Candles are an important element of the Day of the Dead, as they guide the spirits to the world of the living. This decorative project is a great way to recycle glass jars of different shapes and sizes using a basic papier-maché technique with papel picado (cut-paper designs). The translucent tissue paper allows candlelight to shine through and enhance the patterns.


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How to Make Your Candle Holders

  1. Measure the height and circumference of your jar. Cut a piece of white tissue paper to this size.
  2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the surface of the jar with a soft brush, and gently roll it along the length of the paper sheet to attach. Leave to dry.
  3. Cut a piece of colored tissue paper that is the same height. but slightly longer than the circumference of the jar. Fold in half, lengthwise, then again, and again, until it is about 1 in. (2.5 cm) thick.
  4. Draw around one of the templates here, or create your own design: cut out the pattern with scissors. Open up the tissue paper.
  5. Apply a thin coat of glue over the white tissue paper, and attach the colored paper in the same way as before, overlapping the ends. Be careful not to tear the tissue.
  6. Measure the rim of the jar and cut a strip of tissue paper in a contrasting color. Brush a thin layer of glue around the rim, and gently press the tissue in position.
  7. Add a sealing coat of glue over the paper to protect the delicate designs. Repeat with other jars and different colors.