How to Decorate Candles

How to Decorate Candles

A few candles can light up a room with their warm glow, but they add even more to your decor with a few unique, pretty embellishments. With a some glue, a few decorations, and lots of creativity, you can transform a plain candle into the centerpiece of your table.


[Edit]Decorating with Glitter

  1. Place paper on the areas you dont want to glitter. You can wrap strips of tissue paper around the candle and tie them in place, or tape down individual pieces to create different designs. Plan out what you want your candle to look like, then tie down or attach the paper with Scotch tape to start the decorating process.[1]

    Decorate Candles Step 1 Version 5.jpg
  2. Brush Mod Podge on the areas you want to cover. Use a paintbrush or a crafting brush to spread a thin, even layer of Mod Podge on the candle. You can paint over the edges of the paper to ensure full coverage, but try not to cover the paper completely.[2]

    • If you dont have Mod Podge, you can make your own or use regular liquid glue, although the glitter may not stay on as long.
  3. Sprinkle glitter over the candle. Thick coats of glitter look best on candles, making the glitter look neater and more professional. You shouldnt be able to see any of the candle surface underneath. Youll get glitter on your work surface, so put down newspapers beforehand to catch it. Tap the bottom of the candle gently against the surface when youre done to knock off any extra glitter.[3]

    • Match the glitter color to your candle and your event. You might pair red glitter with a white candle for the holidays, for example, or put black glitter on an orange candle for Halloween.
  4. Let the candle dry, then seal it with Mod Podge sealer. Leave the candle standing up on your work surface overnight to dry. When its dry, remove the paper cut outs and spray the glitter with Mod Podge clear sealer to help it stay on longer.[4]
    Decorate Candles Step 4 Version 5.jpg

[Edit]Painting Candles

  1. Clean the candle surface with rubbing alcohol to remove any dust. Dampen a lint-free cloth with rubbing alcohol. Wipe the surface of the candle with it to prepare it for painting.[5]

  2. Dab your candle with candle varnish and let it dry overnight. Wet a makeup sponge with candle and soap colors varnish, then dab it across the surface of the candle in an even, smooth coat. Let it set overnight.[6]

    • Varnish prepares your candle for paint, keeping the paint in place and protecting it from wear and tear.
    • You can find the varnish online or in craft stores.
  3. Mark off the areas you dont want to paint with tape or rubber bands. If you dont want to paint your whole candle, you can make stripes or designs with painters tape or rubber bands. Press the paint or rubber bands flush against the candle to make them easy to paint around.[7]

  4. Paint the candle with acrylic paint. Use acrylic paint and a thin paintbrush to paint your candle in a smooth, even layer. If youre painting with different colors, paint all of the sections in one color before rinsing your brush and moving onto the next, or use separate brushes.[8]

    • Set down a newspaper on your painting surface to keep it clean.
  5. Let it dry overnight and use varnish to give it a shiny finish. Check your candle the next day. If you can see the candle through the paint, apply another coat. Let it dry again, then remove the tape. To prevent the paint from chipping and give it a glossy appearance, you can dab an even coat of varnish over the entire candle.[9]
    Decorate Candles Step 9 Version 4.jpg

[Edit]Decorating with Images on Tissue Paper

  1. Print a photo onto white tissue paper. Cut a sheet of white or transparent tissue paper just smaller than a sheet of printer paper. Then, tape it onto the printer paper, shiny side down. Feed the paper into the printer so that your image prints onto the tissue side.[10]
    Decorate Candles Step 10 Version 3.jpg
    • Most printers flip the paper over before printing, so youll need to place your paper tissue side-down. Check your printers instructions to make sure.
    • You can transfer a photo, an illustration, or even a few words onto your candle.
  2. Cut out the picture. Use regular scissors to cut the picture out of the tissue paper. Leave a thin border around the edges, and make sure that your picture isnt too big to fit completely on the side of your candle.[11]

  3. Place the picture on the candle and wrap wax paper around it. Wrap the picture around your candle so that its flush against it on all sides. Wrap a piece of wax paper tightly around it, covering the whole candle.[12]

    • Make sure there are no creases in the wax paper.
  4. Apply a heat tool, like a hair dryer or heat gun, to the picture. Run an embossing heat gun over the image to embed it into the candle. Watch the ink as you heat ityou should be able to see it coming through darker and more clearly, which means its done.[13]

    • If you dont have a heat gun, use a hair dryer on the hottest setting. Use the diffuser attachment or wear gloves to protect your hands from the heat.
  5. Peel off the wax paper gently and throw it away. Slowly and gently pull away the wax paper, like youre peeling away a temporary tattoo. The picture should stay behind as a unique candle decoration.[14]
    Decorate Candles Step 14.jpg

[Edit]Embellishing Candles with Cute Items

  1. Bedazzle your candles with plastic jewels. Buy rhinestones or plastic jewels at a craft store and use super glue to attach them to your candle. Arrange them in a cool pattern or fun design, or simply sprinkle them across the candle randomly. Use matching colors on a plain candle for the best look.[15]
    Decorate Candles Step 15.jpg
    • You can also buy rhinestones with sticky backs that can attach directly to the candle.
  2. Ring your candle with cinnamon sticks for a homey look and sweet scent. Buy enough cinnamon sticks to surround the candle. Place a small dot of hot glue on the back of each and press it against the candle, placing it vertically with the bottom in line with the bottom of the candle. Continue all the way around the candle, then tie a piece of ribbon around them for decoration.[16]
    Decorate Candles Step 16.jpg
    • You can embellish it even more with a sprig of holly or cranberries.
  3. Use a ribbon to tie flowers onto your candle. For a simple, pretty decoration, use matching ribbon to tie a real or fake flower to the outside of your candle. You can even layer on multiple ribbons for a fancier look.[17]
    Decorate Candles Step 17.jpg
    • Consider removing the flowers or cutting them shorter as the candle burns down.
  4. Wind bright yarn or fabric around the candle for a striped look. Choose a ribbon or yarn that matches or offsets your candle color, then twirl it around the candle to create a striped, candy cane effect. Tilting the ribbon at an angle, so that the stripes are slanting diagonally across the candle, makes it look even more professional.[18]
    Decorate Candles Step 18.jpg
  5. Glue on seashells and sand for a beachy vibe. Use a paintbrush to spread Mod Podge or liquid glue on the bottom half or third of your candle. Roll it through beach sand, then let it dry overnight. When its done, glue a shell just above the sand, or tie it on with twine or string.[19]
    Decorate Candles Step 19.jpg
    • This method looks best with a plain white or cream candle.
    • You can add as many seashells as you like.

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