Party Pointers: Candlescaping Tips

Candlelight provides very special atmosphere to any dinner or party. Candles can create an striking look by themselves or with other decorations, and they can used without ruining your party budget. Check out these candlescaping tips that you might be able to use at your next gathering!

Investigate all the different shapes of candles

  • Tapers—long and short, straight and spiral
  • Pillars—short and tall, of varying diameters
  • Round candles
  • Square candles
  • Novelty shaped candles of every type
  • Floating candles—may be made in novelty shapes
  • Votives
  • Tealights

Select candles in colors complementary to your decorating color scheme

  • Candles are available in virtually every color
  • Candles may be made with two and three color tones.
  • Candles may be dipped in another color of wax
  • Candlescolors may be modified by the enhancements added to them

Enhance plain candles by dressing them up

  • Roll candles in glitter, salt, sugar, tiny beads, herbs
  • Stud candles with studs, cloves, upholstery tacks, jewels, spangles, sequins
  • Trim with ribbon, rick-rack, braid, fancy paper, foil
  • Trim with paper embellishments—monograms, quotes
  • Decorate with photos, pictures, stickers, vinyl clings
  • Glue on jewels, trinkets, buttons, beans, peas, lentils, herbs
  • Wrap around with paper, leaves, flower petals, candy sticks, vegetables like asparagus, carrot sticks
  • Wrap with fabric
  • Surround with a candle wreath or ring—these can be made of real or silk flowers, greenery or berries; beads, feather boas, holiday garland, candy
  • Surround in a hurricane with decorative filler like marbles, glass beads, sea glass, sand, shells, sugar, kosher salt, candy, beans, peas, rice, grits, nuts, snow, and novelty items.

Candles can be displayed on or in a variety of container types

  • Wall scones—made of wooden, metal or porcelain—single candles or multiples
  • Candlesticks—individual or candelabras for multiple candles, can be made of wood, glass, porcelain, metal, plastic
  • Glass Hurricanes—open both ends or open one end
  • Lanterns—metal, glass or wooden, sitting on table or ground or hanging from hooks, stands or trees
  • Votive holders—glass, porcelain, wooden, plastic, or novelty holders like tart tins, shells, tiny plates
  • Real fruit, vegetables, gourds, breads, or wooden logs
  • Plates, saucers, platters, mirrors, frames and trays
  • Glasses, jars, glass vases, paper bags, or cans as luminaries
  • Bowls for floating, watermelons for floats, pools, tins
  • Novelty items like balls of twine or yarn, hardware pieces, toys, cut-out books, sports helmets
  • Floral foam as a base for arrangements

Candles can be displayed in a great variety of ways for creative effect

  • Hang candles in lanterns or jars from tree branches to create atmosphere for an outdoor party
  • Use candles or votives in wall scones on patio or deck to add to the outdoor lighting and mood.
  • Use candles in luminaries, hurricanes or lanterns on deck or porch railings, window sills, or steps to provide light and atmosphere
  • Use candles in luminaries, hurricanes or lanterns to outline a driveway or sidewalk for light and atmosphere
  • Use votives as place cards at a dinner party—guest’s name can be written on pretty paper or ribbon and wrapped around the votive holder.
  • Use tall pillar candles or devotional candles in cylindrical jars in a row –attach a paper letter to each candle to spell out words appropriate to the occasion being celebrated.
  • Place pillar candles in pretty bowls filled with greenery, nuts, fruit, or coffee beans. Try stacking two or more bowls for a tiered effect, perhaps tucking small flower sprig peaking out of the bottom bowl.
  • Varying heights of multiple candles is a great way to fill space. By adding different size pillars or even putting some on candle stands can create a dynamic feel to a space. Just like a mountain is sometimes better to look at than a round hill. There is more to see.
  • A mirror is a simple and effective way to enhance your candles. Using mirrors as a base or behind a candle will throw off more light. Crystal-shaped glass or containers are also a great idea for showing off more light in a more interesting way.
  • Use creative candle holders. Small terra cotta pots, special teacups, colorful bottles. Napkin rings seem to be the perfect size for votives, but be sure to protect the surface underneath.
  • Use candles as art. Candles are being used more frequently as an art design. For example, you could place a colored square of paper or glass on the fireplace mantel. Then you would put some pillars of different sizes in front of the square. Depending on the colors you choose. The candles will look as though they are framed and highlighted. Colors can really bring out the fireplace and candles.
  • Large floating candles in the pool can really set the mood for your next party. Remove all flammable items from the pool and its edges first.
  • Floating candles – wax floats, and any candle wider than it is tall should float upright. A pedestal fruit bowl makes a beautiful container to display floating candles. Let some matching flower blossoms, or petals float with them. Floating candles always look best in multiples. Surprise your guests at your next party – put some floaters in the bath (only if no young kids are present).

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