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Making a Decoupage candle

There are many ways to embellish candles, as you may see from my article entitled, "Embellishing Candles." This particular candle making project will deal with the exterior surface of your free standing candles.

Today, we will be talking about Decoupage.

The definition listed on Wikipedia is:

Decoupage (or découpage) is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cut outs onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf, etc. Commonly an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers. Each layer is sealed with varnishes (often multiple coats) until the "stuck on" appearance disappears and the result looks like painting or inlay work. The traditional technique used 30-40 layers of varnish which were then sanded to a polished finish. This was known in 18th century England as The Art of Japanning after its presumed origins.

There are many varieties on the traditional technique involving purpose made 'glue' requiring fewer layers (often 5 or 20, depending on the amount of paper involved). Cutouts are also applied under glass or raised to give a three dimensional appearance according to the desire of the decouper. Currently decoupage is a popular handicraft.

We will be applying colored paper, printed images or anything you choose to add to your candle that is printed on paper. This will add a different and personal touch to a free standing candle that you created earlier. This technique works ideally with a candle that is greater than 3 inches in diameter. The candle you choose can be a pillar of any shape. Choose and cut images or patterns that will fit onto the sides of the selected candle.

As always, prepare your candle making workspace and gather your materials.

Candle thermometer
Soft cloth
Crafting scissors
Colored paper or printed images
Gold leafing
Dipping vat, a coffee can will do. Large enough to hold enough wax to submerge your candle
Double boiler
Nylon stocking
Small, soft paintbrush
Paper towels
Paraffin wax approximately 1 pound
Permanent marker
Pillar candle
Waxed paper
Water


Melt your paraffin wax until it reaches 194 degrees Fahrenheit

Prepare your dipping vat.
In order to get an accurate amount of wax needed to cover the outside of your candle, you will need to place your candle inside the dipping vat and fill with water. Since wax is bouyant, you will need to hold the candle down. Using your magic marker, mark the water level and remove candle.

Empty dipping vat and wipe dry the vat and candle.

Pour melted wax into dipping vat to within 1 inch of going over mark.

Grasping candle by wick, dip entire candle into wax with one smooth motion. Remove and then place on your wax paper.

Quickly place your colored paper or printed images onto candle and smooth as needed. Once again in a smooth motion, dip entire candle into dipping vat and place on wax paper.

Allow the wax to set. The wax will appear cloudy until it dries, which will leave a clear finish.

Taking your paintbrush, tap into place the gold leafing on the top edges and anywhere you choose on the sides to cover any blank areas not covered.

Use your nylon stocking to buff the exterior of the candle to give it a smooth shiny finish.

This candle making project is a little more time consuming than many others, but will produce unique and distinct candles to enjoy.

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