DIY Laced Cement Votive

By Claire of Fellow Fellow
Hi there, it’s Claire from Fellow Fellow here! I’ve got a really cute DIY for you today! A laced cement votive, perfect for summer nights spent outdoors.

Keep reading to see the full tutorial after the jump!

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Cement powder
– Paper cups to mix cement in
– Wooden sticks to stir cement mix
– Coins
– Petroleum Jelly (or cooking spray) – Optional (I’m not sure how much it helps)
– Sticker tape (like:,,
– A disposable container (plastic, or paper cup) for the outside of your votive
– A smaller disposable container (I used a medicine cup), big enough to hold a tea light
– Sandpaper
– Pliers

A few tips:
– It’s best to keep the outside container fairly small (mine was about 2.5″ diameter) and made from either plastic, or paper (a paper cup works well). It shouldn’t be anything precious as it will have to be cut/torn off at the end. If you’re planning to use a wide sticker tape, the outer container works best if it’s a straight cylinder (not tapered). A thin sticker works fine on a tapered container.
– Make sure the outer container is fairly tall. You don’t want to fill all the way to the top with cement.
– The inside container should be smaller than the outside one, and works best if it’s tapered (mine was 1 3/4″ top diameter). I’m not sure why, but it I tried both and the tapered one was far easier to remove at the end. Also having any plastic notches on the inside of the cup would be an advantage when trying to pull it out at the end.
– I only used cement powder, without any rocks or sand. It won’t make the finished product as strong as normal cement, but is smoother. You could always try adding the extra elements to make your votives stronger.

Step 1.
Take your larger disposable container and cut the sticker tape to fit around the circumference of the container. If you want to use petroleum jelly or cooking spray to lubricate the inside of the container, now is the time. I tried both with and without, and didn’t find any difference. Peel the sticker off, and wrap it around the inside of your container (closer to the bottom of your container).

Step 2.
Using one of your paper cups, mix some of the cement with water. Mix well with your wooden stick until it’s a smooth paste (around the consistency of soft ice cream). The quantity you’ll need depends on the size of the container you want to make your votive out of. I probably mixed up enough to fill 2/3 of the paper cup. It’s better to make a bit more so you don’t have to mix more half way through the process.

Step 3.
If you want to also lubricate the outside of your smaller container, do so now. Pour / scoop cement into your larger container, until it covers your sticker. Then take your smaller container, and put a couple of coins inside. Push the smaller container into the cement, until the top of it is flush with the top of the cement. Try to keep it centered. Put more coins into the smaller container to weigh it down, until it can stay in place without you holding it.

Step 4.
Walk away! Leave it sit for 24 hours.

Step 5.
After your votive has been setting for 24 hours, you should be able to cut/tear off the outer container. Peel off the sticker, and use the pliers to get the smaller container out (this can be tricky!). Once both containers have been removed, let the votive sit and dry for another 12 hours or so.

Step 6.
Once your votive is dry, turn it over onto some sand paper, and sand the top rim until it’s even and flat. Put a candle in it and light it.. then stand back and admire your work 🙂


Great idea.some might want to try the fabric shop for vinyl tablecloth with a textured surface to line large cup. Have fun.

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Portland cement is just the cement powder, no gravel/rocks in its mix. Any hardware store will have it.

I think I will use these for my small succulents and give them as gifts. Thanks for the tutorial!

You could add pigment powder and liquid strengthener to the concrete powder mix to achieve colors and more strength. These are available at all hardware stores and you would need only small amounts.

I really like this. But how about using a higher inside cup, so you won’t have to push it flush to the edge of the cement. That’ll make it a lot easier to remove it after drying (I think), because you have something to hold on to.

These are lovely! Did I miss the part where you explained how to do the one in the back, with the triangles? Are those just from a different style cup?


I bet she cut into the votive after it had cured for 24 hrs., but was still not fully dry. Like, for example, when you tear off the outer cup and take out the inner cup, then take an exacto knife or a crafting knife and etch in your design. She may not have included that tutorial because it’s not as foolproof or as easy. Hope that helps!

Hi Rachel, the votive at the back was just done using a different cup.. it was just a disposable drinking cup in that pattern, so it was really easy!

Wow, this one is great! I’m always intimidated by cement but you make it so doable

Great idea and super tutorial 🙂
But how do I make sure to get hold of the right sticker tape ?? (besides the links you kindly enclosed)
I take it, the tape has to have some kind of relief structure to be able to make impression in the cement !!

Hi Mette, yes finding one that has texture to it is key.. no point just using a printed tape. The ones I have are like a thin plastic lace, which have cutouts that give the pattern in the cement. If you can’t find it in sticker form, you could always try gluing something relatively thin (paper lace, trim, real lace?) inside your container instead.

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