Holiday Candles

Candle Holders

How to Make a Holiday Candle Centerpiece

At Pottery Barn, we know that decorating your home is a sure way to get into the holiday spirit. Here, we offer tips and tricks on how to make a holiday candle centerpiece so you can wow your guests with a stunning presentation.


Whether youʼre decorating for Halloween, Christmas, New Yearʼs Eve or something in between, candle centerpieces add soft, warm lighting that encourages intimate conversation. These centerpieces can be created using a variety of materials, so you can create custom pieces that suit your taste and style. First, you want to start with a medium to hold your holiday decor. You can choose from trays, boxes and vases - just keep in mind how you will be using your centerpiece.


If you plan on leaving the centerpiece in the middle of the table full time, you donʼt have to worry too much about heavy decor. For pieces that you will remove from the table, trays offer easy grip handles that make transport easy and vases are also lightweight making them a great option too. Once you choose a container, next add candles. Pillar candles are a terrific way to add height and bulk to your centerpiece while tapered candles are better suited for elegant designs with a thin silhouette.


You can also play with candleholders to create your dream design. Keep in mind the shape and size of your table to ensure a centerpiece that draws attention and is not dwarfed by utensils and tableware. Use a clear glass bowl to create a floating centerpiece and adorn the water with red berries and floating candles for a whimsical look on a round table. Set several candle votives on one rectangular tray to adorn long dining tables. For larger displays, you can design a Christmas scene featuring reindeer, snow-frosted trees and soft candle lighting to illuminate the scenery.


Draw inspiration from your tabletop decor and serveware. Turn wine glasses upside down on a tray and use the flat base to display gorgeous candles in seasonal colors. Fill the inside of the wine glass with holiday decor, such as candied mints or decorative ornaments. You can also use stemless glasses to create the elegant look of cloches and display Christmas village figurines or family photos inside. For Halloween, tiny pumpkins look beautiful under glasses and dreidels are an ideal fit for Hanukkah. Add lighting fit for a fancy event by putting a tea light candle in a wine glasses and cutting out paper in lamp shades to adorn each one.


You also want to keep in mind height when creating your centerpiece. You donʼt want to make your centerpiece too tall as it will obstruct peopleʼs views of each other, making it hard to actually have good conversations. A centerpiece that is too short wonʼt stand out among the myriad of bowls, plates and glasses on your table setting. Aim for somewhere in the middle or if youʼre dying to have a tall centerpiece, place it on a side table or drink buffet where it can shine properly. Mix in decorative lighting that twinkles along with the magic of the season.


Centerpieces can also be used outdoors, just make sure to select materials that can stand up to the elements. Ceramic trays are durable and naturally repel water, keeping your decor safe and dry. Use natural inspiration and add topiary trees to your centerpiece. Decorate each one with mini Christmas ornaments, such as balls and battery-powered lights for a seasonal look. Snow-frosted branches are always a hit as the temperature begins to drop. For Halloween or Thanksgiving, you can add autumn leaves, pumpkins and glitter twigs for a harvest celebration.