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Etched Glass Thanks Candle Holders

This Thanksgiving I’ve been focusing on decorating our mantel area.  Although we have had a mantel for years (it was actually one of the main selling features to originally buying our home), I feel like it is always the last space to get any special treatment around Thanksgiving.  Primarily it’s because my focus is on the tablescape and the dessert table.  But a well dressed mantel really makes a space feel like home.  It brings warmth and joy into a room.  It can also be a great way to freshen up a place without having to redecorate everything.  So, this year I’ve decided to dress up our mantel more and create a set of etched glass Thanks candle holders.

I love how beautiful the finished look of etched glass is, especially with candlelight shining through.  For my candle holders, I spelled out “Thanks”, but you definitely can change this project around to spell any word that fits the time of season.

You Will Need:

6 Seven Inch Candle Holders

Etching Cream

Rubbing Alcohol

Paper Towels

Wide Painter’s Tape

Paintbrush or Popsicle Stick

3 inch Scrapbook Alphabet Stickers

Paper Plate or Palette


Rubber Gloves

6 three inch candles

Tip:  When I first created these candle holders, they did not turn out very well.  I found this wonderful post from The Yummy Life with some great tips on how to use etching cream.  I will share which ones worked for me below, but definitely recommend checking this post before you start etching.  My other tip is to practice on a spare piece before using your final glassware.

1.  Clean each area of the glass where you will be applying the etching cream with rubbing alcohol.  The rubbing alcohol allows the etching cream to adhere to the glass and makes for a better finished look.

2.  Apply painter’s tape to the top and bottom of candle holder, making sure that the lines are straight and that there are no bubbles.  Place your sticker in the center between the two tape edges.  Measure to double check that the distance between the edges of the candle holder is equal.

3.  Add tape to the sides of each letter, leaving the same amount of space as the top and bottom.  You should have a equal square area around each letter.

4.  Clean the area that you will be etching with rubbing alcohol again to make sure that there are no extra fingerprints or other smudges on the glass.

5.  Apply the etching cream thickly to the taped off area of each candle.  Set a timer for 15 minutes. (The amount of time depends on your etching cream.  I used Martha Stewart’s etching cream.)  After five minutes, reapply and smooth out the etching cream.  Repeat this step after another five minutes.  This helps give the finished etched area a more balanced look.

6.  Wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands and eyes, carefully rinse off the etching cream under hot water.  The stickers and the tape can also be removed at this time.

Your beautiful new candle holders will shimmer in the candle light glow and make a gorgeous decoration for the holidays.  Here’s what they looked like on our mantel when lit.

I think we’re finally ready for the big Thanksgiving holiday.  At least I feel like our space is feeling like a home to welcome guests.

Happy Celebrating,




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