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julie nolta design
Julie Nolta

Hi, I'm Julie, Chief Executive Empress

of my little apple green design studio.

Welcome to my blog!

When I'm not out visiting a client or searching for just the right  product for a project, I can probably be found in my happy little studio (painted the perfect shade of green), busy drawing up new ideas for a cool kitchen or a "spa-licious" bathroom. I like to share the fun stuff I find along the way!


apple green studio

Easy Thanksgiving decorating with candles

Crazy to think about it, but the holiday season is nearly upon us, and in less than two weeks we’ll be stuffing ourselves with turkey (and stuffing). If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll not only have to think about turkey and stuffing, but also what the table looks like.

If the thought of decorating is your least favorite part of the holiday, candles are always a good bet. Like my Aunt Dixie says, the beauty of tea lights and other low candles is that they add charm without blocking the view of the diners, who might like to see and talk to each other.

So, I’ve pulled together some clever ideas for decorating with candles. Not only are they seriously easy, but there are no real artistic skills required. You’re welcome!

Tea lights in apples

tea lights in apples

All this easy peasy centerpiece requires is as many apples as you'd like, in whatever color you like, and a bag or two of tea lights, always available in craft stores or Ikea.

It's helpful to create a circle template to cut just the right size hole in the apple. Trace around the base of a tea light onto a piece of light weight cardboard and cut around the circle. Then draw around that directly onto the apple, or cut around it with a sharp knife.

You can then place the apples on trays, pedestals, runners or chargers to finish off your lovely table.

Gourds with tea lights

A variation on a theme. You could try this with other fruits and vegetables or things like tree branches, but then you get into drills and special bits and we're only into the easy stuff today!

Wrapped candles

candles wrapped with leaves

Pick up some real leaves from the yard (if they're not mush by now) or some artificial fall leaves from the dollar store and tie them onto candles with a little jute and you're DONE.

If leaves aren't your thing, you could try wrapping them with cinnamon sticks, twigs from mossy trees, even green beans! Just about anything fun you can come up with. If you're wrapping a candle with multiples like this, use a glue gun to attach them to the candle first to make it easier.

"Floating" candles

Technically the candles aren't floating, the cranberries are. Fill mason jars, in this case, with a few sprigs of rosemary, a large orange slice, fresh cranberries and then top off with water. The cranberries will float and you can set the candle right on top. There's a little video tutorial here.

Fill your jars with whatever you like, just make sure that you've got something that will float to the top to use as the candle platform.

Loaded candle holders

candle holders wth nuts

These candle holders are filled with hazelnuts, but you can use whatever strikes your fancy: unpopped popcorn, cranberries, candy corn, pebbles, jelly beans, or my favorite...


If you use something fragrant like coffee beans in the candle holder, the warmth will release the scent of whatever you're using, and your room will smell divine when your company walks in the door.

I like using tea lights and other low candles on a dinner table, because they add charm without blocking the view of the diners, who might like to see and talk to each other.

Eliminate some holiday stress with these simple ideas for decorating with candles and tea lights.

Hope you're inspired to have a lovely Thanksgiving!


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