thank you very much!
Happy Days!


This is wonderful!! I love this perfect project and will do it this week!
Art by Karena



Nice day 🙂

Nuria Vert et Foncé

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


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amazing!!!! I love it!


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

PlanetReuseMrkt (@PlanetReuseMrkt)

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


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

julia I mintlametta

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.


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


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


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

Rachel | 52 Weeks Project

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


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

Aw, thanks Dusty. 🙂


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

- Dusty.

Well, thanks Jane. So glad you found me.


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.



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


Ooo love these! Thinking of doing some watercolor inspired ombre colors. Thanks for the idea!

Lorraine | Harvesting Love Events

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!


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

Stephanie Gerber (@henryhappened)

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

Stephanie @ henry happened

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


This is brilliant!

Coffee mornings

these look great! definitely bookmarking this post for my next party


These are beautiful! I absolutely love how you painted them too. xx. McKenna Lou

McKenna Ryan

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!


These are awesome!! I love the idea of using them as a housewarming gift!

Kelly @ Studio DIY

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

Geri (@thelanguidlion)

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


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

Brittni Mehlhoff (@papernstitch)
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