Picture of Laser Cut Candle Holders
Inspired by those awesome Moroccan cutout lanterns, I made a set of three laser cut candle holders, perfect for small votive candles or tea lights.  All the laser cutting for the project was done at TechShop SF
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Step 1: 3D Modeling

Picture of 3D Modeling
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I modeled the candle holders in AutoCAD by drawing two boxes and subtracting the inner volume from the outer box.  I exported this shape from AutoCAD as a single stl file.  I've attached the dwg and stl files below, the candle holder measures 3"x3" and 4" tall.

I imported the stl file into 123D Make, a free app that lets you prepare your 3d files for laser cutting.  I'm using a new preview version of 123D Make that is not available to the public yet, so I had a lot of control over the type of joints to use for my candle holders.  The public version of 123D Make will be getting regular updates in the coming moths, so hopefully you will be able to use these features soon too!

In 123D Make, I set the joint type to finger joint with 11 fingers for each joint.  I specified the dimensions of my material and 123D Make created 2D vector files with the correct finger size and fit them onto sheets for laser cutting.

Step 2: Adding Cut-Out Patterns

Picture of Adding Cut-Out Patterns
I imported the eps files from 123D Make into Corel Draw and drew in some patterns on the four walls of the candle holders.  I made the cut-outs fairly detailed, I'm hoping they will cast some interesting shadows.  The image above shows the final file I sent to the laser cutter (I've also attached this below).

Step 3: Laser Cutting

Picture of Laser Cutting
I cut out my parts out of 1/4" (0.24" to be specific) plywood on an Epilog120 laser cutter at TechShop SF.  If you do not have access to a laser cutter, consider using an online fabrication service like Ponoko.
dk2k made it!9 months ago

Hi Folks,

I've laser cut a similar "web" candle handler. The details were sandpapered, covered with woodstain and varnished
File was taken from here:

Material: 6 mm plywood

Incujams1 year ago
Thanks for the reply! Project currently in process!
Incujams1 year ago
Great design! By chance, do you have this in a downloadable dxf file?
amandaghassaei (author)  Incujams1 year ago

sorry, I was using corel at the time. You can save the cdr as an ai file using corel and from there I think you can save a dxf in illustrator. sorry about that!

I am also making lanterns and hope someone can make a recommendation for a non toxic ply wood that wouldn't off-gas when exposed to the heat of the candle flame?

drusilla1 year ago
Love this design. I added just a standard tea-candle sized hole to the bottom of the candle holder, so that the candle can be lit first and the decorative holder placed on top after.

Here's a photo of them:
amandaghassaei (author)  drusilla1 year ago
great idea!
pippi462 years ago
Hi very nice job, compliments.
I would like to customize one with my company and put on my website, also mentioning your name and link to your web.
The candle size is 3.11 x 3.11 x h. 2.9
Would you contact me at and let me know how much does it cost
tgirard2 years ago
Just made the squares and Diamonds on my new FS hobby Laser. All I had was a sheet of 3/16" plywood from Orchard (.210") I simply scaled to 90% and the pieces were tight enough to just press fit together. I'm looking for a cool TIKI bmp for my next set. Thanks again :)
amandaghassaei (author)  tgirard2 years ago
nice! do you have any pics you could post?
blurry742 years ago
They do look good, & we all have laser cutters lying around.
What is the thickness of the material being used to cut these from? I could work backwards from the design files, but you may have built-in additional tolerances (or perhaps tighter tolerances for more of a friction fit) that would not be obvious from doing measurements of the tabs and slots to ascertain your original intent for material specs. Thank you for sharing!
amandaghassaei (author)  craigthecoder2 years ago
Thanks for the comment! I used 0.24" plywood.
Cool. Thanks, Amanda.
Jayefuu2 years ago
Amanda these are beautiful!
Jayefuu Jayefuu2 years ago
(did you do any acrylic ones?)
amandaghassaei (author)  Jayefuu2 years ago
thanks! no, haven't done any in acrylic. I think I'm going to do another similar project for a light bulb, considering using acrylic for that.
sshpak2 years ago
yea.. it is sooo easy.. (especially if you have laser cutter)
randofo sshpak2 years ago
You can use an online service like if you don't have a laser cutter.
I didn't know you made these! So awesome!