Beginners Guide to Simple Candle Accessories

flameless candle accessories

From elegant lantern holders to practical snuffers, candle accessories unlock the full potential of candle enjoyment. Yet with the vast array available, the world of candle add-ons can seem daunting. This comprehensive guide decodes common wax candle accessories—explaining the purpose of each item alongside actionable usage tips. Read on to elevate your next candle-lit occasion.

When selected thoughtfully, accessories transform an ordinary candle into a captivating centerpiece while also enhancing safety and sensory performance. A fluted glass holder may complement the interior decor, lifting the candle to eye level to appreciate soothing flame flickers.

A wick trimmer sustains optimum wick length for a cleaner burn, curbing sooty buildup on your precious porcelain. Strategically placed heat-resistant trays prevent wax mishaps across table surfaces. And snuffers extinguish flames with a satisfying press and hiss—their elegance bringing a touch of class to the conclusion of every gathering.

Even those skeptical of candles as mere decorative fillers may be converted upon experiencing the multisensory showcase enabled by considerate accessorization. As the candle radiates its cozy glow within a complementary holder, the dancing light reflects off crystal beads or rendered scenes upon rippling shade glass.

Meanwhile, the exposed melt pool freely releases aromatic molecules—no longer confined but rather dispersed effectively to perfume the room thanks to a clever topper. This symphony for the senses fosters an ambiance unmatched by standard solitary candles, transforming spaces through immersive experiences distinct as fingerprints.

Ready your wick trimmers and snuff out any intimidation, as we guide you through recommended candle accessories tailored to your unique sensibilities. Discover how to unlock the magic within your candle collection.

Wax Candle Holders

candle holder

Purpose: Wax candle holders provide a secure base to hold candles of varying sizes upright. They also elevate candles to the desired display height while protecting surrounding surfaces.

Popular Styles

Votive holders feature small cups, typically glass or metal, to display votive or tealight candles a few inches high. Their petite size allows groupings down table centers or scattered among elements.

Pillar holders specifically fit tall taper and pillar candles. Comprised of either a wide base taper holder or a tall cylinder pillar wrap, these keep wax candles erect at eye level to appreciate the full flame.

Lantern holders surround pillar candles with glass paneling, amplifying the candlelight. Popular styles range from stained glass to simple clear glass. Some include hanging loops for suspended displays.

Choosing Holders

Consider candle dimensions before selecting holders for a perfect fit. Measure candle diameter, allowing a half-inch leeway, while also factoring in height. Glass votive holders typically accommodate 1 to 1.5-inch width candles while specialty holders may fit 2-inch pillars. Wrought iron lantern frames adapt more readily to varied thicknesses.

For cohesive displays, maintain equivalent heights and materials. Or embrace eclectic mingling of metal, glass, and rattan textures with candles peeking above rims in different sizes.

Mix and match shapes such as stacking spheres and squares atop longer hexagons. Just ensure stability, preventing tippy combinations and wax collapse under higher tapers.

Creative Placement

Beyond surface-level trays, exploit vertical space to spotlight candleholders. Affix shelves solely for galleries, alternating framed glass votive holders with ornate bronze lanterns. Command attention upon an empty corner’s floating shelf, devoted to your curated collection between book stacks and trailing plants.

Upon mantles, pair solitary glass domes housing slender candles with clusters of mismatched tiny tealight vessels. The staggered heights shimmer in front of draping mirrors while drawing the eye upwards.

For special gatherings, intersperse tabletop candles with hanging installations. Suspend pillar candles wrapped in loose mesh netting above dining spaces, encircling focal points like flower arrangements. Enhance flexibility by looping ribbon through holders instead of permanent fixtures for effortless repositioning between events.

Wick Trimmers

candle scent

Purpose: Wick trimmers cleanly cut wick strings before lighting to encourage proper candle burning. This prevents excess carbon buildup on wicks which generates smoke and uneven melting.

Proper Use

Inspect wicks before each lighting, clipping any loose strings extending from the wick braid using the sharp edges of the trimmer. Center wicks between the dual blades, holding the candle steady. Compress the trimmer with a firm squeeze, cutting the wick evenly across to leave about 1⁄4 inch exposed. Twist small votive wicks between fingers to test resistance and trim further if loosely braided or stringy.

Candle Health

Trimming wicks not only cut the potential for messy wax cascading down candle sides but directly impact safety. Long, irregular wicks with excess carbon residue can bend into flame proximity, igniting the wick itself into enlarged flareups. This aggressive burning triggers excess smoking, kills natural fragrances, and poses fire hazards. It also creates deeper wax pockets which are prone to chaotic widening as flames erode the cavity walls unevenly across poor wick support.

Routine wick maintenance sustains the wax candle’s intended burn by allowing the wax to pool evenly outward from a centered axis. The trimmed wick both anchors the flame and governs its shape for steady gradual melting that liberates the candle’s full sensory potential over total burn time.

Storage Tips

Insert plastic wick trimmers tightly into cases when not in use to prevent the dulling of the sharp stainless steel blades over time. Steer clear of bathroom humidity which can initiate blade oxidation. Position case openers for easy accessibility near candle storage stations.

Candle Snuffers

candle wax

Purpose: Candle snuffers extinguish burning wicks by cutting off the oxygen supply while preventing wax splatter which can stain furniture or table linens. This candle accessories provide an elegant finish to candle usage.

Using Snuffers:

Wait for pooled wax to re-solidify before attempting to extinguish it to minimize messy splashes. Center the snuffer directly above the flame’s tip and lower completely over the wick. Apply light pressure to adhere the snuffer against the melting wax surface, sealing the still-lit wick beneath the enclosed dome. This separation from sustaining oxygen promptly puts out the flame. Count to 5 before slowly lifting the snuffer straight up to release trailing wisps of smoke from the recently extinguished wick.

Enhanced Experience:

The refined rituals of wax candle lighting and extinguishing frame the sensory journey, allowing anticipation to build before flickering flames transport our sentiments through hypnotic dances. Snuffers refine this closure process with polished etiquette compared to hasty blowing out upon exiting rooms.

Consider snuffers the dessert wine pairing to follow indulgent candle adventures, giving ceremony to special occasions and everyday living. Display decorative snuffers ornamentally between uses to imbue spaces with luxury while also making critical safety tools readily accessible.


Snuffer styles range from classic needle-tip designs made of stamped or twisted brass to dainty silver filigree styles encasing small crystal snuffers. Source different sizes to appropriately balance proportions with candles. Mini snuffers neatly put out tealights while wider models corral thick pillar candles. Upright circular snuffers easily contain multiple wicks so everyone can participate in the ceremony. Purchase or craft whimsical-themed snuffers to complement different moods from beachy starfish shapes to majestic dragon covers.

Candle Accessories – Plates and Trays

christmas candles

Purpose: Candle plates and trays prevent wax spills from permanently damaging furniture during candle burning. Their heat-resistant surfaces also help contain bottom melting. Decorative trays and plates additionally elevate candle display aesthetics.

Protecting Surfaces

Always place either purpose-made candle plates or general heatproof trays beneath burning candles, even those with integrated holders. Choose nonflammable sturdy materials like ceramics, metals, and tempered glass that resist warping or cracking under micro-flame exposure. These help deflect intense bottom heat from wood surfaces while providing a removable sacrificial layer if wax spills beyond the rim.

Corral taper candles or candlesticks atop wide-rimmed plates to accommodate their angled dripping. Fashion acrylic organza fabric sachets filled with decorative beads or sand to cushion candle bases on slick crystal surfaces prone to scorching for affordable and quick protection.

Enhancing Visual Appeal

Consider the tray or plate an artistic extension of the candle itself rather than mere spill prevention. Metallic sheens reflect alluring candle gleams while lightweight bamboo picnic trays house candles in harmony with their surroundings. Sculpt smooth wax contours using oblong trays to exaggerate dimension.

Or contrast stark white plates against inky pillar candles and embellished holders as the dramatic backdrop framing compositional elements. Design dimpled glass tealight plates maintaining symmetry to achieve satisfying repetition. Raid flea markets and Antique shops to source tarnished silver trays or commemorative plates lending aged elegance beneath modern vessels.

Get Creative with Styling

Trays allow candles to intermingle with additional objects to convey themes. Coordinate trayscape colors with candles and decor. Display candle trio towers tied in natural jute beside corresponding earthen pottery housing miniature seasonal botanicals atop raw-edged wooden platters. Or crash gorgeous chaos by sculpting wax spire rock formations emerging from crushed blue glass landscapes contained within battered bronze trays.

Candle Warmers

Purpose: Candle warmers melt the wax to release fragrance without open flames, making candle enjoyment safer. Most of these candle accessories model feature light bulbs or heated plates powered electrically.

Using Warmers Safely

Always place warmers on stable, heatproof surfaces away from table edges, curtains, or combustibles. Check that electrical cords remain tucked away from children and pets in spaces prone to spills. When possible, opt for auto-shut-off warmers to prevent overheating risks if you forget to unplug. Ceramic warmers with low-wattage bulbs minimize surface temperatures during extended operation.

Maximizing Scent Dispersal

Warm unused candles 15 minutes before company to allow melted wax to accumulate and wax pool temperature to peak just as guests arrive. Move candle and warmer locations to prime entertaining zones as opposed to corners so scent travels throughout gathering spaces.

Turn warmers off before replacing candles to allow components to cool, preventing cracked glass or burned fingers. Grow your wax warmer collection to support candle diversity so no fragrance layers compete within single melt pools.

Flameless Appeal

Forget childproofing or gust guards. Finally, enjoy authentic woodsy and gourmand candle scents regardless of open flame prohibitions in locations prone to forgetful blowing out or frequent drafts. Position auto-shutoff candle warmers outside upon patios to infuse alfresco dinner parties with sweet citronella or heady jasmine under inky skies without pesky mosquito magnets.

Or enable elderly relatives to partake in beloved candle traditions independent of caretaker lighting and extinguishing assistance.

Match Holders


Purpose: Match holders neatly store matches while making candle lighting more convenient and visually appealing. Loading decorative long matches into holders prevents damage to match heads during storage.

Aesthetic Lighting

Rather than fumbling with matchbooks or scratching sticks along rough surfaces, striking elegantly long matches extending from an ornamental holder impart refinement to the candle lighting sequence.

Display carved wooden match sticks or hand-rolled Indian rose matches in upright containers as artistic elements alongside candle arrangements. Choose holders harmonizing with candle displays from playful nautical themes to gothic candelabras.

Storing Matches

Insert multiple match sticks into circular mouth canisters or individual nooks designed for organizing single sticks upright. Cork bases help stabilize upright positioning in narrow holders. Select leakproof enclosed holders to prevent humidity from compromising the strikeability of match heads over time. Durable metals and stones better protect sulfur match tips compared to natural materials like untreated wood prone to warping from minor moisture.

Did You Know?

The history of decorative match holders almost rivals that of candles themselves. Match holders protected the volatile self-igniting match mixtures of the 19th century. Antique museum-worthy match safes soon housed friction matches alongside tinder kits reserved for lighting fires and lanterns.

Today’s collectors display Victorian-era holders alongside modern electric candle lighters as reminders of enduring sparks igniting our passions.

Candle Accessories – Shades and Sleeves

Purpose: Candle shades and sleeves soften harsh lighting for ambiance and protect surfaces from intense heat exposure during peak burning. Colored glass shades also tint brightness to create lighting moods.

Setting the Mood

Introduce colored glass shades to infuse spaces with alteration hues setting the scene from romantic reds to lively splashes of sunshiny yellow. Try opaque versus transparent glass types to diffuse or maintain some flickering visibility. Coordinate electric candle bulbs with adjustable brightness and colors to match themed shades.

Or mix natural wax candles with color-changing LED pillar lights on timers to gradually shift moods from sunset orange to midnight blues —no need to replace shades. Consider removable slip-on sleeves giving flexibility to modify colors and candle Accessories’ degree of light filtering for different occasions without dedicated seasonal shades.

Shade Shapes

Select tapered cylindrical shades to exaggerate flame height and elegantly contain any wax buildup drips for a refined statement. Embrace playful spherical globes housing stout pillars for whimsical impact. Choose rippled or patterned glass surfaces to distort and replicate the flames’ dance across surrounding surfaces when transparent.

Consider frosted panels to soften lighting effects in bedroom corners or dress mirrors prone to harsh lighting. Design laser-cut metal sheets mimicking floral lace patterns to overlay candles with glimmering throw shadows.

Protecting Surfaces

Ensure shades completely envelope the flame above expected melt height plus an allowance for stability; wraparound opening snugly around the candle base without major gaps. This prevents the naked flame from touching surfaces or curtain edges which could ignite some materials.

Candle Care Kits

Purpose: Candle care kits conveniently provide accessories for safe candle usage and upkeep. They make great gifts for candle lovers.

Compiling Your Kit

Start with high-quality stainless steel wick trimmers and snuffers sized appropriately for your candle collection from votives to pillars. Select heat-proof trays or drip-catching accessories to protect surfaces from wax spills during burning.

Include adhesive wax removal sheets for quick cleanup along with gentle cleaner and microfiber cloths specially designed to lift dried wax without scraping finishes. Don’t forget matches, long lighters, and luscious scented candles!

Storage and Maintenance

Look for cases or tins that neatly organize each element while preventing damage during storage. foam inserts keep slender items like trimmers and matches from jostling against one another while soft pouches protect glass accessories.

Maintenance Reminders

Place a monthly reminder to inspect and care for kit contents so they remain in optimal condition. Sharpen any blunt trimmer blades using honing stones. Remove wax buildup from snuffer tips. Check lighters and match heads for any humidity damage. Refill candles once melted halfway to maximize scent intensity through total burn time. Having organized care kits prepares us to nurture our candle relationships for brilliant burning each usage.

Gifting Ideas

Customize starter kits for recipients based on color preferences, floral or spicy scents, and even monogrammed accessories to excite fellow candle fans. Provide your luxury kit to holiday rentals to assure guests safely enjoy complementary candles knowing all maintenance tools reside within reach inside a prepped kit.

Candle Lamps

candle holder

Also known as hurricane lamps, these glass accessories encase pillar wax candles, protecting the flame from drafts while magnifying the candle’s cozy illumination. The name comes from their original purpose—enclosing flames on ships sailing through turbulent hurricanes. Today, hurricane lamps lend rustic charm whether gracing a front porch festooned in twinkling lights or scattered along an outdoor wedding aisle.

When selecting hurricane lamps, opt for thick, heat-resistant glass to prevent cracking. Measure pillar candles first to ensure a snug fit within the lamp’s base – too loose leaves them prone to tipping.

For indoor use, consider filling the base with decorative stones, beads, or sand to add visual interest as the flame’s glow passes through. Outdoors, and beads risk acting as wick trimmers so best to leave bases empty. Position lamps out of major walkways and traffic flows to prevent accidental bumping and spilling of hot wax.

Clever hurricane lamp arrangements create striking focal points. Try clustering various heights in a windowsill with candles flickering at staggered levels. Or line a garden path with matching cylindrical lamps glowing like a string of luminous pearls. Feel free to get creative with these versatile accessories perfect for amplifying candlelight ambiance.

Candle Toppers

Far from mere decoration, toppers serve functional purposes to enhance jar candles—just be selective in your choices. Wavy 3D paper toppers boost scent dispersion as increased melted wax surface area interacts with more air. Avoid excessive embellishments like large flowers or heavy figurines as these insulate jars, trapping more heat to adversely affect burn quality.

When dressing wax candles for holidays or special occasions, pick symbolic toppers to set the mood. Pine cones and tiny Christmas trees herald winter cheer while stars and firecrackers celebrate summer patriotism.

Abstract shaped toppers work year-round, from hearts on Valentine’s Day to clover leaves for St. Patrick’s Day. Or opt for custom laser-engraved wood medallions with special dates, names, or phrases for one-of-a-kind meaning.

Follow toppers with flat bottoms or secure decorative picks firmly into the wax to prevent capsizing. Position symmetrically to not impede even melt pool access to wick and maintain balance.

Most are non-flammable but remain vigilant when burning, keeping your wax candle within sight. Poke used toppers with a skewer to recycle wax before discarding. With the right topper, a basic candle transforms into a personalized emblem of cherished memories.

Candle Storage

Maximize candle longevity through proper storage both pre and post-use. Keep newly purchased candles in their original packaging, sealed in a cool, dark place until first burn. Light and heat degrade scents over time so avoid subjecting candles to these factors prematurely.

Once burned, let the jars fully harden before covering them with a lid or reusable wax paper wrap. Never place anything directly on still-soft wax. Store half-used candles in a dark, temperature-controlled closet to prevent dust accumulation and fragrance fading.

If storing for extended periods, slip on the candle’s plastic sleeve first for a protective barrier against scratches.

When dealing with wax melt pools, identify any remaining wick nub and avoid this section when re-hardening wax to prevent centered sink holes upon next use. Alternatively, pour leftover wax into silicone molds to repurpose it into wax melts.

Regularly wiping down jar exteriors prevents residue build-up over repeat burns, maintaining an attractive appearance. For pillar candles, gently brush soft wax drippings using a specialty wax comb. Return all accessories like holders and trimmers to storage tins, available in themed sets.

Proper practices preserve candles between uses, maintaining vibrancy. But when the last embers extinguish for beloved candles reduced to nubs, honor sentimental value through a final fiery Viking sendoff. Just remember to practice fire safety! With the right care, accessories, and occasional repurposing, wax candle collections warrant appreciation for years to come.

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