This past spring I discovered that you could, in fact, use a paper punch to cut tissue paper. Way back when, I saw a project online using the punched paper, and I was pretty miffed when I couldn't get it to work. But I made a heart shaped bowl with heart shaped paper decoupaged onto it with pretty good success. So, when I found some new paper punches on sale at Tuesday Morning, I knew I had to try it again.
Tuesday Morning had a good selection of Martha Stewart punches. Even this big butterfly punch (which makes a 1 1/2 inch butterfly) was only $4.99. What I learned from the last project was that the only way you can get the tissue paper to work with a paper punch is to fold it so you are punching multiple layers at once. How many layers it will punch depends on the punch. So there will be some trial and error. Sometimes it feels like you've folded too much, only to find out that the paper will only punch once you've folded it some more. So, if at first you don't succeed, try different thicknesses until it works.
After I had punched out some larger butterflies, I grabbed a smaller punch (this time a Fiskars punch) to make some smaller butterflies to hang out with the bigger ones. I ended up punching small and large butterflies in three different colors. Then I grabbed my mod podge and a foam brush.
Next, I applied a very thin coat of mod podge and gently tapped the butterfly onto the glue. Don't try to move it or press it too hard, it will probably rip or tear. Just get it onto the glue as best as you can. Try to keep your fingers as dry as possible during this process so there's less of a chance that your fingers will stick to the paper and tear it.
I moved around the candle holder applying a thin layer of glue and tapping the butterflies onto the glue. I placed one large butterfly and then two smaller butterflies of the other two colors and repeated until I had them sprinkled almost all over. I then added 2 or 3 more small butterflies in any places there were gaps.
Then I put the candle holders down and walked away from them. I let them dry overnight, but letting them dry until the glue is completely clear should be enough to keep them from ripping easily when applying the seal coat.
The next day I carefully painted a thin layer of mod podge over the entire candle holder, making sure to glue down any loose edges that may not have gotten glued down well when applying the fragile paper. I paid special attention to getting the brush strokes even and all in one direction in the final coat since they'd be visible when they dried.
This is the first time I've ever mod podged tissue paper on glass and didn't cover the entire surface. I kind of like the glossy hazy look that the glass takes on once the mod podge dries. It will look beautiful with a candle glowing through it.