Thrifted Candle Holder Flip for Valentine’s Day Decor

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I’ve got a whimsical and fun DIY project for you this week that I know you’ll enjoy creating! My thrifted candle holder flip for Valentine’s Day decor will give you the inspiration you need to makeover your own candlesticks.

Flipping candle holders is a budget-friendly project idea when you’re using thrift store finds and dollar store embellishments. Thrifting and saving money on handmade decor versus store-bought valentine’s decorations are my favorite ways for crafting and decorating.

You can make the color scheme and design of your thrift makeover to match your own decor style. Pink, red and white would be another fun combination or try a modern farmhouse tan color with a small pop of barn red.


completed thrifted candle holder flip project for valentine's day decor

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There are other simple materials you can use if you can’t find heart embellishments like mine from Walmart.

  • Paint 2 thin wooden hearts from a Dollar Tree pack and use Gorilla glue to sandwich with a kabob stick in between.
  • Cut out 6 felt hearts from a craft felt sheet, use regular craft glue to attach 3 hearts together, and likewise for the other 3, then hot glue a kabob stick in between.

Thrifted items like candle holders, or similar thrifted finds that can also be used for this DIY project, can be searched for at your local thrift store, second-hand shops, Habitat/Restore, yard sales, etc.. Although not as thrifty, you can purchase unfinished wood candlesticks from a craft store.

supplies needed to complete the valentine's day thrifted candle holder flip


The colors used for these thrifted candle holders allows them to be recycled for other seasonal decorations, like a summertime 4th of July celebration or a red and green Christmas holiday.

Simply make the heart decoration and greenery temporarily stuck inside the candlestick holes so you can reuse them versus hot glueing.

You can decorate just about anywhere with your candle holders. Imagine them as part of a valentine’s mantel or on a dining table with a table runner and other whimsical Valentine’s Day decorations. I’m sure you can think of some more great ideas, too.

Now, let’s get down to business and follow along with my project tutorial!

The easiest way to plan a painting project that involves multiple colors and sections is to figure out the design colors and placement before doing the actual painting.

Make a quick sketch and then color in the design as seen below. That way you never have to go back and repaint if your painted sections don’t look quite right from what you imagined.

sketch for how the thrifted candle holder flip will look like

Apply chalk paint to the thrift store candlesticks. Chalk paint doesn’t require any sanding prior to painting so it saves time and will prevent the dark wood from showing through. A small amount of chalk paint goes a long way for coverage.

I chose to use a grey base coat so the bright red acrylic paint color would be toned down to more of a barn red shade. If you want your main color to be brighter try ivory or light tan.

TIP: Use a hair dryer or a heat gun tool for drying the paint to speed up your crafting time.

Begin painting the white sections of the candle holders according to your pre-planned design.

At first glance, I thought my ivory paint would work for an alternative to a glaring bright white, but it was too creamy. After using the ivory shade, I then painted one light coat of white on top and achieved the correct shade that I wanted.

The idea behind the specific red and white shades I was shooting for was to match my existing Valentine’s Day decorations.

I first painted the top and bottom sections with red, used a hair dryer to speed up drying time, and then painted the middle sections of the candle holders. Two coats will be needed.

painting steps  completed on the thrifted candle holders

Touch up the areas, seen in the photo below, where the white paint went into the intended red section by applying the gray on top of the white paint. Dry and then paint red over the gray touch up paint.

Now, paint a base coat for where the red stripes will be placed. Two coats of red paint will be needed. Dry in between coats.

additional painting step for the valentine thrifted candle holders

I used the end of one of my paint brushes to make the white dots. Dip the end into the paint to get a generous amount and tap on the dot. Practice first to make sure the brush end will make the desired sized dot.

Use a paint brush with a straight edge head to evenly paint 4 stripes across from each other and then evenly fill in between those stripes. Paint two coats of red on top of the gray paint. Dry in between coats.

OPTIONAL STEP – Apply Mod Podge for a shiny look and scratch protection.

There may be an easier way to paint wood beads, but I used a two-part system for painting them white.

I squirted white paint in a plastic baggy and rolled the beads all around until the paint was gooped up on them. I then used a kabob stick (from Dollar Tree pack) to smooth the paint and to let them dry.

Load the beads onto a kabob stick (from Dollar Tree pack) and then smooth the paint with a brush. Dip your paint brush in white paint before smoothing.

Use two items to prop up the stick so the beads can dry.

painting beads white needed for the thrift store candle holder flip
wooden beads drying on skewer

If you use the Walmart heart sticks like I did, cut off the existing ribbon and paint the stick portion with white acrylic paint.

Decide how tall you want your heart sticks to be when inserted into the candle holders.

Use floral snips to cut off the wood end and then thread the wood beads.

Make a simple little bow using the red gingham ribbon. If you need instructions, follow the tutorial from The Ribbon Retreat on YouTube. Hot glue the ribbon under the heart.

I used reindeer moss, from the Dollar Tree, to fill in around the heart stick. I used a pencil tip to compact the moss until the heart would stay straight. Use hot glue if you prefer a permanent solution.

You can also use a small piece of floral foam to push your heart stick into.

Hopefully, I’ve given you lots of inspiration to complete this fun thrifted candle holder flip for Valentine’s Day decor!

"Pin for Later" graphic
completed DIY thrift store flip for Valentine's Day decorations





It’s time for the “Do it Over” Designers group to once again share our newest upcycled, recycled, or DIY projects with our readers. We take something old and/or unused and ‘do it over’ into something new.

Our items can be found in closets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! Be sure to click 10 more project links below to see what the designers are sharing. Don’t miss out!


graphic for the 'do it over' design group

Sum of Their Stories – How to Make a Hidden Hanger Pocket from a Placemat

Tea and Forget-Me-Nots – Laser Engraving Slate for DIY Valentine’s Day Gift

Pandora’s Box – Scrap Pin

Color Me Thrifty – DIY Wall Art from Thrifted Canvases

The Apple Street Cottage – Repurposing Vintage Swing Photo Frame

Birdz of a Feather – DIY Office Chair Wheel Replacement

Exquisitely Unremarkable – Ceramic Candle Shade and Plate Makeover

Little Vintage Cottage – Altered Valentine’s Day Plate

Modern on Monticello – Easy Makeover for Faux Topiary Trees

Purple Hues & Me – Metal Tub Decoupage Makeover

Southern Sunflowers (that’s me)

Sharing my thrift store flip at these fabulous blogs!

author of the southern sunflowers blog

Allyson is the founder and content creator of Southern Sunflowers, which shares tutorials for DIY crafts and decor on a budget.

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10 thoughts on “Thrifted Candle Holder Flip for Valentine’s Day Decor”

  1. I really love the whimsical style of your candle holders. They’re super fun! I have a pair of wooden candle holders that I’ve been wanting to give a sort of Alice in Wonderland makeover to. Thanks for the tip on sketching the design out before hand. That’s a great idea!

  2. Well, red is my color so you’re singing my song with this bold flip. I love it and now I’ll be looking for wooden candlesticks during my weekend thrifting trip!

  3. Your candle holders are absolutely adorable, Allyson. I love everything about them – the polka dots, stripes, wood beads, hearts, and what a difference from plain dark wood! You definitely nailed it!

  4. These are fabulous Allyson! Great idea to sketch it out beforehand; you could even frame the sketch. I like your method for painting beads; it looks quick!

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