Summertime DIY! Make a Film Candle Holder in 3 Steps

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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!

You love love, and you love it big time. So, go BIG this Valentine’s Day.

Print up a 3 foot x 4 foot Engineer Print to show your love BIG time.

Read along to see three fun ways to spread the love to friends, crushes and soulmates using photos!


1. Mailbox Surprise

Just fold up your Engineer Print, pop it in an envelope and mail it to your long-distance love.

Parabo Press’s EPs (as the cool kids call ‘em) are printed on extra thin paper, perfect for easy hanging and mailing too!

Yeah, your print will get creases in it, but we just love the idea of your giftee unfolding and unfolding and unfolding to reveal the biggest Valentine they’ve ever received.


2. Pin the Heart on the Babe

We may have spent a bit extra time on this part of the photoshoot in the Photojojo Office … this game is serious fun! Everyone gave it a go.

Print up a photo of your favorite heartthrob, cut out some hearts, procure a blindfold, give the first contestant a good spin, and watch them just try to find their way to that cutie’s heart.

It’s the perfect pastime for a Galentine’s Party or a cozy night in – just you, mood music, a box of chocolates and an EP of Michael B. Jordan.


3. Surprise! I love you!

Engineer Prints (available in color and B&W) are the perfect width to tape in your
standard door.

Tape your face looking into a room with an inward opening door to give your favorite someone a BIG surprise.

Just make sure your intended recipient is in the room when you stick up that print.



What are you waiting for?


Three Lovely Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Using Photos

We get it. You need the perfect costume idea.

Whelp, if you like snapping photos and having fun (you sound like our favorite kind of person) look no further!

Check out four easy costume ideas that’ll get you all the best candy (full size only).

Inspector Gadget

Fill a trench coat with gizmos and give your friends a fright followed by relief when they realize you did not dress as a streaker.



Hang the Photo Rope from your neck and use magnets to hang your favorite photos. You’re everyone’s favorite stream of photos. *Liked*


  • A Black Outfit
  • Photo Rope
  • Square Prints (get ‘em free from Parabo Press)

A Beautiful Unicorn

Throw magical colorful clouds around, wherever you go! The more color you fling the more colorful your costume will become.


A Real-Live Photo Booth

Document your favorite costumes and hand out prints as you go. You can even charge your pals for print … just like a real photo booth.


Do you have a super photo-related costume idea? Tell us over on Instagram – we’re @photojojo. Or, show us with #photojojo.

Simple and Silly Costume Ideas for Photographers

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