Recycled Tea Light Christmas decorations

I know it’s early. 🙂  But October has, as usual, sent me floating happily away on my initial wave of Christmas excitement and anticipation. How I love it! ❤ Because I will be spending 3 weeks in Finland just before Christmas this year, I am being super dooper organised. I’ve posted before about all my crazy recycled homemade decorations, but thought I might revisit a tutorial from a couple of years ago for decorations that recycle tea light candle holders. I always have a stack of these left over from my oil burner, and this weekend I’m making a long garland out of them for over the window. 🙂


Small sharp pair of scissors

Empty tea light containers (they are rarely completely empty after use, but any excess wax and wick holder will just come out as you go so there is no need to clean them out)

A knitting needle (small sized dpn) or empty ball point pen for the embossing

A cutting mat or old magazine to lean on 

Sharp needle and thread for hanging

A caution: this stuff is SHARP! The cut edges and scraps are very very sharp so please be careful.


First cut the edge of the container into 8 equal segments.

I find the easiest way to do this is divide it in quarters first, then halve them.

 After the 8 segments have been cut, flip it over and flatten the metal out, pressing down from the back. Use something with a flat base to do this, such as a book or a piece of wood.

Now cut each of the 8 edge sections into points.

Flip it over so the inside is facing up – it looks best if you do the embossing on the internal side. Resting on the cutting mat or magazine, use your knitting needle or old pen to emboss designs in the star. This is easy to do and you will soon see how much pressure is required to get a good effect. Use the photo as a guide, or come up with your own designs. Flip it again to see the finished effect.
Use the sewing needle to carefully puncture a hole in the end of one point (I actually did this over a small nail dent in a table top) and thread the hanging tie through. Tie off and you’re done! These look great on the Christmas tree or threaded in a line like a garland, or hung from a hoop at different lengths to make a mobile. You could add a moon shape to that as well. If you rounded off the points, they could of course be non- Christmassy flowers too.

Here’s the link to the pdf version. 
B 🙂

38 thoughts on “Recycled Tea Light Christmas decorations

  1. Deck the Halls!!! I love Christmas just as much as you do. And what a delight-ful (no pun intented) Christmas Craft. Recycling, pretty and I can see myself already sitting cozily at the table doing this. Thank you so much, xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Lor! I shall have to put away the colouring book and spend my evenings cutting up tealight holders – but as I don’t keep them once used I better start burning my candles at both ends! My daughter had just posted a meme on facebook: ‘ Here’s a rally I can get behind: Stop premature Christmas Decorating’ so seeing this post really made me giggle 🙂 Fabulous idea Bianca – I’m in and like Bruce shall hang some in my revamped tiny courtyard garden!!

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    • Hahaha thanks Pauline, that’s classic! 🙂 I know I’m an absolute shocker…I have a mourning period after Christmas (otherwise known as ‘January’) then I’m straight back into thinking about it…..but October I really start to get going with making new decs etc. 🙂 really look forward to seeing your creations in your gorgeous garden! 🙂


  3. I love this! I always feel so guilty for throwing the cups away and these ornaments are so pretty. It’s gray and raining here today, so will definitely be lighting some tea lights and saving the cups. I’ve also shared this on the Facebook page of our local creative reuse center, as it’s right up their alley.

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  4. Brilliant idea you clever clogs you. I am completely addicted to Instructables. I found how to make a lovely little box out of an aluminium tin can. Stevie-boy has just given up boozing for lent (next year) so there goes my can collective BUT I do have lots of tea light candles that I usually just recycle and that I now have a purpose for. I like to make the decorations for our tree every year as far as practicable. We made our tree (we are tree hugging hippy horticulturalists) as we couldn’t bear to cut down or contribute to murdering any more conifers in our name so we made one out of branches from the property. The borers ate our first one (much like the borers that are slowly working their way through my magnified lamp stand that Stevie-boy made me (obviously without checking for borer holes first!) 😉 ) so we made another one that stacks flat under the bed. Aside from the usual clove stuck orange and star anise threaded onto pretty yarn these babies are going to add sparkle and shine (well matt shine 😉 ) to our tree this year and a solid repurpose save at the same time 🙂

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    • Oooh the little boxes sound great! 🙂 you guys are extremely creative, I love it! 🙂 we have a little kitsch plastic tree which we alternate each year with a Wollemi pine in a pot, the stars work well on that because they are so light, they don’t bend the branches at all 🙂 I love the idea of the clove oranges and star anise, makes me sigh happily :))

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, maybe so…M was saying this morning that if we hot glued a bamboo skewer to the back of a flower shape and stuck them through the garden it may put off some of the wildlife…might give it a go, would look pretty anyway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Of Canning, Coats, and Craft | arlingwords

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