I entertain a lot. Which means I’m always looking for cheap and easy ways to make DIY candles. That’s where decorating pillar candles with ribbons comes into play. They’re really easy to make, totally customize-able, don’t cost very much money and the candles can be re-used for every event. The perfect event decor if you ask me!
Using wide ribbons to dress up plain flame-less pillar candles is one of my favorite ways to make holiday and party candles.
It’s easy to do, doesn’t cost much money and you can re-use the same candles for every event.
So once you’ve purchased the first set, you don’t need to buy any more…unless you decide you love them so much that you need more 🙂
Which is why flame-less pillar candles decorated with ribbon are always on my party decor list.
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- Flame-less Pillar Candles* – I usually get them in 3 different heights. It’s easier to make them look better as a group if they’re not all the same.
The flame-less part is also pretty important. Since we’re going to be wrapping flammable ribbon around the candles, using real candles could cause a fire.
- 2 1/2 inch wide ribbon in a pattern that goes with your holiday or party decor – I get most of my ribbon from Michael’s*. You can usually find the current season’s ribbon on sale for 50% off, so it’s really inexpensive.
Although wired ribbon will work, this is one case where regular non-wired ribbon is actually better. It tends to lay flatter so you don’t notice the join as much.
Ribbons that are somewhat see through let the light shine through better than heavier ribbon does.
How to put ribbon on candles
The first step to making your DIY ribbon candles is to wrap the ribbon around the pillar candle until the edges are overlapping.
Use the scissors to cut the ribbon so that it overlaps the other end by about an inch.
If you want to make sure your ribbon stays in place, use a couple of small pieces of scotch tape to attach one end of the ribbon to the candle, making sure the ribbon is straight.
Wrap the ribbon around the candle until it overlaps the other end of the ribbon.
Make sure the top and bottom edges of the ribbon line up so that it looks like one continuous piece.
While holding the ribbon tight on the candle, attach the free end of the ribbon to the underneath portion of the ribbon using one of the methods described below:
How to attach the ribbon
There are three different ways that you can attach the ribbon together, depending on the type of ribbon you have and how permanent you want your candle decor to be:
1. Invisible Scotch Tape
If your candles are for a one-time occasion and you have ribbon which sticks well to tape, you can simply use a couple of pieces of invisible scotch tape* to keep the ends stuck together.
Not all ribbon works very well with scotch tape so you’ll have to test it out to make sure it will hold.
Also, if you look closely at the candles, you will be able to see the scotch tape. So if that will bother you, this may not be the right ribbon attachment method for you. I just turn the taped so that it’s facing away from where people will be looking at it.
2. Glue Gun
Using a glue gun to attach the ends is another, more permanent way to keep your ribbon on the candle.
It usually works with all types of ribbon, generally isn’t visible and sticks very well. It also tends to leak through the ribbon and stick to the candle. Which does help to hold the ribbon in place, but makes this more of a permanent candle embellishment.
3. Velcro Dots
Velcro dots (or adhesive velcro strips) are the third way of attaching your ribbon and they are kind of the best of both worlds.
They will attach to pretty much any ribbon, are less visible than the scotch tape and can be easily removed (and re-used).
If the adhesive for the velcro dots will stick to your ribbon, you can just stick one half of the dot on each end of the ribbon. Then stick the two velcro halves together to secure the ribbon around the candle.
However, I find that most of the time the adhesive doesn’t work very well. To fix this, stick the dots onto the ribbon like you normally would and then staple them in place.
The staples make sure the velcro dots don’t come off. And the ends of the staple are small enough that they don’t show through too much on the front side.
You will usually need 2 or 3 velcro dots to hold the ribbon securely.
The great thing about this solution is that it is easily remove-able and you can save it to re-use next year.
The finished candles
I have used this technique for dressing up candles for all kinds of holidays, like these black and white ribbon candles I used on this Easter tablescape.
Or the red, white and blue flag candles I used for my 4th of July party.
If you really want to make a statement, get more than one ribbon.
Then you can mix and match your candles.
See…I told you decorating pillar candles with ribbon was easy 🙂 Happy holiday candle decorating!
Other DIY Candle Ideas You Might Like
- DIY Sand and Pearls Candle Holder
- Frosted Glass Mason Jar Candle Holder
- Red, White and Blue Rice Candles
Have comments or questions on decorating pillar candles with ribbon? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on June 14, 2019 but was updated with new content on February 27, 2022.