DIY Personalized Candles with Your Own Photos!

Instructions

STEP 1: PREPARING YOUR IMAGE

For this project, we are going to take an image, print it on tissue paper, and apply it to a pillar candle. If you do not have an image, You can download Design #268 which is my free Personalized Candles JPG designs.

In order to know what size the image should be, we need to know the size of our candle. Measure the height and circumference of your candle.

Measure the height of the candle for my personalized candle project

Measure the circumference of the candle

Open your image up in an image editor. Here I am using GIMP, which is a free image editor that works on Mac and Windows — you can download it at gimp.org.

In GIMP, go to the File menu and click Open, then locate your image or one of the design images I provided. It will open on your screen like this.

This is what your image looks like after import for my personalized candles

Now go to the Image menu and choose Canvas Size. Change the measurement dropdown box from px to inches and change the width and height to the circumference and height of your candle, like this.

Change the measurement size of your image in GIMP for my personalized candles

Click the Move tool from the icons on the left (it looks like two crossed arrows) and click on your image to move it around. To resize the image, click on the Scale tool on the left and use it to resize your image until it looks the way you want.

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Select the move tool in GIMP to resize the image for my personalized candle

When done, save your file.

STEP 2: PRINTING YOUR IMAGE

It’s now time to print your image onto a piece of tissue paper. Of course, you can’t normally print onto tissue paper, but you CAN if you put it onto a sheet of regular paper first.

Take a piece of tissue paper and tape it to a sheet of printer paper in order to print the image on tissue paper.

Begin with tissue paper, printer paper, and tape for my personalized candles

Fold one side of the tissue paper over the back of the printer paper and tape.

Tape tissue paper to one side of paper for my personalized candles

Take the next side of the tissue paper, fold it over the back of the printer paper and tape.

Tape second side of tissue paper to paper for my personalized candles

Trim the last two sides to be folded over and taped to the back of the printer paper. Fold over the printer paper and tape.

Trim tissue paper and tape to printer paper for my personalized candles

This is what your sheet of printer paper will look like with the tissue paper taped to it.

This is what your tissue paper should look like taped to the printer paper for my personalized candles

I found that my printer printed this the easiest using the manual feed tray. You may have to play with your printer settings to get this just right.

STEP 3: APPLY THE IMAGE TO THE CANDLE

Once you have printed your image, cut the tissue paper around the design and place it on the candle. The closer you can cut it, the less you’ll notice the edges of the tissue paper when you’re all done.

Place printed tissue paper on candle for my personalized candles

Hold the tissue paper in place, turn the candle over, and place it on a piece of wax paper long enough to go around the candle.

Place candle on wax paper for my personalized candles

Bring each side of the wax paper together and grip it with your hand.

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Wrap the wax paper around the candle for my personalized candles

I will be using a craft heat gun to melt the wax from the wax paper to the candle. If you don’t have a heat gun, you can use a hair dryer on a high heat setting, but be warned you’ll need to wear an oven mitt to keep the hand holding your candle from getting too hot and it will require a little more time and patience than a heat gun. DO NOT use a professional heat gun.

CAUTION: Always follow the safety tips provided with your heat gun. The tip of heat guns can get very hot. Never place a heat gun on any surface while it is still turned on or use near flammable materials. If you have long hair, put it up to prevent it from flowing in front of the gun and catching on fire. Wear gloves for additional protection and never put a heat gun away until it is completely cooled.

Turn on your heat gun on high and begin going over the entire image melting the wax paper to the image.

Use heat gun over wax paper to melt image into my personalized candles

As you heat the tissue paper, the image becomes more vibrant as the wax paper melts with the tissue paper. You will also start to see the edges of the tissue paper disappear and melt into the candle. In the image below notice how the heads of the mom and dad are more vibrant than the children. This means the wax paper has melted with the tissue paper. Watch the amount of heat you use on the candle because you do not want to over melt. You can always lift the wax paper to check. Your goal is to get the tissue paper to melt into the candle clear and vibrant.

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When you can no longer, or just barely, see the edges of the tissue paper, you’re done!

You can see which part of this candle is melted and which part is not for my personalized candles

When the entire tissue paper is heated, allow the candle to cool and remove the wax paper from the candle. If there are spots you missed, take another piece of wax paper, place it on top the image and reheat that area.

Reheat areas missed for my personalized candles

This is what my finished personalized candle using an image looks like.

This is what my family portrait personalized candle looks like finished

STEP 4: USE DECORATIVE TISSUE PAPER TO MAKE A PERSONALIZED CANDLE

You can make beautiful personalized candles using decorative tissue paper and even decorative napkins.

Measure the circumference of the candle.

Measure the circumference of the candle

Measure the height of the candle. Cut a piece of decorative tissue that is the height and circumference of your candle.

Measure the height of the candle for my personalized candle project

Wrap the tissue paper around the candle then wrap a piece of wax paper over the tissue paper and begin heating with your heat gun,

Use heat gun to melt wax paper for my personalized candles

When you are done heating remove the wax paper from the candle.

Remove the wax paper from my personalized candles

STEP 5: Show it Off

This is what my personalized candle with decorative tissue paper looks like.

This is what the tissue paper personalized candle look like finished

I even made a small pillar candle using another piece of tissue paper.

This is a small tissue paper personalized candle finished

These are easy to make and the design possibilities are endless.

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