recently I have been making a few decorated candles... and after posting them up on the Docrafts site I saw many comments about how people would love to try but didnt know how...or that they have tried and failed to get a good result. So ive decided to do a tutorial on how I do them. Now this might be different to how others do it but this is my way and how i get the best results xx
first of all a list of ingredients.. you will need
- candles. You can buy church candles in most supermarkets these days or in shops such as poundstretchers, Lidls, wilkinsons, Dunelm etc etc. Candle that have been dipped in a colour are not suitable for this and look out for candles that look cream BUT are actually white with a cream dip covering (they can be used but only if you have got the hang of things and can melt quickly or you get holes in the coating and can see the white underneath. so look for candles that are just cream wax if you can get them (I know for instance that wilkinsons candles are cream coated ! )
- greaseproof paper. this is the bog standard stuff you use in cakebaking to line cake tins, it is brown in colour and doesnt have a waxy coating - you dont need wax paper
- a heat gun !! or at the very best a hot hairdryer (although ive not tried it with a hairdryer !)
- white tissue paper. the sort you wrap gifts in - I buy mine in packs from the Range but the stuff you can buy in gift shops in the wrapping paper dept is the same if you can get it in white!! also ask your local florist as they might have some.
- cellotape - for sticking down the tissue and holding down the greasepaper (not wholly necessary but helps stops burnt fingers)
- a piece of card - bog standard A4 thin card that will go through a printer
- printer OR stamps and a colouring medium
- soft cloth - for buffing up candle afterwards
Wrap the tissue over the card and tape down onto the back making sure the tissue is taught and that there are no bits of tissue sticking up on the corners as this might snag in the printer and tear the tissue - thats if you are printing an image.
Now find your desired image - if its a stamp then stamp onto the tissue and colour with your prefered medium. bear in mind that ink pens may run in the tissue so colour carefully. pencils wont run but the colour may not be bright enough to stand out once set in wax.
If using a printer you can get fantastic result with vibrantly coloured images - even photographs or family or pets - the worlds your oyster there!... make sure you place your tissued card into the printer the correct way up so that the tissue is on the printed side (easy mistake I know from experience here !) Before printing bear in mind how big your image needs to be... it needs to be slightly smaller than the hight of the flat surface of the candle and not too wide that it overlaps round the candle. I measure the candles hight and use word to shrink the image down to the correct measurement to make sure using the ruler guide on the side of the page.
When you have succesfully printed your image leave for a second to dry. dont be worried if the tissue looks slighty puckered to start with - its just because the ink is still wet and it wont effect the result. carefully so as not to tear the tissue cut around the image leaving a slight overlap of tissue round the edge of your image.
Now its time to wrap the candle in greaseproof paper. Now some people just grab the paper at the back and hold on tight BUT if not careful you can end up with crinkles in the paper as shown above... this is not good because when the wax melts it fills the crinkles and you end up with a crinkly candle ! eeek ! also it ties up one of your hands as you need to keep the pressure on and sometimes you can heat up your fingers ouch.
What i do is hold the paper tight then cut off the excess leaving a small overlap
then i pull the paper as tight as I can (important) and use tape to secure it
Then i carefully mould the paper round the bottom and tape securely and also twist the top careful not to make wrinkles in the paper because the wax will fill these remember !
Now for the tricky bit.... the heating. make sure you have good light so you can see what your doing. First of all heat your gun up so its running on full blast. then bring the gun to the first edge of your tissue about an inch away from the surface. watch your image under the greaseproof... when the wax starts to melt you should see the image go darker - as soon as this happens slowly move across your image from one side to the other till you see all of the image go dark. DO NOT hover too long over one point because you will get a dent in your candle as the wax will melt too much from that point. Remember to go slightly over the edge of your image so you catch all of the tissue. Also be carefull not to squeeze your candle too tight with your fingers as you might dent it while the wax is still moulten. the Greaseproof is what keep the wax in shape thats why it is important the paper is tight and completely flat. it is normal at times for some of the wax to sweat through the greaseproof so if you see that happen dont worry.
when all of your image is dark turn off your heat gun and leave the candle to cool for a minute or two. this allows the wax to re-harden. Now you can remove the greaseproof paper. If at this point you see some of the tissue still on the surface then re-wrap the candle and very carefully reheat making sure you dont hover too long over the area so you dont overmelt the wax
To start with your image will look dull and you may have some tags of wax at the top and bottom of the candle like in the image above.... this is easily dealt with.
Take a soft cloth and gently rub the wax tabs and they will simply fall off... then polish the edges with the cloth and any slight bumps will just reform into the candle and dissapear.
If wanted you can now add some extra touches to your candle such as some stickles glitter or maybe the odd gem or two
So here is my finished candle which i have made for my mantlepiece candle sticks. I have done another for the one on the other end of the mantlepiece and I reversed the image so that I have a matching pair facing inwards
You can also wrap your candles in celephane especially if they are to be used as a gift. I use card bags which i cut the top / botton and one side off.. then i tightly wrap the candle in it and secure the bottom with tape and the top i spin round the wick and tie off with a bit of wire to secure. A lovely bow tied around the wick finishes it off beautifully and you can even add dangling charms or a gift tag...
Here are some others i have done which have been wrapped in just this way
Thank you for looking at my tutorial xx if you find this useful please leave me a coment as I love to read them and I would love to know if you make anything following my instructions xx