DIY Decor Holiday


DIY Rustic Glam Votives // 7th House on the Left

Since we’re in holiday limbo around here (decorating the outside for Christmas and the inside for fall), I wanted to come up with a little “DIY decor” project that could be used for fall or winter. I also had a hankering to try to come up with a project that was completely free, as in, only using things I already had on hand. Thus, the Rustic Glam Votive was born…

This project was super easy, a lot of fun and only took an hour or two. To hop on board the rustic glam train, here’s what you need…

Keep in mind, you want the sticks to be evenly distributed around, so make sure your glass votive has straight sides. The one I used is actually a little larger than your typical votive, so let’s just call it a candle holder. I picked up this candle holder at Crate & Barrel for just a few bucks almost 4 years ago, but rarely (if ever!) used it. So, it was the perfect candidate for a facelift. Any size candle holder will do – even large hurricanes. Ohh, that would be pretty! Now, for the how to!

I started off by taking a little walk in our back yard to collect a few sticks. Our house backs up to sort of an “alley” between the houses that are perpendicular to ours. There are a lot of big trees, which means… a lot of sticks!  This is the view from our carport. The yard will be a lot prettier in a week or two when the leaves are at their peak. Right now, it’s in the ugly awkward stage.

Once I gathered a good amount of sticks, I cut them down using a set of small shears. Because of the fall weather, the sticks were really dry, so this process was super easy. I held each stick up to the side of the candle holder to get an idea of where to cut. Other than that, there was no exact measuring involved because I didn’t want them to be completely uniform. After all, I was going for “rustic”.

The number of sticks that fit inside the candle holder ended up being the perfect amount to go around it.  I don’t know if there’s any mathmatical reasoning behind this (for that, you’ll have to ask Greg), but that’s a good rule of thumb to use if you’re trying to figure out how many sticks you need to cut down.

After all of the sticks were cut, now time for an oil rubbed bronze spray painting session. I just lined them up on a piece of cardboard and went to town. I hit some a little harder than others to have some color variation (which resulted in getting some paint on the grass). One thing I love about spray paint (especially metallic spray paints like this) is that it dries so fast. Within a few minutes, they were dry and ready for the next step.

Using a foam brush, I started to apply the gold craft paint to each stick. This didn’t take as long as it seems – probably only about 10 minutes tops. But it was a little messy, haha. A little bit of paint goes a long way. You just need a tiny dab to give the stick a gold shimmer with the ORB undertones. Since I wanted to have some color variation between the sticks, some of them got a little more gold paint and on a few, I didn’t add any gold paint at all. If you want to skip the glam and just have a “Rustic ORB Candle Holder”, you can skip this step all together.

This is where I lost natural light, so that’s why the color in the photo is all weird. I started off by gluing the largest sticks evenly around the votive. By gluing them on first and evenly spaced, that assured me it would look even overall once I was finished. Once the big boys were in place, I just started to fill in the gaps with sticks one by one. Each stick only needs a small bead of hot glue along the center of the stick – top to bottom. You don’t want to look down in the candle holder and see a bunch of messy blobs of glue, so, the less the better.

A little glue here, a little glue there…. we’re done!

I love how this can totally go fall or winter. For fall, you could pair this with some leaves or a few baby pumpkins for a simple centerpiece. For winter, pair it with some holly berry branches or faux snow (which is how I’m excited to use it in a few weeks!).

I really love the whole “rustic glam” aesthetic. The pictures don’t really show it, but with the texture of the stick and the gold paint, some of the sticks look gilded. Pretty cool for a free project.

It looks so pretty at night, too! I’m thinking about making a few more for our Christmas party this year. That is, if we decide to go with the “rustic glam Christmas” theme. I’m having a hard time deciding between that and “fun vintage Christmas”. Oh, the things I waste brain power on!

Speaking of fall, check out my post over on Wayfair’s blog today! We’re talking pumpkins ; )

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  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I love that! It looks pretty simple to make, and the end result is such a beautiful mix of rustic and elegance! I might have to try that one day!

  • Reply
    Ashton N.
    October 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Greg and Ashley! I love the rustic glam vibe of this candle holder-will definitely be copying! I was wondering…I received an email from you a few weeks ago saying that my question would be featured on Tuesday, October 23rd. Have your Q & A posts been rescheduled?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Ashton! Yeah, we had to move a few things around. We emailed you back to let you know, but it might have been lost in Spam or something. I’ll shoot you another email : )

  • Reply
    Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms
    October 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    What a great idea! Reusing things you have and using things that are free. That’s my kind of project! Love how it looks at night with a candle!

  • Reply
    Staci @ My Friend Staci
    October 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    This is so nice! 🙂 For Christmas, you could tie a pretty velvet ribbon around the whole thing!

  • Reply
    Christina @ Homemade Ocean
    October 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Very cool….gotta love those free projects!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    A friend did a very similar project for her wedding… throughout the night the candle heated up the glass and re-melted the hot glue. All the sticks fell off throughout the night. Have you noticed any problems with your glue melting?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Ah! I haven’t had any problem with that and I let it burn for at least 8 hours yesterday (I’m a candle person, haha). It might be because the candle I put inside was a small glass jar candle. I guess the glass around the actual candle absorbed the heat from the flame.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I love this idea and the sheen the paint provides.

  • Reply
    Caitlin @ Desert Domicile
    October 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    You’re so creative! And who doesn’t love free projects?! I can totally see a few of these lined up in a row down a dining room table as part of a holiday centerpiece 🙂

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Aww, thank you Caitlin!

  • Reply
    Ashley {GirlyObsessions}
    October 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Another really cute and easy decorating idea! Love it, Ashley! Super cute!

  • Reply
    Lori H
    October 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Oh, I love this idea!! I am imagining the hot glue not holding the sticks on…was it really enough?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, they are actually on there really well. We’ve had no problems with it at all. You can always use an epoxy if you want even extra hold. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I love this! Great idea 🙂

    Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Very cute! I just found your blog via Pinterest and I LOVE it!! Following along now through facebook and looking forward to checking out the rest of the blog. The design is so unique! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Aw, thank you Jenn!! Glad you found us : )

  • Reply
    November 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I wish we had more trees around our area. I would love to make these. They would look great with our wood pallet wall above our fireplace mantel! I love how you added a bit of “glam” to the sticks. You are so creative!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I love this idea, simple with an elegant touch

  • Reply
    December 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    This is faboliuos, I live in Maine and love the rustic look!

  • Reply
    Ken Long
    December 12, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    A cool project! Spray painting the sticks that color you used gave me lots of ideas! Thanks.

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