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Saving an Old Ugly Candle.

I have quite a few old pillar candles, that were once beautiful, but are now in hiding because they have become banged up, scarred. You know...ugly!
I decide to let them come out or storage, for use only during a power failure, and make them pretty again.
I first wash the candle in hot water.
This picture I took after the fact and am running it under cold water.
I forgot to take the picture and when I do run it under hot water, I have a bucket under it so no wax ends up in my drain! Sometimes I just fill the bucket with hot water and drop the candle in for 5 minutes.
Remove from water and dry, it will have a funky marble finish on it.
I took a napkin I liked. This one is 3 ply.
And separated the plies.
Then I cut out the part I want on my candle. I had to cut very close to the leaves at the bottom because they were surrounded by pink that I did not want on my candle.
You can use a heating tool, but I don't have one so I just use my hairdryer and heat the napkin until the wax starts to penetrate it.
I could not hold the candle and take a photo at the same time, but I hold the napkin in place until it is saturated. You can also use pins and go over it once more when you are finished.
(Hubby was still sleeping when I did this so I went into the storage room where he would not hear my hairdryer.)
Presto, a pretty candle.
You can also do this with a photo you print onto tissue paper. Just adhere the end that feeds into your printer onto a piece of paper or cardstock and print away. The wax will also bleed through the tissue paper and adhere it to the candle.

Materials used for this project:

  • Old candle
  • Napkin
  • Hair dryer

Ask the creator about this project

  • NancyMaria
    NancyMaria Elko, NV
    on Jan 21, 2017

    Great idea! and a well done instructions. I would hope the candle will burn down in the center and glow behind the flower, that would be so cool. But my concern would be if the candle melted out ignite the paper. I wonder if you could incase the paper in plastic shipping tape it would melt instead of burn?

    • Teresa
      Teresa Canada
      on Jan 22, 2017

      Thank you, I have done this in the past and the pillars generally hollow themselves out - I have never had one catch on fire. Some I have done ( like some with a couples wedding photos) are never really lit, they are just ornaments.

  • B. Enne
    B. Enne Canada
    on Jan 22, 2017


  • Nicolette Spargo
    Nicolette Spargo New York, NY
    on Jan 23, 2017

    This is so easy, I must try it!!!!

    • Teresa
      Teresa Canada
      on Jan 23, 2017

      Post a photo here when you do, I am excited to see I!

  • Dolores Clifton
    Dolores Clifton
    on Jan 23, 2017

    You can also wrap the candle and 'decal' with waxed paper held tightly, then apply heat with your blow dryer. I wouldn't use any heat source hotter than that. I have done this with custom designs that I have printed on tissue. In order to print on tissue, you must tape it to a regular piece of printer paper. The thinner the 'decal', the better. You have an excellent idea to bring those ugly candles out of hiding!

    • Teresa
      Teresa Canada
      on Jan 24, 2017

      Thank you, Maybe I will try the wax paper way too!

  • Heather
    Heather United Kingdom
    on Jan 26, 2017

    Yours looks really good. No one would know it was same candle. Enjoy :)

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!