Easy DIY Christmas Votives

Yngve and I differ a bit in regards to spending money- ie, what is worth spending money on and what is not.

It makes sense, as we do not have a lot of it to go around, so we have to consider carefully what we are going to spend money on and what we are not.

Unfortunately, Christmas decorations are not high on the priority list. That’s ok, though! With a little bit of time and a few items that are probably already hanging around the house (or that can be purchased for little money) I can create my own festive decorations to make the house feel warm and cozy this holiday season.

Here is an easy tutorial on how I made these festive and warm Christmas votives.

You will need on the very basic level:

  • paper in your color of choice (I used a less heavy craft paper for these, if you could go lighter I bet it would be prettier as the light would shine through more)
  • tape
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • a small glass with smooth sides. (you need the paper to stick to it, after all)

If you want to get fancier with it, you could possibly need:

  • templates for tracing- use cookie cutters or print a design from online, but the simpler the better.
  • an xacto knife 
  • craft glue, glitter? Things to embellish with?

Really what I did is pretty basic. I’m sure that if anyone wants to copy it, they could make some way prettier than mine!

Anyway so I started out with an old glass I was saving that had a candle in it once. I also made a couple more using some of our smaller glasses that were just inexpensive ones from ikea. I’m just gluing paper on the outside of the glass… when the holidays are over if I want the glasses back, I can just peel the paper off and run them through the dishwasher. Either way, they were super el-cheapo glasses that we already had in the cupboard.

The first step is to make your template. I taped the paper to glass, then wrapped it around as tight as possible and secured the loose end with tape. Because my glasses are tapered, my paper makes a funnel shape.

I took a pencil and traced around the inside of the paper, as close to the glass as I could get. Don’t worry about it being perfect, you can trim it closer in the next step.

Now, cut out your “pattern” and fix it to the glass with tape, like so:

You might notice that the paper isn’t perfectly sized with the glass, that’s ok, trim it off carefully with your scissors.

Once the paper pattern is “fitted” to the glass as nicely as possible, I like to then trim the ends so there is just a little overlap- like maybe half an inch or 1 cm- whatever you’d like will do. I mark a line down the paper and cut the overlap from there.

Now, your paper pattern is done. Lightly trace it out onto paper and then cut it out.

Here is where you can decide what you want to do with your paper. At the very most basic level, you can fold the paper and cut out shapes, which is what I did with this one.

Cutting out the design that way limits you to your skill with scissors. :P My ability stops at heart and diamond shapes. Alternatively, you can trace out a design on the paper and cut it out with an xacto knife. There are lots of little templates you can find online- OR, you could even trace cookie cutters that you already have.

The deer template I used is from a Martha Stewart gingerbread ornament thing on her website. I reduced the size to fit on my votive. I find the cookie templates work best as they are simple and don’t have too many fiddly bits. Still, you could easily add other embellishments to the paper if you liked to make them look even prettier.

I hope you liked this tutorial and it inspires you to make some of your own! If you do make some, I’d love a link back to where you got the idea from! Also, I’d love to see what pretty designs you’ve come up with!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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