General Home Design

What Can You Put In A Candle Holder Besides Candles?

If you have burned through all your candles, you might wonder what else to do with candle holders. Candle holders make for attractive decor pieces in a variety of styles like mantle candle holders, glass-encased candles, jar candles, wooden blocks, saucers, or concrete holders. We have gathered some aesthetically pleasing and functional ideas for you to repurpose your candle holders.

Some of the things you can put into a candle holder are:

  • Small plants and bloomed flowers
  • Succulents
  • Jewelry
  • Decorative fruits or real fruits (subject to rigorous cleaning)
  • Holiday ornaments
  • Nuts or uncooked popcorn kennels
  • Cotton pads
  • Make-up or skin care products
  • Decorative bowls

Just as there are a variety of candle holders, there are a lot of ways you can repurpose them and create something artful out of them. Candle holders are often made of sturdy and durable material, so it is in your best interest to take advantage of them. Check out our ideas to repurpose candle holders, along with cleaning methods that will make them safer for you to use with plant life and edible materials.

Candle holders in a wooden table with dried flowers in the vase, animal horns and lampshade, What Can You Put In A Candle Holder Besides Candles?

How to Repurpose Different Types of Candle Holders

You can repurpose any type of candle to fit your aesthetic and add uniqueness to your interior. Here are some ideas that can inspire you to let out those creative juices and create something artful.

Use them as a vase for flowers and plants

Bouquet of wild flowers Myosotis also known as Forget me not

Flowers get a different appeal when placed with different types of candle holders. Flowers and plants look almost mystical when placed on top of a pillar or mantle candle holder, while on the other hand, its elegance is emphasized placed within glass candle holders.

Candle holders made of materials such as wood or concrete make the flowers look rustic, making them perfect for farmhouse-inspired interiors.

Use as a jewelry plate

Different elegant bijouterie and plate on white marble table

Some candle holders come in mini dish-like forms. This can make for an elegant and unique jewelry tray–pearls, gold, and silver flooding the surface of what used to be filled with wax.

Three-pronged pillar candle holders are also a sophisticated option, with glittering jewelry hung over vintage-looking brass or gold holders elevating the look of your vanity.

Put decorative fruits–or real fruits

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Putting decorative fruits over candle holders gives it a whimsical appeal, especially inside wide glass bowls where there used to be a candle. However, there are also wicker-made candle holders that match well with decorative fruits, making it have a farmhouse-inspired appeal.

Another tip is to put a saucer candle holder over a small candlestick holder before you put in your fruits–it will give your table spread a vintage, almost mystical vibe.

Use as an ornament holder

Home interior table ornaments in neutral tones

Ornaments look their best among vintage-looking materials, and that is where an old-style candle holder comes into play. During the Halloween season, you can place carved pumpkins on top of them; and as Christmas comes, you can replace them with pinecones and holiday ornaments.

You can place them over the mantel for a cozier and intimate feel, or you can spread them over your dinner table.

Put nuts or uncooked popcorn

Peppercorns in a wooden bowl on table with food rustic style

Before you put any edible material into a candle holder, make sure that it is first free of any residual wax and dirt. Nuts and uncooked kernels of popcorn are best stored in glass candle holders, but you can also put them on saucers placed on top of a candlestick holder.

If you are uncomfortable placing them directly on a candle holder, put up a small kitchen plate or bowl on top of a candlestick holder and place your bite-sized food after.

Use as a make-up holder

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Jar-encased candles, once taken out, can be used as quaint make-up holders that can add personality to your vanity or dresser drawer. If you prefer a rustic feel, use wicker-made candle holders and directly put your products inside, or you can opt to use it as an elevation for your make-up cases.

Plain glass candle holders are best for skincare products and toiletries since they give off a cleaner appeal compared to other materials.

Place a decorative glass on top

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You can place decorative glasses on top of pillar candles. The contrast between the plainness of glass and the intricate carvings that come with a pillar candle gives off a mystical appeal that you can use during holidays or special occasions.

It takes minimal effort, and you can place ornaments or actual food inside the bowls to make them more functional.

Different types of Candle Holders

Candles come in different forms, and if you plan on recycling or upcycling them afterward, it is important to familiarize yourself with each form. In doing this, you will have an advanced idea of whether a design fits your interior and preferences, and you can prepare necessary materials beforehand.

Candlestick Holders

Burning candles in vintage metal candlesticks on white wooden table against dark stone background

Candlestick holders come in varying sizes and usually have a single vessel formed with wide plates on both ends. However, there are some with multi-pronged vessels and intricate carvings which are usually found in vintage candles.

Round flower bouquets pair perfectly with these, and so do gold, silver, and pearl jewelry.

Tea Light Candle Holders

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Tea light candles are usually encased within small glasses that come in different colors. Once you have burned all the wax, you can put small mood lights inside, making them reminiscent of fairy lights.

These small, inexpensive candles can also become succulent holders, and some even clean them well enough to become shot glasses–but you will need to proceed with caution if you choose to do this.

Wooden Block Candle Holders

Woodwork project making three rustic wooden tea light candle holders

Candles also come encased within blocks of wood, which are often used in rustic interiors. They come in numerous styles such as a simple square block, elevated woodblocks, or a long block with multiple candle vessels.

If your home has a similar farmhouse-inspired theme, these candles are perfect for you to repurpose.

Rattan Candleholders

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Rattan candleholders often have a glass or tin case that holds the candle itself, which means it is the easiest to repurpose. Because it is made of natural material, it is best paired with succulents and small bouquets of flowers.

These candle holders will blend seamlessly with a country-inspired aesthetic, adding to its homey and intimate charm.


Dining table with chairs and decoration

Candelabras have been used since ancient times, making them a classic candle holder that adds mystique and sophistication to any interior. Their designs are bold and fancy, so you will need a particular interior design for candelabras to fit in.

Classic rococo interiors are perfect for old candelabra designs, especially when repurposed with holiday ornaments or propped up with fruits for a classy dinner.

Candle Chandeliers

Horizontal still life interior of white tall thin candles in vintage ornate brass and crystal candle holder on wood table

If you find a candle chandelier in an old bodega or an antiquities market and do not intend to use it for its original purpose, you can use it as a bouquet or plant pot holder. You can prop it up on your garden, or use it as indoor decor featuring greenery and succulents.

You can also try wrapping it in fairy lights with a center mood light that you can put up in your bedroom to create a whimsical atmosphere.

Saucer Candleholders

Empty cup and clothespins on wood brown background with notepads and candle in spring

Saucer candle holders are made of ceramic or porcelain, often with the edges rounded up to hold up the melted wax. Once it is thoroughly cleaned, people often use it as a teacup holder or a jewelry tray.

Some saucer candle holders have a protruding stick holder on their center–these types are best utilized as a vanity tray.

How to Clean Wax off of Candle Holders

Thoroughly clean your candle holder before repurposing, especially if you intend on putting dry and bite-size food into it. Make sure every last residue is removed before repurposing since wax can be harmful to plant life or yourself. Here are some methods you can try.

Microwave Method

  • Fill the candle vessel with lukewarm water. Put inside a microwave for one and a half minutes.
  • Once the wax has melted and have risen above water, let it cool. Take off the remaining wax with a spoon.
  • Wipe off thoroughly with a cloth. Let dry before using.
  • Decorate as intended

Freezing Method

This method is only applicable to candle holders with minimal wax left and is best used with glass, ceramic, or metal ones.

  • Leave the candle holder inside the freezer overnight.
  • Once wax shrinks, flip upside down.
  • Scrape off the leftover wax.
  • Wash with soap and water,
  • Let dry and repurpose.

Final Thoughts

Candle holders do not have to be thrown away once you have used up the candle. They also do not have to gather dust in the cabinet. Candle holders have great decor potential, and they can add charm and uniqueness to your home.

If you are interested to learn more about candles, check out these articles about floral candle scents and woody candle scents.