Let’s Decorate Candles!

Doesn’t everyone love candles? They are warm, inviting, and make a space feel cozy. When shopping for candles, the fancier candles can get pricey, so why not make your own? You can have the satisfaction of making something yourself and, at the same time, of giving a unique handmade gift to a loved one. The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating and embellishing candles, so here are a few ideas.

Felt Flower Embellishments

Here are some quick and easy ideas for embellishing candles. Make one as a gift, or make a set of similar designs and group together as a table centerpiece.

Glue a wide ribbon around a pillar candle and then glue a handmade poinsettia in the center.

Instead of ribbon, you could use scrapbook paper.

Glitter & Garland

Add glitter directly to the candle. Use tape to mark off the areas you want to have glue, so the rest of the candle doesn’t get messy. Apply glue to the candle. (I used tacky glue.) Sprinkle glitter all around the candle and let dry. Allow glue to dry completely. While it is drying, make a mini rose garland. Wrap the rose garland around the candle and use hot glue to secure in place, if necessary.

Cute as a Button

Glue buttons to a strand of ribbon and fit around a candle. I used a mini hot glue gun (low temp) to glue the ribbon to the candle. Use any assortment of buttons that you like!

All About Twigs

Cover a candles with small twigs!

I glued the sticks onto a piece of fabric, and then attached the fabric to the candle. I wanted the sticks/fabric to wrap around the candle nicely, so I wrapped the fabric around a jar while I was gluing.

You may have spaces between the twigs; that’s ok, just keep adding twigs until you are happy with how it looks. Fit the fabric around the candle and trim as necessary. Then glue the fabric to the candle. The glue will soften the wax, so be careful not to pull the fabric too hard as you wrap it around. In addition to the glue, I also used artist tape to hold the end down while I wrapped the candle.

Note: You may notice lots of hot glue strings; just use a hair dryer to make those strings disappear.

Knotted Up

Tie several pieces of twine around the candle. I was actually trying to make a “regular” knot, but the tails ended up pretty wonky. I used this to my advantage and cut the tails like it was supposed to look that way. Cut the tails at different lengths and add embellishments if you like.

Oh Yeah, I Like Me Some Texture!

I wrapped the candle with burlap, and then used a hair dryer to melt the outside of the candle. (Be sure to protect your work area with several sheets of newspaper.) Work in small sections at a time, melting one area and then pressing the burlap into the wax. Work your way around the candle and let the wax harden. Then you can peel off the burlap.

The candle didn’t show off the funky texture as I had hoped, so I lightly brushed the surface with paint. I used copper metallic paint and a foam brush. Don’t get too much paint on the brush because you don’t want it to fill in the crevices—just lightly brush the surface.

See how the candle glows through the burlap motif.

Ideas from the elves:

Have fun experimenting with different materials, textures and paints such as:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Mesh
  • Wire
  • Yarn
  • Pine needles

Sweet Beads!

Ribbon + glue + microbeads = Beaded ribbon! The beads are not really beads, but are tiny microbeads that do not have a hole. First I measured a piece a ribbon that is a 2″ longer than the circumference of the candle. Apply a generous amount of Tacky glue to coat the ribbon (leave the last 0.5″ of each end uncoated.) I taped down the ends of my ribbon to my work surface so that I’d have a straight line where the glue stops. After the ribbon is completely dry, use hot glue to attach to candle.

Make another beaded ribbon with a contrasting color and make a bow.

Fray in a Roundabout Way

Cut a piece of fabric on the bias (diagonal to the grain). Mine is about 1.5″ x 11″. Pull on threads until the edges are frayed. Use hot glue or double-sided tape to stick the fabric to the candle. Embellish however you like.

To embellish my candle, I cut 3 different sized circles and frayed the edges of each one. I stacked them together and sewed a button in the center, and then glued it to the candle.


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5 comments on “Let’s Decorate Candles!

  • abby dwyer said:

    my mommy would love that ;)

  • Sam Wood said:

    These are just beautiful – so many great ideas!! I did just want to ask – can the candle be safely burned with these still attached or would they have to be removed first?

  • Mary

    Mary said:

    Sam, I am delighted that you like these ideas! For optimal safety, you should remove decorations that can catch fire. Since the wick is a couple inches above the decoration, I might burn the candle a few times, and then remove the decoration when the wick is closer to the decoration. Be sure to follow safety rules when burning candles. For easy reference, you can find a list of safety guidelines here: http://www.candles.org/safety_rules.html

  • Kathy said:

    Love these ideas! What kind of glue do you use to attach fabric to the candle? I want to attach a lacey fabric to a candle, but I don’t know what would work best.

  • Mary

    Mary said:

    @Kathy – I am glad you like these ideas! I used hot glue to attach the fabric to the candle. Keep in mind that you want to use a low temp glue gun since it is less likely to melt the candle. Another good glue is Aleene’s Fast Grab; it’s very tacky and easy to work with. :)

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