How to Make Fake Filigree and Papel Picado Candle Holders

Candles were everywhere at our Day of the Dead celebreation created for Festivities Magazine.  Some I bought from a local Mexican market with traditional Dia de los Muertes figures painted on the glass, but most I made.  The easiest by far were the paper filigree work wrappers I made for glass candle holders.

I used laser-cut scrapbook paper I found at Joann Fabrics.  This type of paper was pretty popular in scrapbook stores a few years ago, but is getting pretty hard to find now.  Michaels didn't have any.  My local  (amazing) scrapbook stores (which keep up with the trends) didn't have any.  I used KI Memories brand's Pop Culture line.  Here's one source I found online that still carries the papers.

The paper comes in a range of colors, but I bought white because I wanted to use watercolors to color my papers to match my other decor.  I chose two patterns.  The one above, because it reminded me of intricately cut papel picado, and the one you can see below, which reminded me of intricate metal punch work.

Some I painted with watercolors, some I painted with Martha Stewart's silver craft paint.

Once the paint was dry, it was a simple matter to use clear packing tape to secure the paper to plain glass candle holders.  

I love the way the paper made the candles look beautiful both at day and at night, and how lacy patterns of light were cast by the glow of the candlelight.  I've stocked up on a stash of these papers so I can use the same technique for other parties.