This article is very long, if you want to go straight to the DIY candle designs just scroll down.
DIY-ing things at home is fun and exciting to do. You just need to give it extra effort, add a lot of patience, and an endless supply of creativity and imagination. Most DIYs use recyclable materials or the things you already have at home, buy from craft stores near your place, or get them inexpensively at yard sales.
There is no specific time to start a DIY project. Every day is a good time to start. Sudden inspiration may come to you as you are relaxing inside your house absentmindedly looking at random items in your kitchen or garage. There is no specific moment when a magnificent idea comes to you. You may be walking or jogging along a path when you notice the natural arrangement of stones along the side of the road or the unusual hues in the sky and it inspires you. After all, beauty is all around you. You just need to open your eyes at all the possibilities nature invites you to create beauty.
Like a moth to a flame, we are fascinated by bright lights and DIY-ing candles is one way of satisfying this fascination. DIY candles are inexpensive and easy to make. You can store them for personal use or use them for any occasion—birthdays, thanksgiving, Christmas, homecomings, valentines, weddings, and other celebrations. They can also be given away as tokens or gifts to your family, friends, and loved ones. Given slight adjustments, they are appropriate for any occasion. The possibilities for DIY candles are endless.
Decorative candle lights make any day cozier and nostalgic at the same time. To make it more interesting, one of the main advantages of using candles as a decorative accessory is that they are inexpensive, can be purchased easily, and come in a wide variety of colors, designs, and scents. Combining and arranging various scents and colors can also make your home pleasant and special.
- Did you know that the earliest surviving candles originating from China were made from whale fat?
In the 13th century, candle making had become a craft in England and France. Candlemakers or Chandlers went from house to house to collect the kitchen fats saved for the purpose, made and sold the resulting candles from small candle shops.
- Did you know that candles have been used as clocks by many different cultures?
Candles were an effective way of keeping time on a cloudy day or at night. Some candles were marked with evenly spaced lines while some used different colored to signify hours.
- Did you know that in India, they celebrate Diwali which is known as the Festival of Lights?
The illuminated candles signify goodness in Hinduism. During this festival, candles and oil lamps burn throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil.
- Did you know that in Japan, candles are often used in temples, shrines and at festivals?
A Japanese traditional candle is made of wax extracted from the berries of the hazenoki (rhus) tree and its wick is made of Japanese paper. The smoke produced by Japanese candles is less oily because its materials are derived from plants and the melting candles give off a natural, pleasant scent.
- Did you know that candles can also be used in meditation and aromatherapy?
Meditation helps you relax and hasten self-healing. It is believed that candles light the spiritual path that every one of us travels.
Candles for Different Parts of Your Home
The warmth and beauty of candles need not be enjoyed only on your dining table. Decorative candles can also bring charm to many rooms in your home. Placing candles in your living room or bedroom in shades that coordinate with the color of your room is an inexpensive means of adding intimacy, elegance, and romance to your interiors. They create fabulous atmospheres that make a room welcoming and festive or relaxing and tranquil.
Placing decorative candles in the corners of your dining room gives a greater feeling of intimacy to your dinners. In the bath, candle use is considered a way of restoring calm and serenity. You can also use decorative candles to beautify your garden. Create a magical ambiance by illuminating your garden with candles.
Since everybody loves good celebrations and festive events, every once in a while, we celebrate and plan the whole process of getting the right trimmings and preparations whether it be for simple occasions or the extraordinary ones. Most people buy ready-made decorations and gifts for their events to save time and effort – for a less hassle preparation. And some choose to do it on their own and put extra effort to make it unique and exclusive for their family, friends, and loved ones.
There are lots of DIY gifts and decorations to choose from. However, nothing compares to decorative candle lights to help set a mood that adds warmth and intimacy to any moment you want to fondly remember.
Doing do it yourself decorative candle can be the hobby that surprisingly releases your artistic flair. It may turn out to be a lucrative business for you or an opportunity to discover yourself. Why not give it a go, then. Do not be discouraged if at first your products turn out different from what you expect. Try again and again. Be daring. Be bold. Be imaginative!
Decorative candles also make a great gift and décor accessories. Giving decorative and personalized candles nowadays is considered practical and chic because you are giving away something that you created which makes your gift more personal.
But enough of that! Now, it’s time for you to try your hands on doing your first candle. To start you up, let me teach you how to make an ordinary candle from old crayons and will suggest ideas on decorating it later.
Making Candles Out of Old Crayons
Things to use: old crayons, bowl, water, ice-cold water, knife, spoon, microwave or stove, moulder, cookie-cutter, non-stick spray, toothpick, pre-made wicks, coloured pens, and markers, blank stickers or papers
Step 1: Choose and unwrap the crayons.
Choose and combine the colours that you think would look good together in one candle. Unwrapped the crayons. Make sure that there are no pieces of paper on your crayons or your crayon shavings. If you have trouble peeling the crayon wrapper, place the old crayons in a bowl and put some ice-cold water in it. Let them sit for about 5 minutes. If the wrapper is still on, put the crayon vertically on a table. Get a knife (not super sharp) and gently slide it downwards on the crayon until you see part of the crayon. Peel it off after that.
Step 2: Melt the crayons.
Put 10-15 of the unwrapped crayons in a container. Bring the water to a soft simmer and let the crayon shavings melt slowly mixing them with a metal whisk occasionally to get the wax smooth. You can also microwave them for 2 minutes until it becomes smooth.
Step 3: Mold the crayons.
Remove the melted wax from the stove. Pour it immediately into a mould after they are melted because the wax will start to set up fast. You can use a metal cookie cutter or any other shaped container of your choice filling them up to the edges. Spray line your container with a non-stick spray before pouring. Let the candle set for 5 minutes then put the wick.
Step 4: Insert the wick.
Make a small hole in your half-set candle with a toothpick or a pointed crayon end. Insert a pre-made wick with a metal base and lightly press the wax around it with your finger. Adjust the wicks making sure they are centred. Leave about 1/2-1 inch of wick above the candle. Trim off the excess wax with a knife. Wait until the wax is completely cooled and hardened. Use a spoon or a knife to poke one side of the mould until the candle slides out.
Step 5: Design and name your candle.
Lastly, make your traditional design on the paper or sticker using coloured pens and markers. You might want to put your name or other things you want to name your crayon candle and stick it on your candle container to make it more personal.
And now we have a custom made crayon candle to give to your loved ones or for your personal use, and even to start up a business.
Making Gel Candles
Gel wax is thickened mineral oil that is used to make slow-burning wax. It burns slower than the traditional waxes used to make candles and has a unique clear look. Gel wax is ideal to make if you want to embed objects into your decorative candle to make it more personal.
Things to use: gel wax, zinc wicks, glass container, hot glue, knife, essential oil or fragrance, liquid colour dye, thermometer, stove, oven or microwave, stainless steel pot, teaspoon, embeds like marbles, glitters, seashells, crystals, pebbles, jewels, pearls, etc., coloured pens and markers, pencil, blank papers or stickers.
Step 1: Cut the gel wax.
Cut the gel wax. Make sure you cut it into small pieces so it can melt faster and evenly.
Step 2: Place the wick.
Get the hot glue, zinc wicks, and glass container. Carefully put hot glue at the bottom centre of the container, stick the wick, and let it set.
Step 3: Melt the gel wax.
Get a stainless steel pot and place it on the stove over medium heat. Put the cut gel wax to melt. Place a reliable thermometer to make sure you maintain the heat at 110°C. Check it from time to time to ensure that the gel wax is the right level of temperature. Make sure that you do not let the temperature go up for more than 110°C to reach the right clarity of the gel. Let the gel wax melt until it thickens and smooth to the same consistency of liquid syrup.
Step 3. Add embedded objects.
Get the embedded objects of your choice. Dip them in the hot gel and place them on the glass container. Arrange the embedded objects as to how you would like to see them in your candle.
Step 4: Add colours.
Get the colour dye of your choice and add it to the melted gel wax a little at a time. Be careful in putting the colour dye to achieve your desired colour. Make sure not to put too much dye colours to make your embedded objects visible. Be sure to use small objects only so as not to overwhelm your container.
Step 4: Add scents.
You can also add scents to your gel wax by choosing the essential oil of your choice. Put ½ teaspoon of it in the glass container of melted gel wax.
Step 5: Pour the gel wax.
Heat the glass container in the microwave or oven to about 71°C to reduce the appearance of bubbles on your gel candle. Now remove the glass container and place it on a level surface. Get a pen or a pencil. Pull the wick up and roll it over the pen or pencil to keep it straight. Make sure to keep it centred so take careful hold of it. Take your time and pour the gel wax gently, slowly, and carefully down the side. The gel temperature should be very hot to avoid getting bubbles.
Step 7: Set the candle.
Let the candle cool completely. Wait for 4 hours before you trim the wick for about ¼ inch at the end.
Now you have a custom made gel candle to give and share to your family and friends.
Light up your candles and enjoy the warmth they give. Whether it is for meditation or relaxation, in any part of your home, alone or with the company of family and friends. Let it be a topic of conversation among you. Who knows? The next decorative candle you might do will include one or two of your friends.
How to Make a DIY Scented Candle
Wax flakes, candle wicks, essential oils (any scent you want), liquid colour dye (optional), shot glass (any other glass container or tin container you want to use)
Scissors, pot or pan, pencil, hot glue, stove, glass container, a metal spoon
How to Make A Scented Candle
First step: Putting the wicks
Hot glue one end of the wick at the bottom centre part of the shot glass and then roll the other end on a pencil and put it at the top of the shot glass. Hold the pencil securely to keep it still. Set aside.
Second step: Melting the wax flakes
Fill half of the pan with water. Put the wax flakes on the glass container and pour it on the pan. Make sure that the water will not build up on the glass container level to avoid splashing the water onto the wax flakes. Place your stove on medium heat and stir the wax occasionally.
Third step: Adding colours and scents
Once the wax is liquefied, get the liquid colour dye and add in drops until you reach the shade of colour you want. Then add droplet amounts of the essential oil to the strength of the fragrance you like.
Fourth step: Pouring the melted wax
Get the shot glass with the wick you set up. Pull up the pencil with the wick still taped on it. Make sure you take care and secure hold of it to keep it centred and that the shot glass is placed in a good position. Slowly pour the melted wax on the shot glass up to ¾ full. Let the candle cool completely and then cut the wick to the exact length that fits your candle.
You may also consider using a tin container and make as many tea light candles as you can or use any candle mould to make plain and coloured candles that you can decorate afterwards.
Now that you have learned how to make your scented candle, It’s time to prep it up! Decorating is the best part of your DIY candle project. This will challenge your creativity and imagination. Your candle design will depend on where you are going to place it, who you will give it to, and what occasion it is for. Of course, you will have endless ideas that you can use for decorating your candles but let me share with you some of mine.
The simplest way to have a decorative candle is to make fun of the colours, arrange them and place them above something like a saucer, a plate, a fancy paper, a cloth, or even a round, mirror-like receptacle pictured below.
You may also look at the picture below. Look how I prepped it up just by putting the colored candles inside different kinds and sizes of clear glass containers. You may arrange at least five to seven candles at an angle of any room that you think fits it the most. Just play with the colors that you want to combine to make it soothing to the eyes. It’s as simple as that!
You may also try prepping up your candles with simple materials and with easy steps.
Check out some samples below.
Using Glass Containers and Glass Pebbles
You can put the candle at the center and arrange colored glass pebbles on a fish bowl just like what is shown in the picture below. Make sure to choose complementing colors of glass pebbles so that the candle and pebbles do not overpower each other and the combination is pleasant to look at.
You can also use a slightly larger, clear glass container than the one containing your candle and do the same thing.
Another option is to use a large clear glass plate or bowl. You may place the candle at the center or on the side of the bowl depending on your preference. Accessorize your candle arrangement by scattering the glass pebbles on the surface of the bowl and by placing fresh or plastic leaves and flowers for a rustic feel.
Check out the picture below.
Now that you have prepared your scented candles using clear glass containers and colored glass pebbles, it’s time to level up your creativity. Before DIY-ing your candle, why not decorate your clear glass container first so that your candles will turn out unique and attractive.
You may use different materials to turn your plain clear glass container into an awesome one. Let me show you some examples.
Using Glass Containers with DIY Designs
1. Things to use : permanent colored markers and clear glass container
The easiest and simplest way to decorate your plain glass container is to write something on it. But if you’re an artsy-fartsy like me, you can draw something on it which you think is soothing to look at depending on the spot you want to place it on or the occasion you’re having. You may look at the sample picture below. I drew simple flowers and yeah, I think it looks sassy. You may use a tea light candle here to put on your decorated glass container.
2. Things to use : glue stick, epsom salt, plate, clear oval glass containers
Frosted glass container may look rad but this is also one of the easiest ways to decorate. All you need is a glue stick and epsom salt scattered on a plate. First, roll the glue stick on the area of the glass container you want frosted. Second, roll the glass container over Epsom salt and let it dry. Voila! Your frosted glass candle holder is done. You can now put your tea light candle in it. As easy as pie!
3. Things to use : glue stick, epsom salt, gold glitters, gold foil, cut-outs, tape, paper, white paint, sponge, clear glass containers and cotter pins
Since I already gave the instructions on making frosted glass containers you may try adding a little twist. On the picture below, I used seven shot glasses with different designs.
First design: Roll the glue stick all over the shot glass. Sprinkle gold glitters all over the shot glass.
Second design: Roll the shot glass over the Epsom salt and set aside for a while to dry. Sprinkle some gold glitters on the bottom part of the shot glass.
Third design: Tape a part of the shot glass three times with a width of one inch apart or how wide you want the spaces you to look like. Repeat the steps I stated in the second design. Do not mind glueing the tapes and the mess coz you’re going to pull them out anyway when they’re completely dried.
Fourth design: Combining the steps on the second and third design, create cut-outs of your choice and glue them on the shot glass. Use a different design for every shot glass. Roll a glue stick all over the shot glass and roll it over the Epsom salt. Sprinkle small amounts of gold glitters on it afterwards.
Fifth design: Create another cut-out and glue them on another shot glass. Dip a sponge in white paint and press it all over the shot glass. Make sure that it is not neatly done to make it appear like the picture below. Let it dry. Once the paint settles, tear off the cut-outs. Just be a little careful to avoid messing your design.
Sixth design: Create different kinds of cut-outs and glue them on the shot glass. Dip the end of the cotter pins on white paint and start painting the cut-outs. Try tracing the cut-outs with paint repeatedly until you reach the embossed-like effect to make it look appealing. Let it dry.
Seventh design: Crumple gold foil to make it wrinkled. Cut the foil the same size as the shot glass. Roll the glue stick all over the shot glass and stick the wrinkled gold foil over it. Let it dry.
Now you have seven classy candle holders. You may put your tea light candles inside and place them on the corner of your house that fits them most.
4. Things to use: instant glue, coloured papers, waterproof papers or stickers, a pencil, scissors and water, large clear glass container
If you have waterproof stickers, it is nice to use them as decors on your candle holder. But you can always give your creativity a try. You can do some cut-outs and glue them on a glass container. Get a much bigger glass container. Place your decorated candle inside the bigger glass container. Fill the bigger glass container with less than ¼ of water. (You can put droplets of essential oil on the water if you want but that wouldn’t be necessary.) Now, use fancy papers as your runner to complement the colours of your candle holder. Decorate with other ornaments beside it to make the presentation more catchy like the picture below:
5. Things to use : plastic flowers and leaves, paper, sand, foam, pins, instant glue, mini saucer, glass container
Designing your glass container candle holder with flowers and leaves may be a good addition to your home. Let me teach you a quick style. Wrap the bottom of your glass container with paper. You can also put foam to be able to make the flowers look grand when you paste them. Arrange the flowers and leaves around the glass and when you’re done, put some sand inside the glass container. Place the mini saucer on top of the sand and put your candle over it and it’s done! You now have a nature-feel and a warm vibe at home.
6. Things to use : fresh cranberries, water, metal flat base, ready-made small metallic silver pillar candles, vanilla candle, two shot glass and one tall clear glass container
You can reuse old clear glass containers that you already have at home like those in the picture below. But since you can buy fresh cranberries and ready-made small metallic silver pillar candles at the supermarket, you may also consider finding more appropriate glass containers and metal flat base for your project. Once you have all the materials you need, start your DIY decorative candle by filling the tall clear glass container with one fourth of water. Place the fresh cranberries and let them float inside. Set your vanilla candle on top of the fresh cranberries. Set aside. Arrange the candles on top of the metal flat base with the tall clear glass at the center and the smaller two on the sides. This may be perfect for your table setting. Take a look at the picture below:
7. Things to use : different kinds of aquarium pebbles, water, and a huge flower-shaped clear glass bowl
This may be as simple as A-B-C but you must admit it looks fab. Just simply put the aquarium pebbles on the flower-shaped clear glass bowl and add some water. Float your candles, light them up, and you’re done!
The use of decorative candles is in demand during the holiday seasons. You can find candles in the festive colors of red, green, silver, and gold in shopping malls. Many people opt to buy these because they think it is tedious to make. You have to believe you can do it so it will happen. The success of your DIY-ing depends largely in your confidence and perseverance. Sometimes, you may even surprise yourself.
Different Designs for Your Holiday Candles
- Things to use : Ice cream goblet, instant , artificial shiny cranberries and frosted cranberry wreath
Buy a small ready-made frosted cranberry wreath and artificial shiny cranberries. Try cutting and adjusting the frosted cranberry wreath with the size of the bottom of ice cream goblet. Once you set the frosted cranberry wreath, stick it using an instant glue. Redesign the wreath with artificial shiny cranberries. You can now place a red crayon candle or any red candle that fits your ice cream goblet.
- Things to use : white vase with a narrow mouth, artificial poinsettias, red tapered candle- medium length, pebbles or marbles, clean sand
Get a tall vase with a narrow mouth. You can find these inexpensive vases on yard sales or thrift shops. You may also use any narrow mouthed container you have at home. Don’t worry if the one you have is clear glass. Wash the container thoroughly and set aside to dry completely. Prepare the other materials you will need—poinsettias, medium length tapered candle.
In case you found a clear glass container, you have the option of filling it with clean sand, pebbles, or marbles up to 1/2 of the container. Insert your red tapered candle carefully. Hold your candle to make sure that it stays in place. Continue filling the vase with sand up to ¾ half bottom of the candle. Make sure that your candle stays upright and sturdy. Fill the sides with real or artificial poinsettias. Arrange these at the rim of your vase. Set a group of these holders on your dining table as you enjoy your festive dinners or your Christmas cocoa or coffee.
You can also add some some whimsy to your Christmas decorations, look at the picture below. That was done using found materials like pine cones, green acrylic paint, paint brush, double sided tape, cardboard box lid, red plastic buttons, paper twine, markers, sack cloth, stick glue, Styrofoam wreath, and colored ribbons.
Let us try our hands on this décor. First, get a cardboard box lid and roll it to form a triangular shape. Secure the part where the ends meet with tape. Make sure the ends overlap each other. Draw the eyes, nose, and smiling mouth on the cardboard box. Another option is to paint the cardboard box green to represent a Christmas tree. Glue the red buttons on the tree. Set aside to dry.
Get your Styrofoam wreath and wrap with sack cloth. Secure all loose ends with glue. Cover up the glued parts with paper ribbons, paper twine, and the tea light candles. Glue them securely around the wreath. Put the cardboard Christmas tree at the center of the wreath and set on your dining table.
Other Decorative Candle Ideas
1. Using an old clay pot
Try looking at your garden. You may have an old flower clay pot that you do not use. You can redesign this as your candle holder. You can tidy it up and tweak it using bright colored raffia or paper twine. You can also put clean sand or flat stones inside your clay pot to elevate your candle. After placing your candle inside the clay pot, yes, it’s all done. Look at the picture below.
Isn’t it nice and simple to make? But you must remember that you have your taste and imagination. You can also use any other materials to improve your clay pot, candle holder. You can paint it, draw something on it, put stickers, or paste other things that will beautify it.
2. Using old ceramic bowl and saucer or plate
Do you have old ceramic bowls and plates at home? Did you know that you can prep it up as a unique candle holder? Try designing your ceramic bowl and saucer first then incorporate it with your candle by carving and painting it, too.
For this project, you need to use a computer to make designing easier. You may use Adobe Photoshop or any other tools and platforms to create eye-catching designs.
You will need a computer, bond paper, printer, mechanical pen without lead, masking tape, V-shaped chisel and protection gloves, permanent markers, or acrylic paint and brush
Here are the steps on how to carve characters on a candle:
First step: Create an actual size of the design you want to carve on your candle. Print it on plain paper.
Second step: Cut out the design and tape the sides on the candle.
Third step: Using a mechanical pen without lead, trace the printed design with its tip. Make sure to trace carefully to avoid tearing the paper. Once done, remove the printed design.
Fourth step: Wear your protective gloves and carefully carve the design you traced using the V-shaped chisel.
Fifth step: Once you are done carving, try putting colours using permanent markers or acrylic paint and brush to make it look distinct.
Now that you are done with your personalized carved candle, try arranging the ceramic bowl and plate-like the picture below and set your candle. Perfect combination, right?
3. Using fresh flowers
Who doesn’t love flowers? We all do! Inasmuch as we love flowers, we love candles, too. Let us try to level up our fondness for flowers and candles by setting them up together. Below are some ideas in prepping up candles with fresh flowers.
Choose a saucer, plate or bowl with a nice design. Put some glass pebbles on it. Now place your cut flowers on top of the glass pebbles. Arrange your tea light candles on top of the flowers as shown in the picture below. You may also add another set of tea light candles to complement the design on the saucer and tada! You now have a perfect centrepiece!
You can put this classy flower candle arrangement to add to a relaxing ambiance in any room of your house. It is also a perfect table arrangement for christenings, weddings, or an intimate dinner with friends and family.
You may also want to try soaking flower petals on water in a large glass bowl and put tea light candles afloat. You may put this inside your room or even in the bath room. This creates a relaxing vibes.
Decorating with DIY candles need not be a chore. You can get the job done with inexpensive materials paired with perseverance and patience. Happy decorating!