February 1, 2011

Artwork Candles

Years ago, I used this technique with rubber stamps to make the favors for my wedding.  One night when I was thinking about crafty stuff while trying to fall asleep (does anyone else do this too?), I thought I could adapt it to use the kids' drawings instead of rubber stamped designs.  It's a clever technique and a cool way to bring the kids' creativity into your home decor.  They'd make awesome little gifts too!

Pretty cool, isn't it?


Here's what you need:

* white tissue paper
* markers
* pillar candles (white or other light colors would work best)
* waxed paper or parchment paper
* hair dryer or heat embossing gun

Here's what to do:

1.  Cut a piece of tissue paper to fit around the outside of your candle.  You'll want it a little smaller than the candle itself.

2.  Using markers, have your child decorate the tissue paper.  The tissue paper is pretty delicate (obviously!), so encourage simple drawings and discourage coloring in large areas or the paper might tear.

Cute drawing and inexpensive dollar store candle.
3.  When the drawing is completed, get a piece of waxed paper slightly larger than the candle.  Wrap the tissue paper artwork around the outside of the candle, then wrap the waxed paper on top of that, using the extra length as a little handle.


Wrap the drawing around the candle.

Then, wrap the waxed paper around, making a handle.


4.  Next, use the hairdryer or heat gun to melt the design onto the candle.  (The hairdryer works fine, it just takes a little while to warm up enough.  Put it on the highest heat setting and hold it blowing as close as possible to the candle.)  As the wax melts, the tissue paper will become part of the candle.  You'll be able to see it change color through the waxed paper, going from white to the color of the candle.  Continue until you can't see any more white tissue paper.

Notice how the tissue paper near the name is still white, but it's the color of the candle to the right of the name .


5.  Carefully pull back the waxed paper to reveal your child's artwork now as part of the candle.  You can burn the candle just as you would any other candle.

My youngest made a cute one too!

52 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I will have to remember this for a mother's day present for the grandmas.

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  2. These candles are incredible. I am going to mark this idea on my calendar so I can have the kids make them for mother's day gifts. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Did it and loved it! I used paint and it was fine. Thanks for the idea and great description!

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  4. that is really creative....i might try that!

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  5. Wow--that is such a great idea. Love it!!

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  6. This is terrific! Could be fun for a class project, scout project, holiday gifts, even a baby shower. Really terrific, thank you!

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  7. That is soooo cool! I can't wait to try it with my son!

    Amy
    http://oneartmama.blogspot.com

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  8. This is awesome! So many possibilities - thanks for linking to the Kids Can Craft party:)

    P.S. I think about crafting as I fall asleep too;)

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  9. it was so fun..i will try do this one!!thanks for sharing this

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  10. its really cool and easy!!!!!! looks grt...
    i will definately try this. thks for sharing.... grt idea dear.....

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  11. This is a great idea, thanks so much for sharing! I'm always looking for fun craft projects to do with my four year old:)

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  12. Just stumbled across this and thought it was great. Very clever. I think I might have to try this with my little girl.

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  13. Did these with our girl scouts tonight. Let me just say... AWESOME!!!! They were so easy, and turned out amazing!!!! Seriously, if I wasn't packing up to leave right now, I would be making candles ALL WEEKEND! LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

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  14. I will try it for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks a lot Laura!

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  15. Thanks for the idea! I think I will try one for christmas. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. BEST HOMEMADE GIFT EVER! I love how these look totally custom and expensive and yet they're so easy & cheap! Great idea!!!

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  17. Love this! I just added this to the 25 Kid Crafted Gifts Tutorial!
    http://www.busykidshappymom.org/2012/01/25-kid-crafted-gifts-that-looks-good.html

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  18. I love this idea! My kids will do this for their grandma's next birthday or mother's day! Thanks

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  19. Cannot wait to try this! Mothers day presents, teacher gifts , thank yous...customized for your own decor! Love it and I will post what we end up doing! Thanks for the fun idea!!!

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  20. Great idea! Question - how long does it take to melt the design to the candle? I'm trying to get some new ideas for Vacation Bible School crafts, but I only have so much time allotted for each craft. Just was curious; thanks!

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  21. Hi Anonymous,

    It doesn't take long at all. If you get one of the heat embossing guns (sold with scrapbooking supplies for about $20) it'll take just seconds. A hairdryer takes a little bit longer, but just a minute or so.

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  22. Do you think this will work if you print the design on vellum instead of tissue paper?

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  23. Yes it will, Robin. In fact, when I first used this technique to make my wedding favors, I stamped the designs on vellum.

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  24. Do you have a link or post to how you made your wedding favours using this technique with rubber stamps, please?

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  25. Heather, unfortunately I made those wedding favors way before I was blogging/taking photos. If I recall, I stamped a "LOVE" image on vellum, embossed it using embossing powder, then attached it using the same technique as on these candles.

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  26. Thank you for this awesome idea! Today my kids and I made these for the Grandmas / Great Grandmas for Mother's Day. I took a recent photograph of the kiddos and printed it on tissue paper then placed it on one side of the candle. On the other side I put their names and "2012" - I had them hand write their names in marker on regular white paper, scanned them into the computer, then printed them onto tissue paper. SO much easier than trying to coach them not to write too hard on the tissue! To get the tissue through the printer I used masking tape to attach it to the bond paper. Went through easily, no muss, no fuss!

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  27. Do you have to use the tissue paper or can you use a stamp pad and put the art right on the candle? If so how long till it drys. Thanks

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    1. You might be able to stamp right onto the candle, but I think it would be kind of tricky to find the right kind of ink to stick on the wax and get it around the curves of the candle.

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  28. Found on Pinterest; making these today!

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  29. Been looking for something my daughter can do for my mom for mothers day. I think we have a winner :)

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  30. Did you use water based markers or do I need permanent ones?

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  31. Cindy, any kind of markers should work fine, they don't need to be permanent. You might just want to test them out on the tissue paper first ~ some brands/types of markers may bleed more than others on your tissue paper.

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  32. Wonderful idea!! Would love to try this with my kids!

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  33. This is a great and easy craft to do, even with younger kids! I wouldn't burn it though, just keep it as decoration.... I burned one in my house and ended up with almost foot tall flames from just a votive!!!!!!

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  34. Oh my goodness! We've burned several of ours (and the ones given as gifts) and never had higher than a normal flame. I wonder if the fact that it was a smaller candle had anything to do with it? Like perhaps the wick was closer to the melted tissue paper because it was smaller.

    Thanks for the word of warning!

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  35. Hi there! I just came across this when I was looking for a craft for my 9 year old's b-day party. I have a question, is the tissue paper the one in the bathroom or the one you use to wrap gifts?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, it's the tissue paper you use to wrap gifts!

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  36. Can you re-use the wax paper if you are making more than one candle or do you need a new piece of wax paper for each candle?

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    1. You should be able to use it a couple times. Just keep an eye on it. I think the waxiness helps to hold the paper in place without sticking itself.

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  37. My kids and I made these today and they turned out wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing such an easy and original craft...I shared your link on my art studio's facebook page!

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    1. I'm so glad they turned out nicely for you! Isn't it a cool technique? Thanks for sharing your experience

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  38. I LOVE this idea!!
    I am trying to find a way to do something like this but instead of candles I am wanting to put the words/artwork onto ceramic tiles (4x4). Have you ever tried something similar? Do you think this would work?
    Thanks so much for any help you can give!!

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  39. I was looking for a gift for my inlaws, and just don't have time to go out and buy things today. We are celebrating christmas tomorrow. i didn't have white tissue paper, so used red and green with glitter, it still looks great. I think these will be a hit. thanks so much.

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  40. What kind of markers did you use on this particular one? Would Crayola Washable ones work?
    Thank you!

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    1. They should work, Alyssa, but test it on your tissue paper first. Some markers bleed more than others on different types of tissue paper. Hope this helps.

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  41. this looks like an awesome craft! i can't wait to try it for our mother's day projects....what size candle did you use?

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    1. I've used it on all different sized candles. I just had to cut the tissue paper to fit it. I think the ones on this project were maybe 3-4" candles that I'd picked up at IKEA or the Dollar Store.

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  42. Tried with my Girl Scout troop tonight and it didn't work out. We used hairdryers that were 1900 watts and the paper never melted onto the candles. Very disappointed.

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    1. Oh no, I'm so sorry they didn't work out for you. We've done them several times and never had any problems. I'm not sure what went wrong to help you troubleshoot. Did you hold the hairdryer pretty close to the candle? You want to try to concentrate the heat as much as you can.

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