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How to add a cheerful flower design to a taper candle

Candlemaker Veronica Gutierrez shows how to make these pretty petals using a dripped wax technique.

Candlemaker Veronica Gutierrez shows how to make these pretty petals using a dripped wax technique

A row of tall, skinny, taper candles in various ornate candle holders. To the left is a close up of the middle candle that is light green with five little flowers decorated on it (three flowers are orange, one is blue and the other is white).
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)

Want to create a unique accent for your home? These tapers with a flower pattern will definitely dress up your dinner table and add a pop of colour to your space. I created flower designs but adding polka-dots is also an option. Here's how to make them using a dripped wax technique. 

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup of wax (I used soy wax.)
  • Small pot, for boiling water
  • Pour pot (or heat-safe metal measuring cup) for the wax
  • Tongs or well-fitting oven mitts
  • Small bowls (One for each colour. Ceramic bowls work great. Do not use plastic.)
  • Crayons to dye the wax
  • Paring knife, optional
  • Wooden chopsticks (one for each colour), for stirring
  • Heat gun (or hair dryer)
  • Glass dropper (The dropper can be purchased online or at a craft store. Do not use plastic because the hot wax will melt it.) 
  • Soy wax or paraffin wax candle(s)
supplies for candle making laid out on an orange surface: crayons, metal measuring cup, wax pellets, wooden stir stick, glass dropper and heat gun
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)

How to do it:

Part 1 - Prepping and mixing colour

1. Pour 1 cup of wax into pour pot (or heat-safe metal measuring cup).

2. Bring one-third of a pot of water to a boil and place the pour pot in the water. Or, if you have a heat-safe metal measuring cup, place it directly on the burner to heat the wax. Wait 5-10 minutes or until the wax is liquefied/looks clear. You can gently stir with a wooden chopstick, if needed.

3. Turn the burner off and remove the pour pot using your oven mitt or tongs. Place it on a heat-safe surface.

4. Separate the wax into small bowls (about ¼ cup into each), one for each colour you'd like to add to your candle. I made three different-coloured flowers with yellow centres. 

5. Add a small amount of crayon to each bowl. I used about 2.5 centimetres of crayon broken into pieces. You can also cut the crayon piece with a paring knife. Stir each bowl of wax with a chopstick until the crayon colour is blended in. Note: Crayon wax is okay to use as dye for this specific technique since it is just decorative. It should never be used to make a full candle as the crayon dye will get into the wick and the candle won't burn properly.

a hand is holding a small bowl of melted orange candle wax. the second hand is stirring it with a wooden chopstick. an orange crayon and a metal measuring cup sit next to the hands.
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)

6. Use the heat gun or hair dryer (on high heat) to warm the wax in the small bowls as the wax will harden as you make each colour. Aim the heat gun at the top of the bowl until the wax is completely melted again.

a hand holding a small bowl of purple candle wax. the other hand is holding an orange heat gun over it to melt the wax.
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)

Part 2 - Making the flowers with wax

1. Use the glass dropper to suction the wax (only fill halfway) and place one drop of hot wax on the candle to form your first flower petal.

Note: The wax in the dropper will harden quickly and clog the opening. During this process, the heat gun (or hair dryer) will be your best friend! Carefully use it to heat the dropper by holding it approximately 8 centimetres away from the dropper for about 10 seconds, or until you see liquefied wax.

2. Add another drop of wax next to the first one to create more flower petals. Repeat, working in a circle, until you achieve a flower shape. I recommend doing five drops plus one for the centre. Tip: If you make a mistake with the design, simply remove the dried wax from the candle with your fingernail.

3. To make your next flower, you will need to reheat the wax in the bowls with the heat gun to make sure the wax is liquefied.

4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining colours, repeating the flower design all around the candle. Adding six or seven flowers to your candle with 1.5 centimetres of space between each one looks best for this design. You will need to heat the dropper with the heat gun (or hair dryer) in between uses. You can use the same dropper for all colours. Simply remelt the remaining wax (if needed) to empty the dropper between colours. 

closeup on decorating a taper candle. hands are using a glass dropper to add blue wax dots to a taper candle to create a flower pattern.
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)
closeup on decorating a taper candle. hands are using a glass dropper to add yellow wax dots to a taper candle to create the centre of a flower pattern.
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)

5. Add a drop of yellow wax to the centre of each flower. 

And that's it! The wax dries in seconds, so your candle can be displayed or burned as soon as you are done with the final flower design. 

To clean the bowls: Use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm the hard wax for about two minutes until liquefied. For soy wax, pour into any disposable container you have in your recycling bin. (Note: In some municipalities, soy wax can be recycled, so check your local recycling guidelines.) If you used paraffin, pour the hot wax into something you're already going to toss in the garbage.

A row of tall, skinny, taper candles in various ornate candle holders. The middle candle is light green with different coloured flower designs on it. It is the only candle that is lit.
(Photography by Michael Kai Young)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veronica Gutierrez is the CEO and creative director of This Candle Is Lit, a creative candle studio located in Toronto. She began her journey by creating candles for her son's first birthday and is now working with brands to create unique pieces just for them! She also has her own line of candles and runs monthly candle workshops in the city. You can find her at thiscandleislit.com and @thiscandle.islit.

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