DO-IT-YOURSELF: Organic ambient lighting

When it comes to decor and events, there are two kinds of people: those who enjoy “doing-it-themselves” and those who don’t. Falling into the “do-it-ourselves” category ourselves, we thought we’d share our ideas with all you other DIY-ers out there. We like nothing more than to create something out of nothing (as our name suggests) and we absolutely love the hands-on creativity that comes with it.

For this, our first DIY insert, we decided to go organic and create candleholders out of fresh produce. We simply love the crisp earthiness of it, the fact that it’s easy as well as pretty and the fact that it will end up not only being an amazing decor item, but also a conversation starter around the table.

We chose apples, artichokes and red cabbage, but the possibilities are endless. Pomegranates, lemons, oranges, pumpkins, anything that will be able to retain its shape and hold a candle can be used, depending on your theme or colour scheme, of course. Steer clear of soft fruits or vegetables, or anything that will give off a strong smell, or go off too quickly.

1. Green and Red apples with dinner candles

These will work well scattered across the table. Don’t use them as a centrepiece, but rather as complimentary decor. Use thin, long candles.

Step1: Choose apples that are well-balanced and stand straight on a table or flat surface. You don’t want them to lean too much to one side.

Step2: Core the apple using a corer or a pairing knife. Make sure the hole is as wide as the candle you are going to use.

Step3: Place the candle in the hole. If the hole is a little too wide, wrap lace or ribbon around the bottom end of the candle to secure it.

Step4: If you want to add further decorative touches, tie ribbon or lace around the candle just above the hole.

Step5: Scatter them around your table and light.




2. Artichokes and tea light candles

Artichokes are very rare but very beautiful vegetables. We used them as votives in this case and they were so stunning, we couldn’t stop taking pictures!  If you are going to use them, make sure you buy them very fresh, so that they will hold well. If you keep them refrigerated they should hold for about 3-4 days.

Step1: Cut the stem off so that the artichoke can stand on its base.









Step2: Open up the top, outside leaves and cut the middle section out (at a depth of about 2 cm)









Step3: Place the tealight candle on top of the middle section.

Step4: Scatter them around the table and light.




3. Red cabbage with Hurricane candles

Red cabbage is a magnificent and widely underestimated vegetable. Its beautiful, deep purple hue and amazing white striped patterns make it one of my all-time favourite ‘pretty vegetables’.

This could definitely be used as a centrepiece. It holds very well and can be made quite well in advance.

Step1: If the cabbage is too round to stand on its own, just cut a little bit off the bottom to create a flat surface.

Step2: Place the hurricane candle on top of the cabbage, in the centre and use a pen to draw its circumference onto the surface of the cabbage.

Step3: Using a sharp-point knife, cut out the centre of the cabbage, going almost all the way to the bottom. Stay within the perimeters of the pen circle. Make sure the hole has straight sides and that it doesn’t slant out or in.

Step4: Place the candle inside the hole, pushing it down to the bottom.

Step5: Decorate with lace or ribbon and create the rest of the centrepiece around it.


There you go, three out of the box, gorgeous ideas to create ambient light at your wedding or function.

May your next trip to the fresh produce store be INSPIRED!


Author: Sunelle van den Berg

Photographer: Corli Sadie

**Photo’s were compressed for the blog


  1. #1 by Juanli on July 30, 2011 - 9:41 am

    Dit lyk beautiful! Sien uit na die volgende hoofstukkies van die nuwe DIY-reeks – inspirerend 😉

  2. #2 by blankcanvas1 on July 30, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    fantastiese nuwe idees volg binnekort! 🙂

  3. #3 by roelfieshane on July 31, 2011 - 7:41 am


  4. #4 by hotshot bald cop on August 28, 2011 - 5:46 pm

    Wow! That’s an remarkable slant.


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