When you think of Dias de los Muertos—or Day of the Dead—what comes to mind? For us, it’s sweet sugar skulls, pops of festive color, and welcoming candlelight. So it was a no-brainer to hop on board that inviting spirit and create mood lighting fit for a spooky fiesta with colorful clay candle holders.

This clay DIY is pretty much as simple as projects get, yet the results are totally illuminating! Especially since we pierced designs in the votive holders’ clay shells to let the flickering flame shine through. Ready to get your glow on?

 – three glass votive holders
 – Sculpey oven bake clay, one packet per votive

– three tea lights or votive candles, to finish

 – lollipop stick


1. Remove clay from package and roll into a ball.

2. Shape into a rectangular form and roll lengthwise using a votive or rolling pin.

3. Wrap the clay around the votive.

4. Rip away excess clay and roll again to smooth the seams.

5. Use the lollipop stick to poke holes in a fun pattern.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 275 degrees F. Let cool completely before placing candle inside.

Alright it’s time to get your hands dirty. Take one packet of clay and roll it into a smooth ball. Then set it on a flat surface and roll it into a long strip of clay that’s wide enough to fit the votive. As you can see, we just used our glass votive to roll out the clay since we didn’t have a rolling pin on hand (crafty yes, but it totally works!). Once it’s nice and flat—about a quarter inch thick—wrap the clay around the votive and press on the seam to close. Then just rip off the excess clay on the sides, top, and bottom.

Roll that clay-covered votive on a flat surface one last time to smooth out the edges and seams, then grab your lollipop stick and start poking! Really any design flies, like this large geometric pattern we created on the lime green clay. The light is really gonna shine through this votive!

Or embrace the holiday and go ghouly with a more festive design like a skull, pumpkin, or cat. You could even use orange, yellow, and white clay to make a candy corn-looking votive, much like we did with our ballon dip jars for our classic Halloween party. Or keep it simple, like this tiny diamond design, which you could incorporate into your home decor all year round. Win!

When you’re done poking, just bake according to the package instructions, then you’re ready to drop in your candles.

These votives are so easy to make you’ll be DIY-ing to make more! That way you can let the entire set shine on your Halloween table setting, cobwebbed mantle, or decorated side table. Feliz Halloween!

Are you throwing a colorful Halloween party? What decorations are you DIYing for the bash? Tell us in the comments below!