DIY Printed Candles Tutorial (With a Tardis!)Posted: March 17, 2012
When I texted a picture of this candle to my fiance he replied, “That is super-badass-friggin’-awesome! Talented and sexy, that’s my baby.” In other words, this is a good way to impress the Whovians in your life. Of course, you can do this with any image, so they’re great for gifts, holiday decorations, and of course wedding decorations.
If you’d really like a Tardis candle but aren’t into the whole crafting thing, I put this one up for sale on my Etsy Shop.
Now on to the tutorial…What You’ll Need
- A light colored candle with enough surface space for your image- I used a white 3″ pillar candle, but you can use other colors and sizes. Just make sure that the candle is light enough that your image will show up on it.
- White tissue paper – white tissue paper will take on the color of your candle no matter what color you use
- A glue stick
- Wax paper
- A printer
- A hair dryer or heat gun
Find an image you’d like to use for your candle and scale it to fit your candle. I found a Tardis image and used Adobe Illustrator to make it just under 3″ tall, since that’s the height of my candle.
Cut a piece of tissue paper that’s a bit larger than printer paper. Wrapit over the printer paper and tape the edges down.
Print your image onto the tissue paper. This is the hardest part – I’m not kidding. My printer doesn’t like this step at all, so it has to be monitored pretty carefully. If the tissue paper isn’t wrapped tightly enough around the printer paper (or if it isn’t wrapped at all on the bottom and sides – the top doesn’t really matter) it will just feed the tissue part, which doesn’t really work and results in torn tissue paper. If you have a small image you might want to make multiple copies of it on the same page so that if one gets screwed up, you don’t have to start all over.
Cut out the image. You don’t have to cut out the exact shape; any white areas you have left will take on the color of the candle and blend in once you blow dry it. Run the glue stick lightly over the back of the image and place it on the candle. You can use anything you’d like to secure the image, but I find that a glue stick works best. Liquid glues make the tissue paper too soggy. With my first candle, I just put a plastic band around the image, which worked but left a bit of an imprint and it didn’t hold the edges down. Whatever method you use to secure the image, make sure it’s non-toxic if you intend to burn the candle.
Wrap the candle in wax paper. You don’t technically need to do this; it will work without the wax paper too. However, I found that the wax paper keeps the candle from getting drippy. I didn’t use wax paper on my first candle, which looks okay, but has a few problem areas.
Blow dry it. Really. Just put your blow dryer on high and have at it. It’s pretty cool to see the tissue paper seem to disappear. Make sure that you get all of the areas of the image. When all of the tissue paper looks like it’s gone and you just see the image, you’re done.
Unwrap your awesome new candle. Then take pictures to show all your friends so they’ll know how awesomely crafty you are. Also, post your pictures in the comment section, so I too can marvel at your awesomeness.