What to Put in Candle Holders Besides Candles

Get doable decorating inspiration for ideas using candlesticks without candles in new and decorative ways for every room in your house.

Wherever you store your candle holders, it is time to get all of them out, even if they are mismatched candle holders.

They can all be used with and without candles and for more than just placing candles in for a dining table centerpiece.

Brass candlesticks on a sales table at holiday bazaar

When I feel my decor starts to look stale and needs a refresh, instead of buying something new on a whim, I enjoy the process of “using what I have” in new and different ways to give the decorative items new energy.

Decorating Ideas Using Candlesticks Without Candles

When decorating with candle holders without candles here are a few of my favorite ways to repurpose candle holders beyond using them to hold a candle.

How to make a cake stand or pedestal stand by repurposing items you already own.

Here are a few candle holders I own. All are nice just on their own.

plates and a round basket to use on top of a candle holder

To create something new with them, I also gathered a basket, bowl, and a variety of dessert size plates I had, along with the round piece of marble.

When a candle holder is paired with one of these items, look what you can create:

Jewelry on a plate on top of a wicker candle holder

The two unrelated items became a decorative pedestal that holds my jewelry on my bedroom dresser – no candle needed.

It looks like something I bought at HomeGoods, but it is just a white plate from my kitchen and a wicker candle holder I bought at a thrift store.


For this pedestal plate, I used the clear formula of Liquid Nails to attach a glass plate to a silver candlestick holder. Adding a paper doily creates a festive plate for an edible treat.

glass dome over a pedestal plate of strawberries

You can even add a glass dome if you happen to have one in your decor stash.

a basket filled with fruit on top of a pillar candle holder

More proof that a candle holder can be used without a candle.

For this fruit basket, I used hot glue to attach the basket to the pillar candle holder. 

heart marshmallows on top of a pink and white checked plate

If you want to make any of these pedestal plates temporary, use Glue Dots that you can buy in the craft store.

Pumpkins up on pedestals

For instant decor – use a glue dot if needed to place a pumpkin, Christmas ornament or anything you like on top of a candle holder.

Pine cones on silver candlesticks

Doing this makes the item more interesting and decorative.

How to Glue a Candle Holder to a Plate or Basket to Create a Pedestal Plate

gluing the top of a wood pedestal

When gluing a candle holder and a plate/basket together, place the plate upside down and then place the candle holder face down on top.  This way you will be able to see clearly and center the candle holder on the plate.

Gluing a wood pedestal and round marble top together.

Use either clear Liquid Nails…

gluing a wicker candle holder and a white plate together

… or hot glue.

Let the glue dry and then turn the stand right side up and it will be ready to use.

Change Your Candlestick Arrangements

Decorating with candleholders with candles in them never has to be done in the same way. Each one by itself is static and looks the same, but when you create different arrangements and groupings with many of them, you can create new looks easily without spending a dime.

Decorating Tip: Always remember that there is never only one way to use any item in your home. Experiment by using them in different ways to come up with unique one-of-a-kind decor. You may end up liking the item even better used in a new way.

Create Candle Tray Decor

When placing candlesticks on a dining table when entertaining, instead of using the traditional arrangement of two, one on either side of a floral centerpiece, make the candles and holders themselves the centerpiece.

  • Place all of the candles on a tray, even if they are mismatched. They can be all tapers, votive, or pillar style or a mix of all types. When grouped together with the taller ones in the center they create more impact on the table and will add more ambiance for your gathering. No floral arrangement needed.
3 candle votive candle table centerpiece.

Arrange a trio of candles on a rectangular tray to place on an entry table. When you tire of it in this way – use the candles outside and the tray to hold perfume on your vanity table.

Paint Your Candlesticks

Used brass taper candle holders found at a church trash and treasure sale.

I really like this collection of the classic brass candle holders I bought at a church rummage sale a few years ago.

Christmas-Plaid-Candlelit-Mantel-Decorating-using frames and candles

When I first bought them, I spray painted them silver.

A group of brass candlesticks and white candles on mantel decorated for Christmas

Then for another Christmas mantel, I used Citrastrip on them to get them back to their original brass finish, then I aged the brass to give them a more vintage look. .

When the candlesticks were grouped together in an arrangement that accented the various heights, they had just the right impact on the mantel.

A few weeks ago when I was putting the holiday decorations away, I found a new place for the brass candle holders in my living room.

Living room candles and how to decorate with them.

By simply moving them off the mantel and onto the sofa table mixed in with greenery and a stack of books I painted white gave them a new appeal.

Helpful TIP: If you don’t want to have lit candles in a room – these battery-operated flicker candles look like the real thing.

“Simply changing a decorative item’s location in your home will give it a new look without spending a dime.”

Homemade Candle Holder Ideas

While on the topic of candles and holders, here are are few DIY candleholders that you can easily make.

tin can and fabric candle holders on a dining table set for fall

Don’t throw away tin cans. Clean them and wrap fabric around them held on my raffia or ribbon. Place a pillar style candle on the can.

How to place a candle in a drilled hole to create a tree trunk candle holder.

Drill holes into a slice of tree trunk.

Tree trunk slice taper candle holder for Christmas with cedar branches around it.

This type of candle holder looks best with tall taper candles.

Completed DIY Wooden Candle Holders on a dining table with dark orange taper candles.

Turn wood scraps into modern block style candlestick holders. Stain or paint to coordinate with your decor.

DIY Fall candle holders made from glass food bottle and popcorn kernels

Clean glass jars to use to hold candles. Use them empty, filled with food-colored dyed water or un-popped popcorn.


For a super simple candle holder – use the screw top from a glass jar. This one is from a jar of pickles.

red and white dinner plates set on dining table for Christmas

Accent a votive candle on a holiday table setting using old Christmas cards to make a festive decoration for each place setting

I hope that seeing all of these what to put in candle holders besides candles decorative ideas will have you coming up with your own creative ideas using candlestick holders you already own in new ways.

You May Also Like These Home Decorating Ideas

Ideas showing what you can you do with candle holders without using candles.

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  1. Hi! What did you use to paint the candlesticks silver, please?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – To paint the brass candlesticks silver, I used Rustoleum Specialty Metallic in Silver. You can see it here: https://amzn.to/3zyXzgo

      I need to update an old post about the best silver spray paints. My favorites are no longer made or hard to find: https://bit.ly/39frhw2

      I also have a post with spray painting tips you may want to read so that you get a nice smooth finish. You can find that here: https://inmyownstyle.com/spray-paint-faqs

    2. This was a fun post to read! I really enjoyed the various examples of how you have used and adapted candle holders.

  2. These are just the cutest ideas. Loved them❤️❤️

  3. This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing on Fabulous Friday Link Party. We sure appreciate you. Hugs and blessings to you.

  4. Hi Diane!
    I LOVE this post! I’m also a huge fan of re-using things that I already have at home to use in different ways. I also love how you said to move things around and try them in different areas…I do that all the time and its so fun!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachel – Sounds like you and I are kindred spirits. I enjoy decorating with the stuff I already have and coming up with new ways to use it. It keeps the decor unique, too. :-) Enjoy your weekend.

  5. Such great ideas!!! Thanks 😊

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lynn :-)

  6. krisha thomason says:

    Love these ideas!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Krisha :-)

  7. I loved every single idea! I just saved me a lot of money by simply reading your blog. Thank you for sharing ❤️

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dahlia – You are so welcome. :-). Thanks for reading my blog.

  8. This post is awesome. I would love it if you could share this with The Fabulous Friday Link Party.

  9. Karins Kottage says:

    I am new to your blog… found you through Thistlewood Farms.. Love this post! Such fun and creative ways to use candlesticks. I will be browsing more of your posts.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karin – Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and connect with me, XO. If you ever have any questions about anything I have posted about, just let me know.

  10. After 42 years of marriage, I rarely buy much anymore. Over the course of my husband’s career, we have moved 10 times and no two houses were alike. I have amassed so much that I am passing things to my sisters these days. Furniture used to be hard wood and now it’s mango product from South America. I really prefer older decor in most cases.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – It sounds like you have seen a lot of the country. 10 times is a lot. Ed and I have moved 6. If I buy anything new – I have to really LOVE it. I give most items to my daughters. If they don’t want it – it goes to the local thrift store.

  11. Joan Hedrick says:

    Yours is my favorite post! I thought I was clever with decorating on a budget but you, my luv, are the Queen! I threw out some brass candle sticks and now I could kick myself. I vow never to throw out anything again. Keep those inspirational posts coming. Sincerely, Joan

  12. I have been looking recently at vintage brass candlesticks on Etsy and they can be quite pricey, so I’m hoping to find them at my local thrift stores. Great ideas!

  13. Nice post and nice ideas. I call it “shopping the house”. I need to do more of it. I have sooo many candleholders, but use battery operated candles for safety and they are timers as well. I use a battery recharger so I’m spending less on batteries. I have bags of seeds and beans saved for years that I unpack in the autumn season. Imagination and creativity are two of my favorite words.

  14. Donna Marie says:

    I have lots of candles, but don’t use them. I think your ideas may inspire me to use them!!!