Give Old Candles a Quick, Coastal Makeover

Get creative to give old pillar candles a coastal makeover in a snap.

If there's one thing my frequent estate/garage sale forays have taught me, it's that no one need ever pay full price for a candle. 10-20 bucks for a pillar candle? What?! I can't remember the last time I shelled out more than $1 for one. The only downside to purchasing secondhand candles is that they're often dented, scratched or are a color that won't work with your decor. No worries, a little hot glue and twine will cover a world of sins.

I recently picked up some bargain candles at an estate sale in Knoxville before heading down to my sister's work-in-progress beach house. I had some jute twine and furniture webbing left over from other projects so I decided to give these 3 thrifted candles a quick beachy makeover — et voila:  

Beachy, Twine-Wrapped Candles

Beachy, Twine-Wrapped Candles

Got ugly candles? Easily disguise them by attaching hemp twine or upholstery webbing with hot glue.

Photo by: H. Camille Smith

H. Camille Smith

Pretty, huh? I paid $2 for the 3 candles and, as I said, I had the other materials on hand — but, if I had to buy them, this would be a $10-$15 project. After their crafty makeover, the new/old candles fit right in with our other beachy bargains: 

I know people will ask about fire safety for obvious reasons — twine and upholstery webbing are flammable. First, as with any candle, you shouldn't leave it burning without supervision — but — I’ve done variations of this project (covering pillar candles in paper, ribbon, bark and even paint) many times and never had a problem. The key is to choose a pillar candle wide enough that the wick burns down the center leaving an outer wax shell and you limit the crafty covering to the candle's sides. Don't try this technique on a narrow pillar or taper candle.

Covering the candles with twine is easy — just start at the bottom, applying hot glue as you turn the candle and attach the twine in sections. You can cover as much or as little of the candle as you wish. As you can see below, this particular candle had an odd raised gold stripe so I covered it completely.  

The upholstery webbing cover was even easier to apply. Just cut a strip large enough to meet in the back, then hot-glue it to the candle along the seam. Disguise the seam by tapping in a few nail heads or brass thumbtacks. 

That's all — it's quick, easy and cheap — my favorite kind of project. 

From Dump to Dreamy Beach House

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Keep Reading

Next Up

5 Different Ways to Use Gold Leaf

Because there's no such thing as too much gold.

3 Easy Steps to Give New Life to an Old Wood Bowl

You don't have to be a world-class chef to appreciate the beauty and usefulness of an antique or vintage dough bowl but years of constant use can really take a toll on the wood, leaving it dried-out, scratched and stained. In just 3 steps, you can reverse decades of use and give new life to an old wood bowl.

Easy Upcycle: Turn a Dated Floral Wreath Into a Snowy Winter Wreath

The holidays may have passed but winter's just getting started. Celebrate frosty temps with this easy-to-craft snowy wreath. Your front door will thank you.

10 Things You Can Repurpose as a Holiday Centerpiece

Skip the trip to the florist and make an easy centerpiece for your holiday table using items you already own (or can pick up for cheap).

Your Candle is Done Burning — Now What?

Don’t let those beautiful jars go to waste. Remove the wax and keep using them around your home!

How to Make Sea-Inspired Holiday Decor

Designer Sandra Espinet shows how to create sea-inspired decor that you can leave up all year round.

How to Make Industrial Style Rolling Shutters

Learn how to upcycle old doors into industrial-style window shutters that were inspired by the look of old warehouse doors.

Easily Give an Old Lampshade a Trendy New Look

Vintage drum-style lampshades can be found for a steal at estate and garage sales but they typically show some signs of their age. In less than 30 minutes, give this old shade a trendy new lease on life with just a bit of upholstery trim and glue. 

Easily Make Your Own Mercury Glass Votives

Give plain glass votives a trendy mercury glass makeover with mirror-effect spray paint. The antique-looking votives lend a sparkling glow to a table setting, mantel, coffee table — or anywhere.

Festive Seashell Beach Party Decorations

Use seashell souvenirs from previous beach vacations to decorate candles, glasses and appetizers at your next dinner party.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts