Simple white pillars of varying heights make an impressive and inexpensive display. Use what you already have at home along with some new ones. Ribbon scraps pinned around a few candles will add festive flair.
Use canning jars for quick and easy candle holders. Tie a ribbon around the top of each jar, fill each jar about two-thirds full of water and add a floating candle. Embellish the display with sprigs of evergreen and glass ornaments if you like.
Start with cylinders of varying heights. Place red flowers, such as roses and amaryllises, and greenery in a metal flower frog. Attach the frog inside the cylinder using double-sided florist's tape. Cover the flowers with water, float cranberries on top and place a floating candle amid the berries. Change water daily. The piece should last up to seven days.
Place pillar candles, evergreen branches, pinecones and clementines on a beveled-edge mirror for a nature-inspired tabletop arrangement. Don't like orange? Bring in green pears or red apples for traditional holiday color.
Try a layered look for luminarias. Be sure the materials you choose cannot catch fire if candle wax or flames touch them, or use battery-powered candles for safety. To make our luminarias in glass vases, place fat white candles on top of half of the river rocks you wish to use. Continue placing black rocks inside to anchor the candle. Magnolia leaves and a sprinkling of red winterberries complete the look. Don't use holly; in cold weather, it turns black.
Give bargain glass vases the lustrous look of mercury glass with a spray-on mirror finish. We used Krylon’s Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint. Lightly spray water inside clean vases, then spray the same area with mirror finish. (Paint should run, creating an aged, crackled effect.) Turn upside down to dry. For a heavier finish, repeat. Remember, don’t leave lit candles unattended.
Choose a theme for a candle display. Then group candles and holders that are related, but have different shapes and sizes. Here, the forest mix of an evergreen, wintry branches and pinecones works because of the simplicity of the white candles.
BE SAFE when using candles. Never leave a lit candle unattended. Burn candles in appropriate candleholders and on stable, heat-resistant surfaces. Keep them away from anything flammable such as furniture, drapes, bedding, holiday decorations and so on. Avoid placing them in traffic patterns. Keep them safely out of reach of small children and pets. BEFORE YOU ENTERTAIN, light and extinguish candles once. They will light more quickly later. REFRIGERATE candles before use so they will burn more slowly and evenly. Wrap them in foil or plastic to keep wicks from moisture. KEEP LIT candles out of drafts to prevent rapid, uneven burning and excessive dripping. BLOW OUT a candle by holding your finger in front of the flame and blowing at your finger. The air flow around your finger will extinguish the candle from both sides, eliminating hot wax splattering. Or use a candlesnuffer. Do not use water. It splatters hot wax and can cause glass containers to break. EXTINGUISH votive candles when a half-inch of wax remains. Put out pillar candles when the wax pool nears the outer edge. BATTERY-POWERED CANDLES are a great alternative for any situation where you are concerned about open flames.