Treat your Christmas table to a fresh look with these decorative delights that use candles and candlesticks in bright new ways.

June 11, 2015

Candles are almost a given when it comes to putting the finishing touches on a holiday table. So make a twist on tradition with these candleholders that masquerade as pretty presents.

Balsa boxes covered with punchy lime and magenta holiday papers and topped with pretty bows create the playful look.


  • Balsa box: 3-1/2-x-3-1/2-x-5 inches, 4-3/4-x-4-3/4-x-6 inches, or 6-x-6-x-7 inches
  • 2-3 sheets 12-x-12-inch holiday-motif patterned papers
  • 1-inch grommet
  • Craft knife
  • Matte decoupage medium
  • Foam brush 1-1/2-inch-wide wire-edge ribbon: 3 1/2 yards for small box, 4 yards for medium box, or 2 1/2 yards each of two different colors for large box
  • Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
  • White ball trim
  • 7/8-inch diameter taper candle
  • Clear plastic drip catcher sized to accommodate candle


  1. Remove the lid from the box. Place the lid, top side down, on the back side of a sheet of patterned paper; trace around the lid with a pencil. Reposition the lid, with one side down, elsewhere on the patterned paper; trace around the side with a pencil.
  2. Repeat for each side of the lid and for the box, using one or more patterns of paper. Cut out the traced shapes.
  3. Center the grommet on the top of the box lid; trace around the grommet. Use a craft knife to carefully cut on the traced line, creating a circle opening at the center of the lid. Attach the paper pieces to the corresponding surfaces of the box with decoupage medium and a foam brush. (We used Mod Podge). Let the medium dry.
  4. Use small scissors to cut away the paper covering the circle opening in the box lid. Brush on two more coats of decoupage medium over the paper surfaces of the box, letting the medium dry between coats. Place the lid on the box base.
  5. Beginning and ending at the lid hole, wrap ribbon around the box. Trim the ribbon ends, tuck them into the hole, and glue them in place. Repeat for the remaining sides of the box. Use the photographs as a guide for adding ribbon embellishments; hot-glue the embellishments to position the ribbon on the box lid.
  6. For a folded bow, fold the ribbon back and forth, making each subsequent layer slightly shorter than the previous one. Cut through the ribbon layers at the lid opening and tuck the cut edges inside.
  7. For a gathered bow, pull the wire on one long edge of the ribbon to gather the ribbon slightly on the wire. Beginning about 3/4 inch from the lid opening, spiral and hot-glue the gathered edge of the ribbon to the lid with the final spiral close to the edge of opening.
  8. For a multiloop bow, make several loops from each ribbon color. Position the longer loops on the lid first, tucking the ribbon ends inside the opening. Follow with the shorter loops over the first loops, staggering their positions between the longer loops. Weave the white ball trim around the loops; tack them in place with hot glue. Insert the grommet into the lid opening; hot-glue to secure.
  9. Insert the bottom of the taper into the drip catcher, then into the grommeted lid opening.


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