Glass-Etched Votive Candle Holders

There’s just something about Christmas and candlelight. Maybe it’s because the wavering light that comes from a flickering candle is magical…or maybe it’s because we all look so gorgeous in candlelight.. And when the candle holders are just as beautiful as the people in the room – then you’ve got a party!

Etched-votive-candle-holders-Crafts-UnleashedI love the way these glass-etched votive candle holders turned out. They’re festive, so pretty and somewhat simple to make. Let’s get started

Supplies needed to make your own glass-etched votive candle holders:supply2

I found these gorgeous square votive candle holders at the dollar store. They’re quite hefty – I was thrilled with my find!

Glass Etched CandleholdersOn one of the votive candle holders, I did a simple diagonal stripe treatment using painter’s tape. The trick is to firmly smooth down the edges of the painter’s tape on the glass – you don’t want any etching cream to slip under the tape. Take the time and really press down the edges.

Etched Glass Candleholders 1From adhesive vinyl, I cut out some snowflake silhouettes using my Silhouette Cameo. I used transfer paper to apply the vinyl to each side of the glass. Just like the painter’s tape, inspect all of the areas where Armour Etch will be applied and be sure that the stencil doesn’t have any gaps.

Etched Candleholders 2And here I am, modelling my safety gear.  (Thanks, Mr. Suburble, for being the stand-in photographer here!)

Etched Candleholders 3Rubber gloves are very important when it comes to glass etching. There is a warning on the Armour Etch container that reads:

Causes severe burns which may not be immediately painful or visible. 

This means that we don’t mess around with Armour Etch. We wear our gloves.

Put down a dropcloth and begin applying the Armour Etch to one side of the votive candle holder. Apply liberally, let the etching cream sit for approximately 8-10 minutes, then wash well in water (still wearing rubber gloves).

Etched Candleholders 4For the snowflake glass, I completed one side at a time, rinsed it well, then dried off the glass and moved onto the next side.

Painter’s tape doesn’t tolerate getting wet repeatedly. I applied etching cream to multiple sides of the votive candle holders at one time, let it sit for 8-10 minutes and then tried to be very careful while washing off the etching cream. I avoided getting water on the sides that hadn’t yet been etched.

Etched Candleholder 5If the painter’s tape does get wet, it will just peel off. Don’t stress – just dry off the glass really well and then re-apply the painter’s tape.

And in its finished glory: the snowflake candle holder!

Etched Candle Holder 9I love the impact of each snowflake (and that each side features a different design).

Etched Candle holders 8The painter’s tape design is much more simple, but to me, it has a candy cane feel. Plus, it was incredibly easy prep! You’ve gotta love that!

Etched Candleholder 7I really love to pour a bit of rice into the bottom of votive candle holders. The rice keeps the tealight (or votive, whatever size candle you choose) in place, and adds a slightly snowy effect to the candle holders. Plus, rice is nearly always handy in the pantry!

Etched Glass CandleholderWouldn’t these votive candle holders look so sweet wrapped up in cellophane and gifted to a hostess this holiday season? Or make a pair (or a trio – I love things in threes) and present them as a personalized gift!

And despite my warnings, don’t be afraid to use etching cream. Grab your gloves, your stencils and get started!

You’ll be amazed at the works of art you can create!

About Tara

Tara is the creator, writer, and flurry of chaos behind her blog, Suburble. Her blog focuses on making a home (emphasis on "making!"), but not forgetting to have a laugh in the process. Her partners-in-crime, her two little girls, are often beside her when it's time to get creative. A mug of tea, good friends, and a project (or three) are all this girl needs. Join the gang at Suburble and see what we're up to!


  1. Katie T says

    I love these and plan on making several for Christmas gifts! One question though- how big should the candle holders be? My stencils are 1.25 inches high- do you think a 3 inch or a 2 inch candle holder would be better? Thanks!

  2. Eileen says

    Looking for a Girl’s Getaway craft idea. This etched glass may be it! Does it work equally as well if a store bought stencil is used? How does the transfer paper work on a vinyl stencil? Let me know what you think or if you have another great idea for our craft night! TIA!!!

  3. Eileen says

    I am looking for a craft idea for a Girl’s Getaway Weekend. I was wondering if this glass etching might be it. But, that machine that cuts the snowflake is $300.00! How would it turn out if you just used a store-bought vinyl snowflake? Does the transfer paper work as well, I wonder? Let me know what you think! TIA!

  4. Ida Hines says

    Thank you for my first lesson in etching glass. I am inspired to try it at a later date. And I appreciate the safety tips too.

  5. says

    Tara, you rocked these gorgeous votives! I love them so much – very festive and beautiful. I love the rice in the bottom, too – great idea. I’ve used Epsom salts in a few of mine to make fake snow (b/c we don’t get the real white stuff in here in GA!)


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