Votive Lamp

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By Home Decor Contributor Alyssa

DIY Votive Lamp

This is a DIY I’m hesitant to share for the sheer genius of it, so I’m doing you guys a huge favor. It’s another incredible easy DIY that you can use to decorate your own home, then continue to perfect and recreate as gifts for friends and family (and for yourself as well, obviously).

You can dress this craft up by painting your votive, like I did, you can buy a votive you already love, you can use a mug, a teapot, a planter, you could even clean out a candle holder and use that if you have one of those pretty ones. You’ve got a lot of options.

 What you’ll need:

  • Some kind of votive (I found mine at Goodwill for a cool two bucks)
  • A light cord to 2 prong plug
  • Tin foil or some sort of metal stand
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint pens
  • Glass and tile drill bit

Start by picking out your votive.


I liked the shape and size of this little ceramic one – and the fact that I could paint over its porous surface easily. I went with a white base coat.



After one coat:


After adding another coat of white, I let it dry until I could pick it up without paint getting on my fingers. Next, I added these little cacti (I have a smallish cactus obsession). They’re incredibly easy to paint, so don’t think you need to be an artist to recreate this pattern if you like it. Just use a small paintbrush, and make sure it’s new or that its bristles are relatively straight. What screwed me up was an old brush with messy bristles making unclean lines.


Next, make a stand for your lightbulb inside your votive. I made a small but sturdy circular nest for the base of my light socket. Make sure to use something that will not catch on fire (so please, no cardboard, paper, or plastic)! You could use paperclips, binder clips, wire, get creative! Use whatever you have lying around the house.



Now just screw your lightbulb into the socket and stick it in the stand – done! Because I bought a cord that already had the light socket attached to the end, I had to have the cord coming out of the top of the votive. However, many hardware stores sell cords that do not already have the socket attached to the cord, and instead have wires sticking out of the ends of each piece. If you’d like to make your cord more discreet (which I would recommend – I’ll definitely be using this method in the future), buy one of these two piece sets. If you don’t already have one, invest in a ¼” to ½” glass and tile drill bit. Drill a hole toward the bottom of one side of your votive, then stick the cord through the hole and attach the light socket’s wires to the cord’s wires. Viola! Discreet cord.

Finished product:

DIY Votive Lamp

I LOVE how this little guy turned out. I bought a fancy vintage Edison bulb to give it a little more character. I’m a huge fan of the simplicity of this craft with a big payoff in the form of functionality and cute factor. Enjoy!

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This entry was posted in Crafts, DIY gift ideas, Home Decor, Recycled Crafts and tagged , , on by .

About Alyssa

Hello! My name is Alyssa. I am a, as they say, “real girl” crafter. I make stuff for my home that virtually anyone can make, no matter their crafting experience or expertise. I love practical, beautiful home décor that often does double-duty, and include the crafting mistakes I make so you can avoid making them in the future. We all mess up, so embrace it! I find inspiration in things with hefty price tags, usually followed by the famous last words, “I could make that.” I love the outdoors, live music, my sisters, and admiring strangers’ dogs from afar. Although I currently reside in Seattle, I’m a small-town girl at heart who can often be found daydreaming in front of my office computer or on the couch with my overbearingly affectionate cat, Kristoff, who, if he’s lucky, will receive a very weird-looking, hand-crafted kitten sweater sometime in the future.

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