What Can You Put In A Candle Holder Besides Candles?

So you have a collection of candle holders, and while they are lovely with a candle burning in them, you may be wondering what other purposes they can serve? Good question! We have done extensive research and have come up with some great answers.

When it comes to repurposing candle holders, there is a world of possibilities, both decorative and practical. Whether you have taper candle holders, pillar candle holders, old jar candles, or a combination, many things can be put in or on them. Just a few of these are:

  • Greenery and flowers
  • Plants
  • Bowls or dishes
  • Decorative globes

Now that we have some ideas, let’s dive in and take a closer look at each option. Some of these require more DIY (Do-It-Yourself) than others, but rest assured, we’ve got you!

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Flowers and Greenery

Flowers and greenery are always classic, and there are many ways to use them in candle holders, especially votive candle holders or empty jar candles.

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Variety of colourful wild flowers including corn marigold and poppies growing in the grass in Pinn Meadows conservation area.
Vines, leaves, and flowers can be arranged inside clear candle holders, presenting a whimsical appearance. Alternatively, greenery and flowers can be arranged so that they are protruding from the opening. This is especially nice if the candle holder is opaque. You can fix small bouquets and set them in the candle holders. While artificial greenery and flowers will last longer, many glass candle holders can double as a vase and hold water for fresh cut flowers.

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Pillar or taper candle holders work beautifully for this and may become your favorite DIY project to date! Now, you can always just set flower pots on top, but we recommend securing them. Follow these simple steps to create plant holders out of your old candle holders.


  • Taper or pillar candle holders.
  • Flower pots of a suitable size. You want the base to be slightly smaller than the candle holder it will be set in.
  • Adhesive – Elmer’s ProBond glue is recommended. 

Click here to find it on Amazon.

  • Spray paint, if desired. Rustoleum Universal paint is a good choice for most materials.

Click here to find it on Amazon.


  1. Clean and dry your candle holder and the flower pot.
  2. Apply glue to the flower pot and set it firmly in the candle holder.
  3. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.
  4. Paint the candle holder and pot with the color of your choice. 

The fill the completed pots with artificial or live plants. Additionally, they could be used as an organization for small trinkets or supplies. 

Tip: If using live plants, consider using a plastic pot inside of the decorative one so that it can be removed for watering.

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Bowls or Dishes

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This option will take a few steps, but the result is well worth it! Bowls or dishes can be affixed to candle holders with minimal effort, creating delightful serving dishes, decorations, or even organization! You can utilize taper or pillar candle holders, and can even upcycle empty jar candles.


  • Taper or pillar candle holder.
  • A bowl, dish, or empty jar candle. Jar candles with lids are fantastic for decorative storage!
  • Adhesive 
  • Optional: Decorative knob

Click here for this knob on Amazon.


  1. If you wish to repaint the candle holder, and will not be painting the dish, then now is the time for paint. Go ahead and give it a couple of coats and let it dry thoroughly before beginning the next step.
  2. Make sure both the candle holder and dish are nice and clean and dry.
  3. Carefully apply glue to the rim of the candle holder, and position your dish on top.
  4. Allow it to dry at least 24 hours.
  5. Optional. If you are using a jar candle with a lid, you can now add a decorative knob to the top.

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Decorative Balls or Orbs

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One of the best and simplest ideas we have for you are using decorative balls to add new life to your candle holder. These work great with pillar or taper candle holders and look great for any occasion.

You can find balls made of cotton, jute rope, glass, cloth, and a host of other materials like this boxwood leaf ball.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

 They are often decorated with different themes for certain holidays or seasons, such as cranberries for Christmas time or flowers for spring. Just set one on top of your candle holder, and you instantly have a stunning piece of décor

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How Do You Display Candlesticks?

It is the rare candlestick that can stand alone; most candlesticks benefit from company. Group candlesticks of different heights and designs together to create an attractive centerpiece. Candlesticks can also be spread out, keeping a generally uniform distance.

Consider arranging greenery or ribbon along your line of candlesticks to produce a fuller, more eye-catching display. Check out this article for decorating ideas to pair with candles on a dining table: How to Decorate a Kitchen Table.

Can I Put Candle Holders on the Bookshelf?

Indeed, you can! But don’t be tempted to light them! Place burning candles in an open space with no flammable materials close by. A candle’s flame produces surprising amounts of heat. Therefore 3 feet should always be maintained between a flame and the ceiling or top of a shelf. Don’t let this spoil your fun, though! Flameless candles will help to create that unique atmosphere while keeping safety in mind.

Click here to see this flameless candle on Amazon.

What Can Be Used As a Candle Holder?

Burning candles on table indoors

Need a candle holder in a pinch? Just check out these creative ideas.

  • Candles can be set in small dishes or bowls. Try adding water and floating tea candles along with flowers or berries.
  • Mason jars are a standby for almost anything, including holding candles.
  • Aluminum cans make great last-minute candle holders. Adding punched in designs creates lovely flickering shadows.
  • Put candles inside a wine glass or turn the wine glass over and set a candle on top.
  • Try setting a taper candle inside the neck of a wine bottle for a rustic look.

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How Do You Arrange Candles on the Mantle?

Candles can be arranged alone or in a group as the centerpiece, or they can be set on either side of a centerpiece to accent it.
Another option is to set a group of candles on one side of the mantle and a group of other items (i.e., vases of flowers, pictures, etc.) on the other side. Try to ensure that groups are of similar structure to promote symmetry. Placing candles along the entire mantle is beautiful, especially when flowers, leaves, ribbon, or greenery are arranged around the candles. However, take care not to place any other décor too close to a candle.
If you are using pillar candles, you may find this article helpful. Check out, How Tall Should Pillar Candles Be?

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How Do You Decorate Tea Light Holders?

Two fancy gold candle holders witht lit candles on table

Tea candles are an inexpensive way to achieve an atmosphere, especially for large events. You can decorate simple glass tea light holders to fit any occasion. Try using lace, buttons, glitter, or ribbons to accent your tea candle holder. Modge podge and paper doilies pair up well to transform a candle holder or consider chalk paint.


Whatever type of candle holder you have, now you know that it is capable of more than just holding candles. From plants to flowered orbs, candle holders hold more variety than we ever dreamed!

Burning candles in vintage metal candlesticks, What Can You Put In A Candle Holder Besides Candles?

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One comment

  1. I think an air plant would be the best fit for a tapered candlestick. I have a lot of tapered candlesticks and the only things I could think of was maybe make the smallest artificial arrangement for each one with ivy flowing down them. Then it just popped into my head the air plants.They are all different and beautiful

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