DIY Votive Favors

Khris Cochran shows you how to make a decorative gift for your guests

In this project, from the book The DIY Bride, by Khris Cochran, patterned paper or fabric is wrapped around glass votives and matchboxes to create a decorative and useful wedding favor for your guests. Gather your mom, 'maids and future mother-in-law together to help craft these—it makes for an excellent bonding activity.


• Glass votive cups with a smooth surface that don't taper much
• Matchboxes
• Measuring tape
• 1/8-inch double-sided adhesive tape
• Paper or fabric of your choice (consider vintage wallpapers, wrapping paper or even old love letters)
• Pencil
• Scissors or a paper cutter
•Cardboard or sheet of heavy cardstock


1. Create a template in order to make cutting paper to the right dimensions easy. To do this, you'll need to determine what size strips to cut. First measure around the circumference of the cup and add 1/4 inch to the length. Then measure the height of the cup and cut the corresponding measurements from the cardboard or heavy cardstock. Note: Covering votive cups that taper from top to bottom is a bit trickier; there needs to be a slight curve to the top and bottom of the paper when it's cut. To get the proper shape for your template for tapered votives, wrap a piece of scrap paper firmly around one of the votive cups and hold it in place. With a pencil, trace along the top rim and bottom edge of the holder onto the paper. Unroll the paper and cut out the shape, extending the length 1/4 inch to create a small overlap when the votive is wrapped. Copy the shape onto cardboard or cardstock and cut it out to make a reusable template.

2. Now that you've determined the correct size and shape of the wraps you'll be using, you can cut them out of the decorative papers. Straight-edge scissors are the most obvious choice here, but decorative scissors from craft stores can be really fun. Try using small scalloped or pinking-edge scissors for a look that's unique.

3. Attach the papers to the votive cups by applying a length of 1/8 inch adhesive tape from top to bottom. (The peel-off tape usually has a red liner; remove this liner from the tape.) Line up the edge of one of the wraps over the adhesive and press down to secure it. Wrap the paper tightly around the votive cup and apply another strip of tape under the unsecured edge of the paper. Remove the tape liner and press the adhesive to the votive cup. (It may take a few tries to get the hang of it!)

4. To make a wrap for the matchbox, you'll need to get its dimensions. Take the measurement of the height and the measurement around three of the four sides. Ultimately, you'll want to leave one of the short sides uncovered to expose the match strike area (an important detail that will allow guests to actually light the matches later). Cut the decorative paper according to your measurements and apply the wrap to the matchbox, securing it with peel-off adhesive tape.

5. You can display your favors at the wedding in a variety of ways: Line up the candles on a table and put the matchboxes in a large, clear glass fishbowl; attach the matchboxes to the sides of the candles with personalized ribbons; or simply set the matchboxes on top of the candles.

Photograph by Jack Deutsch. Copyright © 2008 by The Stonesong Press LLC and Khris Cochran from the book The DIY Bride by Khris Cochran, published by The Taunton Press, Inc., ct. Photographs and illustrations copyright © The Stonesong Press LLC. Photographs by Jack Deutsch; Illustrations by Jim Starr. Printed by permission.

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