In The craft Room 23 november 2013

It seems decorating candles is very popular at the moment, must be something to do with Christmas?

I had promised the group last week that we would have a go at decorating candles this week and asked them to look out any old candles to bring with them to practice on. I had spotted some decent sized candles while shopping in Morrisons so thought I would get some when shopping this week and just  managed to get the last dozen in the store. I think a few other people may have had the same idea, and this was before Barbara Gray mentioned it on her blog, lol

As I had a full house this week I needed to keep it simple,can you imagine this scene with water pots and paints as well?


so I decided to show them a basic technique just using different types of inks which they could then expand on,

Take a piece of white tissue paper (has anybody tried it with different colours?) and place a mask (we made some masks from spellbinder Christmas die shapes, which  included stars, trees and baubles, to  give an outline shape to work with) over the top


Ink the background with a brush  or you could use cut and dry foam very lightly just to give a hint of colour.

I have not managed to acquire the Clarity Brushes yet! but I do have a couple of Inkylicious double ended ones and thanks to a heads up from one of Lisa’s FB friends now have a set of shaving brushes from Wilkinsons at 60p each which work just as well, but I digress we will have to discuss brushes another time

Take a detail stamp ie snowflakes and using the same ink randomly stamp all over the background. We used Distress inks (because that is what I have a drawer full of) but Adirondacks or any dye based ink will work just as well  (if the detail stamp is very fine or if using words you could use a permanent dye based ink to get a crisper image ie memento, archival, versafine,)


Now the tricky bit,  after cutting  around the image (no need to be to precise)  and placing  it in position on a candle , wrap a piece of greaseproof/ parchment/wax paper (all seem to work), around the candle with extra left to hold onto.

Now using heat gun (We found that The ranger heat gun did not work as well as the more directional ones) heat where the image is keeping the nozzle moving and working from the outside in, you should see a “change” similar to when using embossing powders, it doesn’t take long. If you are not sure have a look too little is better than too much heat as you can always go back over it again (but not if it its melted away) Peel away the greaseproof paper and let it cool before handling, as you don’t want your finger imprints in the wax,

It takes a bit of practice not to melt the candle, hence the practice on old candles first, but you soon get the hang of it.

Now its time to decorate with ribbons, jewels, stickles or other glitter glue (you can use glue and glitter but it can be messy and the glitter can stick to the wax where you don’t want it ) or anything else that takes your fancy


I rather like the effect you get with this technique, simple but effective. The rest of the group then got practice ( still scrapping the wax off the work tops) and  play around with different ideas  while I made the refreshments (no volunteers ). Think I may be spoiling them, we had  mint chocolate chip cupcakes this week ( I will set up a recipe page I promise)


and here is what they managed to achieve by the end of the session

IMAG0344 IMAG0343 IMAG0339

Diane, Margery and Jackie s finished candles, all coming up with different variations of the basic technique with some lovely results

IMAG0342 IMAG0346 IMAG0345

These are Maureen and Lisa’s candles, I particularly liked their use of colours, really lovely,  Lisa’s is just the one candle I just had to show both sides

but I think the honours for the day have to go to Jenna, who although she didn’t quite follow the brief, turned out a stunning peice of work by zentangling onto the tissue paper using  Sakura miron pen.


To unwind after the stress  of the afternoon ( I love it, really I do) I had a bit of a play after they had all gone

I varied the basic method slightly using one of Barbara Gray’s background building techniques and  just using  distress inks and a couple of Clarity xmas miniature stamps came up with this.

I will post a separate quick  tutorial for this.


There are so many different ways you can do this, I here I have  used H2Os with and IndigoBlu xmas stamp set,but most water based paints will work well just dont have to wet or the tissue paper will disintegrate.


If you go onto Barbara Gray’s blog, she has a tutorial using mica powders and embossing powders which I am going to have to try. I also need to have a go with flitter glue and gilding flakes too

Just get yourself some candles, see what you have in your stash, and have some fun!


1 Comment

  1. Lisa

    What a fab afternoon, really enjoyed the candle session, everyone’s candles looked great , lots of inspiration thank you x

    Ps. Mint choc cupcakes absolutely gorgeous!

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