December 29, 2012

Handprint Snowmen Candles

We've decorated plain candles using the tissue paper technique a few times now and the results have always been cute.  First we made some Artwork Candles ~ we drew our own pictures with markers on tissue paper, then put them on a plain white candle.  Then, for Mother's Day, we used paint to make some cute thumbprint designs which we also put on candles for the grandmothers.  For both of those projects, we used white tissue paper which "disappeared" into the candle as it was fused on.  This time, we used darker blue tissue paper to make some cute, winter snowman candles.

Check them out...

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Cute, aren't they?  I like how we were able to make the handprint snowmen I'd seen done on ornaments, but we did them on candles which can be displayed long after the Christmas trees are taken down.  The dark blue tissue paper also fused into the candle, but the brighter blue color really stands out and shows off the kids' white handprints.

Here's what you'll need: 
(sorry, I somehow deleted my "before" picture of the supplies)

  • white pillar candles (mine are about 5" high and came in a 2-pack at Target)
  • blue tissue paper (like you would use to package a gift)
  • paints (white for the handprints, and a few colors to add the details)
  • waxed paper
  • heat gun or hair dryer (Hair dryers work, but the heat guns have more concentrated heat and work a lot faster.  My heat embossing gun is similar to this one  ~ you can find them at most craft stores in the paper crafting or rubber stamping sections)  
 Here's what to do:

1.  Cut a piece of the blue tissue paper that is as tall as your candle and wide enough to wrap all the way around it.

2.  Using the white paint, have your child dip their palm and fingers in the paint, then press it onto the tissue paper.  (Since the tissue paper is so delicate, practice a few times so you'll get the hang of how much paint to use and how to press down and lift the hand back up without tearing the paper too muchA little rip is fine, but big ones might be noticeable )  Once you have the handprints down, use the other colors of paint and a fine-tipped brush to add the details to your snowmen ~ little scarves, eyes, noses, buttons, etc.

NOTE:  My kids all have the normal 4 fingers and a thumb, but we opted to not use their pinkies and thumbs on our candles so I could fit all three kids on one candle. 

3.  Once your design is complete and the paint has dried, wrap the tissue paper around the candle.  Then wrap a piece of waxed paper on top of the tissue paper to hold it in place.  Using the excess waxed paper as a handle, direct the heat from the heat gun or hair dryer towards the candle.  As the candle wax warms up with the heat, you'll see the tissue paper "melt" into the candle.

See how the candle on the right has both darker blue and a lighter blue?  The darker blue section is where the heat has melted the wax.

4.  Continue directing the heat all the way around the candle until all the tissue paper has been fused onto the candle.  Then peel off the waxed paper and you're done.

candle making, snowmen, gift ideas

Note:  We mainly use these candles for decorative purposes.  We've burned other candles using this technique and haven't had any problems.  However, it's impossible to guarantee that the tissue paper might not flare up in spots if you burn it all the way down.  Use caution if you do decide to light your candles and let them burn to the edges.

Make sure you check out our other versions of these candles too ~ here are the Artwork Candles and the Mother's Day Fingerprint Candles


  1. What a beautiful creation! This is very unique design. You are really creative.


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  2. I love this idea especially as my son's handprint would never fit on a regular ornament. Since these are only decorative, though, I did think of another idea. Go now after Christmas and get the LED lights to use! I'm thinking to do that throughout the year, using the 40% & 50% off coupons at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, then give these as gifts to relatives next Christmas. And, I love the light idea, like a memory or prayer candle. Thank you for your blog!!! :-D

  3. Great Idea, thanks! I'm thinking this would be a great craft to try with at my library as part of our "Winter Holiday Crafts" program! I'll be sure to label the candles as "decorative only" but I'm really curious as to how they will do if you DO in fact, burn them. I will have to try it out myself.

  4. Lovely craft! Can you tell me, please, if you used acrylic paint for these as you used for the Mother's Day candles? Or was this some other kind of paint that washes off of hands a little more easily? Thanks!

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