How to Make Photo Centerpieces with Candles

How to Make Photo Centerpieces with Candles
Inspired from the DIY master Martha Stewart, we had to try these super cute do it yourself photo centerpieces for ourselves (with our own wedding twist of course).  Read on to learn how to make these glowing photo masterpieces.  So simple and inexpensive, one centerpiece cost us just around $4.  View Martha's original tutorial here.

We think these lantern centerpieces are particularly great because they are easy to make and are great conversation starters.  They work for any type of setting from wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners to anniversary parties and birthdays.

With just a home printer and a few household items, you can create this stunning focal point for your wedding and truly let your own personality shine through. (pun intended.  heehee)

What you'll need:

3-4 same size picture frames (makes one centerpiece)
Translucent vellum paper in white or ecru (or 24lb paper stock substitute)
A few of your favorite photos
Home printer
Glass enclosed votive candles (or LED substitute)
Cloth Tape

How to Make Photo Centerpieces with Candles
Step 1 - Get all your supplies ready for assembly.  We recommend grabbing a few friends to help and create a bit of an assembly line.  Begin to disassemble your frames, removing and discarding the backing completely.  Keep the front of your frames and the glass inserts.  Paint or stain the fronts of your frames if desired letting them dry completely.

Step 2 - With photo editing software like Photoshop or PhotoFiltre, convert your photos to black and white or sepia.   Resize your photos to fit the frames you've purchased.  Print your photos onto the vellum paper you purchased.

Step 3 - Cut out all your photos trimming and discarding the excess vellum paper.  Set aside your cut-out photos to be inserted into your frames.

Step 4 - After cleaning your glass inserts with Windex, place the glass back into your frames.  Once dry, insert your photos into your frames face down.  Keeping the glass fronts in your frames will help protect your photos and make your centerpieces a bit sturdier.  Fold your picture frame tabs in place to hold your picture.  If your frame does not have tabs, simply add some tape to the edges of your photo to hold it in place.

Step 5 - Line up each of your frames side by side making sure they fit snugly together.  Place a line of cloth tape down the seam where your frames meet and press firmly on the tape to secure.  Continue repeating this until you come to the last frame.  Place a strip of tape so that half of the tape hangs of the edge of your frame.  Stand your frame upright and connect your exposed sides together to finish off your centerpiece.  Place your photo centerpieces around a glass enclosed votive candle to ensure your lantern does not catch fire.  You can also substitute your candle for an LED votive for added fire safety.

We created cube shaped centerpieces by using four 5 x 7 frames.  You can also opt for triangle shaped centerpieces by using three frames instead of four.  For added visual interest, choose frames that are different heights.  Make one centerpiece using 5 x 7 inch frames and another using 4 x 6 inch frames.  Set each completed centerpiece next to each other and surround with additional votive candles and flowers for a show stopping wedding table setting.


  1. This is such a cute idea. I think I want to use this idea for my wedding centerpieces. I want to use very nice wedding picture frames and some kind of orange flowers. It is going to look great, thanks so much for sharing this amazing idea!

  2. Where is a good place to find the picture frames as a cheap price? Ive looked many different places but the best price I can find is $5 per frame. For 10 tables, at 4 frames a table, it can get a little pricey. I know in your blog, you mentioned how one centerpieces, is $4. Any suggestions???

    1. Dollar tree has a variety to choose from.

  3. Jennifer,
    We would recommend looking at dollar stores and craft stores. They tend to have good deals on frames. Hope this helps!

  4. Tried printing on clear vellum paper and image very difficult to see. Does the white or ecru rectify this

  5. Hi There! We used the ecru color in our example above. The clear may be too transparent for an image to print clearly. Hope that helps you! Best Wishes


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