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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fold one side of the tissue paper over the back of the printer paper and tape.
Take the next side of the tissue paper, fold it over the back of the printer paper and tape.
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.
This is what your sheet of printer paper will look like with the tissue paper taped to it.
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.
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.
Bring each side of the wax paper together and grip it with your hand.
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.
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.
When you can no longer, or just barely, see the edges of the tissue paper, you’re done!
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.
This is what my finished personalized candle using an image looks like.
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 height of the candle. Cut a piece of decorative tissue that is the height and circumference of your candle.
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,
When you are done heating remove the wax paper from the candle.
STEP 5: Show it Off
This is what my personalized candle with decorative tissue paper looks like.
I even made a small pillar candle using another piece of tissue paper.
These are easy to make and the design possibilities are endless.