DIY Gold Leaf Candle Holders

Hi there Remodelaholic readers! Ursula from Home Made by Carmona back again and excited to share with you my latest DIY project. Last time I shared how to make a beautiful orange pomander floral arrangement, and a DIY floating frame, and today I’m sharing how to make sophisticated candle holders from shot glasses!

First you have to understand my conundrum…I’m picky, I often have this vision of exactly what I’m looking for, and when I find it waaay outside of my price range I sadly let it go then go through all the stages of grief. That is exactly what happened with an amazing set of candle holders I saw at a high end home decor shop recently. First I experienced denial (it can’t be that expensive, it must be a price tag misprint…what candle holder set would cost $40?), then anger (who would make this so prohibitively expensive?), then bargaining (well, it might go on sale, and it’s so high end it might be worth it), then depression (I never get anything beautiful and high end in my house…whyyyyyy?), and finally acceptance (eh, I can totally DIY this). Welcome to stage 5! Let’s make this baby happen!

DIY Candle Holders - made from shot glasses - Home Made by Carmona for

You could do this project with just the shot glasses and taper candles (which is really pretty by itself!), or you could add a little extra interest with glass cups and a couple tall glass vases.

How to Make Gold Leaf Candle Holders from Glasses

Shot glasses turned candle holders - Home Made by Carmona for Remodelaholic

Materials & Steps

Shot glasses and tapered candles - for Remodelaholic

Here are the basic materials you’ll need:

  • Tall thin shot glasses: make sure it fits your taper candles snugly
  • Gold leaf and gold leaf size
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Gold spray paint (optional)

Additional Materials (also optional):

  • Glass cups and/or glass glass vases
  • Sharpie’s oil based paint pens


Gold leaf candle holder materials - for Remodelaholic

Start by applying the gold leaf size to the inside of your shot glasses. Just apply to the top half…or a little more if desired, but avoid the bottom (it is too difficult to apply gold leaf to the bottom half).

apply gold leaf size - for Remodelaholic

Allow time for the gold size to get tacky, it will begin to dry from a milky white to being completely clear before it is ready to apply the gold leaf.

DIY candle holder - for Remodelaholic

While you wait for the gold size to turn clear, this is the perfect time to cut your gold leaf into small usable pieces.

Gold leaf and shot glasses - for Remodelaholic

Once the size is completely clear, place the pieces molded onto your finger and apply to the inside of your shot glasses. Go ahead and overlap pieces if necessary to ensure there are no gaps.

Gold leal shot glasses - for Remodelaholic

Once all the area has been covered with gold leaf, simply rub any excess off with your finger and dust extra out of the glass. I think it is quite pretty with the irregular patterning just as is, however if you’d like a little more regularity then continue to the next part of this tutorial, otherwise just use clear spray paint on the inside to seal.

Shot glass candle holders - for Remodelaholic

For a little more regularity with a neat gold-on gold design (and silver would be a pretty awesome effect too!), cover the outside with painters tape and spray paint the inside of the shot glass right on top of the gold leaf. This will protect it as well as bring more uniform design.

Gold spray painted candle holders - for Remodelaholic

Now on to the optional glass vase surrounds. Two of these are tall thin glass vases found in the craft store, and the other two are just plain ole glass cups (which I found for $1 at Target). You are going to create whatever beautiful design you desire! Dots, chevrons, lines, crosses, whatever your heart desires!

sharpie decorated glasses - for Remodelaholic

All this requires is marking on your design using Sharpie’s oil based paint pens. Easy as pie, and twice as pretty!

Sharpie oil based paint pens - for Remodelaholic


Now put them all together for a fun dinner table centerpiece, or on your mantel for a pretty “all that glitters IS gold” setting. What do you think? I wish you could see the original $40 set that made me want to cry… this one looks just as glamorous, but is even better with a $14 price tag for all the glasses and candles included!

DIY shot glass candle holder table setting - Home made by Carmona for Remodelaholic

Gold leaf shot glass - for Remodelaholic

DIY Gold leaf candle holders - for Remodelaholic

If you like this project, you’ll love these other projects and tutorials from Home Made by Carmona!

Stylized file box -550Square TV Console - 250Square Wire Basket -250Square



Gold leaf adds such a glamorous touch, and gold is on-trend! Try these other gold projects:

Gold Leaf Glass Table Top

DIY Gold Leaf Glass Table Top on

Easy Gold Home Decor ProjectsGoingGold_BlissfulBee_final projects

Faux Gold Decorative BoxesFaux Tin Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Not sure how to decorate with gold? Check out these tips for pairing mixed metals with beautiful neutrals!

decorating with Winter Whites from Just The Bees Knees for


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  1. Can the outside holders be washed? Suppose I wanted to decorate glass with the oil based Sharpies, would the designs hold up??

  2. such a great idea since its impossible to find small gold taper holders. just wondering how does the candle stay up straight when the shot glass bottom is larger than the candle bottom.