Summertime DIY! Make a Film Candle Holder in 3 Steps


Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Poor, neglected photo negatives.

Ever since digital photography has come into play, these photographic beings have lost their heyday and are quite the endangered species in the photography world.

Well, neglect them no further—time to use those negatives for something positively enlightening!

Brighten up their lives—and yours—by using them to make a lightbox-esque candle holders!

It’s a super simple and fun way to dress up your candle lights for these lovely summer nights!

How to Make a Film Negative Candle Holder!

p.s. We’re giving away SLR zoom lenses on our Facebook page today thanks to our buddies at Tamron.

Why So Negative?

Since they’re transparent, photo negatives are best viewed with some sort of light behind ‘em, and candlelight works perfectly to illuminate the different photos found on a negative roll.

So why leave your photo negatives to the dust bunnies when they could be showcased using just a few additional materials? And what better way to bring ‘em to light—and life—than this simple and neat DIY!

It’s a quick and easy way to personalize the rather plain glass candle holders—and makes a neat conversation piece, too!

And hey—no negatives? No worries! Print photos on vellum paper or transparencies to fit your candle holder and get similar results!

Candles not your thing? We dare you to make this lamp, then!

The (Short) Ingredients List

  • Photo negatives (black and white or color!)
  • Glass candle holders
  • Glue dots (double-stick tape works, too!)

STEP 1: Measure ’round

before Use your negatives to measure around your glass candle holder to see how many frames in your negative are needed to wrap around it.

Ours came a bit short, so we added some frames from another negative piece to fully wrap our candle holder.

STEP 2: Adhesive time

before Put some glue dots or double stick tape to both ends of your photo negative pieces.

We’ve used only a bit of adhesive just cuz we wanted a temporary solution—so we could switch out different negatives and photos later—but you can use more adhesive if you’d like something more permanent.

STEP 3: Shine on

before Stick yer negative pieces on your candle holder.

Put a candle in and light it to admire your quick-n-crafty creation!

That was mighty simple, wasn’t it??

Try this with different sizes of candle holders, like the smaller ones for tea light candles (the wee one in the background).

Your reuse of photo negatives is sure to get some positive feedback!

Even More Positive uses for Negatives

  • Have no photo negatives on hand, or don’t want to risk ruining the photo negatives you do have? Fear not! Print out your photos—in black and white or color—on transparencies or on vellum, to fit the candle holders, as shown above.
  • Experiment with different sizes and colors of negatives! Besides using regular 35mm-sized ones, we also used larger E-6 slide negatives from some color 110 film to decorate our candle holders. Color negatives look especially good in candlelight!
  • Candle holders come in square shapes as well as cylinder ones—cover ‘em all!
  • Feeling particularly crafty-ambitious? Make a photo negative glass lamp with this neat tutorial!
  • Wanna make your negatives cohesively showcase a “bigger picture”? Do Martin Wilson’s awesome contact sheet tutorial and use the photo negative results for your candle holder!
Posted in DIY, Photo Projects