How to decorate a pillar candle


Turn a plain pillar candle into a gorgeous decoration for the table. Floral and interior designer Rebecca Cole demonstrates how to decorate a pillar candle.

How to decorate a pillar candle
  • Turn pillar candle upside down on work surface.
  • Add double-sided tape to the bottom and sides to help anchor the decorative leaves.
  • Cut the stems off the leaves.
  • Place the leaf or leaves on the bottom of the pillar candle, draping over the sides, and press down.
  • Take some of the raffia that is even and long enough to go around the candle and wrap it around the candle several times, then tie in a knot. Trim the ends of the knot as you like.
  • Turn it right side up and you've got a beautiful decorated candle!



I’m Rebecca Cole for howdini, and we are going to decorate a beautiful pillar candle. So, this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to take a leaf and wrap raffia around and make it a nice, decorative candle that way. I’ll use this size candle to start with.

Now of course, once it gets down to the leaf it’s not going to be safe anymore to keep that raffia tied around — you’ll just have to pull it off. But it is a natural leaf on it so that if anything drips over it, it’s going to be OK for a little while.

So we’ve got our pillar candle — I turn it upside down like this, get some double stick tape. It’s way too hard to get that leaf to stay if you don’t have a way to stick it on. So I’m just putting double-stick tape all the way around the edge of the candle. You can use this clear kind of tape, or the kind that you then pull off the little edge. Either one is going to be fine, because you’re going to mostly hide it, depending on how big your leaf is. You can get the kind of leaf that ... a long skinny leaf and wrap it around. It won’t, of course, stay — which is why we’re going to use the raffia. I like this little kind of scallopy thing that’s going on with this one. I’m going to use two leaves. I’m going to cut off the stem because it’s really hard to stick. We’ll use two.

Take the leaf and place it on top. Place it on the bottom, actually, and fold it over. And you’ll see that it won’t completely stick, but at least it will stay enough in place until you can get the raffia. I like a nice little clump of raffia. You want them to be all kind of long enough so that they’ll make a tie. So get your raffia so that you have the lengths all relatively the same size or else some are going to be sticking out. And you just take the raffia, and right near the edge, you’re going to pull it around and just do a knot. Don’t bother with trying to get a bow out of it.

First of all, I think raffia is such a natural thing I don’t know if it would look even as good with a bow. But it’s just too hard to keep that leaf in place if you don’t do a knot first — and then you’ll tie the bow. I don’t love the way that bow looks, so what I do is just cut this off so you have little frayed edges.

Ta-dah! Turn it upside down and you’ve got a perfectly natural, beautiful candle. And it’s ready to light. Now we can use them to set a table. I’m Rebecca Cole for howdini.

meet theexpert
  • Rebecca Cole

    Rebecca Cole Floral and Interior Designer Rebecca Cole is now one of the most in-demand interior and landscape designers in the country and has been declared a 'stylish, urban horticulturist' by New York Magazine and a 'garden guru' by the New York Post. more about this expert »

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