DIY’s don’t have to be humongous projects that require tons of planning and take even more time to execute. In fact, a small and quick DIY can prove to be that extra facelift needed to take something from good to gorgeous! Case in point: our 10-minute candle makeover perfect for the level one DIY’er {such as ourselves!}!


For the holiday scene we created for Martha Stewart Living, the fresh garland on the fireplace was really the centerpiece of the room. It is the focal point after all. We knew we wanted to keep the rest of the vignette relatively clean, so we decided to simply dot pillar candles along the mantel, just for that added dose of ambiance. We picked up super inexpensive gray and white tapers {sold individually as well!} from CB2. They looked nice at different heights due to the varying antique brass candlesticks and a couple of modern candleholders that we used, but the candles ended up feeling plain. Compared with the rest of the scene they fell a little short on the amazing scale.

So, we went into our {growing!} craft drawer and pulled out the two magic DIY makeover tools that can instantly upgrade what seems to be anything in the world: metallic craft paint and Washi tape.


Here’s how we created our look:

Step 1: For the sporty chic looking candles, apply washi tape to create stripes, reminiscent of baseball tees or varisty jackets. Wrap your tape towards the top of the candlestick about 1/2 inch to an inch down.

Step 2: For more holiday inspired candles, start your washi tape at an angle at the top of the candle and twirl all the way down, making candy cane like swirls.

Step 3: For the ombre effect, take a copper paint {we love this metallic paint that we also used here!} and apply a thick coat around the base of the candle.

Step 4: Paint upwards towards the wick until the brush has no more wet paint. Try not to continually add more paint. The key is to apply indiviual long strokes that achieve a really smooth and gradual fade effect. They dry in minutes! Simply start from the opposite end of the candle to create an ombre effect from the wick down.

And voila, you’re done!


This is a seriously quick makeover that you can create, even right before your holiday guests come over. It personalizes ordinary candles and just adds that extra layer of gorge to your holiday decor!

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick, original concept & styling by team apartment 34 

What do you think?

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  1. Pretty, but what happens to the washi tape when the candles melt?

  2. This is beautiful…I’ve been inspired and I’m going to paint white candles metallic blue and use silver washi tape! Question, though….what happens to the paint and tape when the candle burns down?

  3. Such a great DIY post. I love candles