Decorative Insert for Glass Container Project

This project is tailored for the 3-inch candleholder that is currently sold by Dollar Tree.

These containers are sturdy and quite heavy for their size, but the bottom is fairly smooth.  Depending on your shelf surface, it might slide if used to hold up a long series of game cases or cartridges.  If so, consider gluing a square of felt or grippy shelf liner to the bottom.  Dollar Tree also sells decorative glass beads that could be used to add weight, but I believe the shelf liner should be sufficient in most cases.

When I set about to design this template, I was delighted to find that the inside dimensions fit perfectly to a standard sheet of letter paper.  The designs below are already sized to fit.  When printing, ensure that the image is printed at 100% of the original size.  I used standard printer paper.  Cardstock would be fine, but I didn’t find it to be a necessity.

Standard ‘vessel’ inserts as seen in the video:

More standard vessel style designs:


Good for movie shelves as well:

Inverted ‘pedestal’ designs:

‘Hybrid’ designs (one side vessel, other side pedestal):

Blank Templates:

Editing Tips:

Some designs can simply be inserted and trimmed into the template without any transforming, see the family photo and logo samples above.  But for most designs, I needed to create each face of the insert separately before combining them into one image.

The ‘Segment Shape’ shown in the lower corner of the template shows the size and shape of each of the four faces.  There are small black dots at each corner.  I use these as anchor points when I’m using a transform tool (perspective tool in Gimp 2.10).  For instance, to stretch a square into the trapezoidal shape need, I’d stretch each corner to cover the dots and then I know I’ve made the correct shape.

Once you’ve shaped all four of the images you need for your faces, rotate each one to the labeled degree that you need for that face.  Arrange them to fit within the template outline and try to reduce gaps at the seams.  It is very unlikely that every side and edge will line up exactly, but any tiny discrepancies should be unnoticeable.

If you create a cool design, I’d love to see it!  If you have an idea for one, let me know.  I’d love to add your submissions to this page.


P.S.  Originally, I was going to also include templates for a tumbler style candleholder that Dollar Tree also sells.


The sides seem parallel, so a simple straight slip of paper would make a perfect insert, right?  Well actually, the sides draw in towards the bottom, so an insert needs to be on an arc to fit properly.  I worked one up, but ultimately I wasn’t as happy with the results.

The glass curve makes it so that only the front and center part of the image has any visual impact.  I never dialed-in the exact arc necessary; mine is pretty close, but the two ends don’t meet up perfectly.  One benefit is that two fit on a page.  Even though I abandoned this part of the project, instead of letting that work go to waste, I’ll offer it to you here as well.  If you make anything cool, let me know.  etankstatic