Downloadable Instructions for Decoupage Candles    
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How to Put Pictures
Onto Candles

Create your own personalized candles, using easy decoupage techniques: print your favourite photographs onto ordinary typing paper, and fix them onto the candle with wax paper; melt designs cut out of paper napkins onto a candle; stick water transfers onto a candle. All of these methods work without using glue. Finish the candles off by overdipping them with plain paraffin wax, or a glossy sealer wax.

The biggest enemy of this type of diy decoupage? Unsightly air bubbles. It might take numerous attempts before you get smooth and flawless results, without uneven lumps and bumps on the surface of your candles. Practise transferring spare, leftover pieces of paper onto a candle first, before you attach your final paper.

Are Decoupage Candles Safe?

No, these candles are a HUGE fire hazard. For your safety, do the following before burning: peel back the paper stickers, as the candle burns down, before the flame reaches them. Preferably, when making these candles, stick the decorations onto the bottom halves of the candles, or onto larger round or square pillar candles, at least 10cm (4") in diameter. Candles these size generally burn down the center, and the flames won't reach the paper.

Suitable Paper Types for Dècoupaging Candles:

Putting Paper Designs onto a Candle with Waxed Paper

Candle decoupaged with strawberry design You can apply a variety of different papers to a candle. Some ideas: your own paper prints; pieces of wrapping paper; dècoupage paper cut-outs; or thin, flexible greeting cards. Overdip with clear glossy wax at 103°C (217°F), or dunk the candle into paraffin wax for 3 seconds.

Follow the steps below, for the pictured candle:

An ivory pillar candle, 8.5 x 20cm (3.4 x 8")

Decoupage paper with strawberry designs

A sheet of wax paper

A hairdryer

Paraffin wax for overdipping

An old coffee tin for overdipping


1. Cut a motif from the paper with a sharp scissors.

2. Position the design on the candle.

3. Wrap the candle in the wax paper with the waxy side on the design.
Decoupaging candle with wax paper

4. Blow dry the designs onto the candle. Stop every now and again, and rub over the design with your fingertips to dispel any bubbles. Keep this up until the wax paper's completely transparent, and the design's firmly attached to the surface of the candle. Too hot to handle? Keep the wax paper in place with an elastic band, or piece of string, so your hands don't take the full heat of the blow dryer.

5. Leave the wax paper on the candle until cool. Peel it off slowly.

6. Heat the paraffin wax to 93°C, (199.4°F). Submerge the candle for 3 seconds. Pull it out quickly, (to avoid drip lines forming on the surface). For tall candles, you can dip half the candle's length, wait one minute, turn it over, and dip the other half.

7. Neaten the base of the candle with a hot iron, or in a pan on the stove.

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Sticking Water Transfers onto Candles

Water transfers, specially made for candles, come in thousands of designs, suitable for decorating special occasions, weddings, corporate events, seasonal holidays, gifts, and more.

Soak each transfer in water for 30 seconds. Position the design onto your candle. Peel back the base, and stick it onto the candle. Leave to dry. Pleased with the results? Leave it as is. Feel like some extra gloss? Do a 3-second paraffin wax dip.

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Attaching Designs from Paper Napkins onto a Candle

Pillar candle with rose decoupage Paper napkins come decorated with photos, or beautiful handpainted designs, suitable for any occasion. Remove the two plain bottom layers of tissue paper, and adhere only the decorated top layer to the candle. Master this technique, and enjoy the flawless finish, and decorative effects, this process gives your candles.

You'll need:

A pillar candle

A decorative paper napkin

Two spoons

Clear overdipping wax

A scissors

A dipping can taller than your candle, (old coffee tins work very well)


1. Start melting the wax in your chosen dipping can.

Fixing paper napkin to candle with heated spoon 2. Cut the designs out of the paper napkin.

3. Heat the spoons on a stove-plate. You'll work with one, while the other stays warm.

4. Position the design onto the candle, and working from the center outwards, rub the hot spoon over the design, melting and fixing it onto the candle. Go over it again and again, eliminating all air bubbles.

5. When the dipping wax reaches 93°C, (199°F), submerge the candle slowly, keep it in the wax for 3 seconds, and pull it out quickly.

6. Warm an old pan up on the stovetop, and neaten the base of the candle in it.

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