Saturday, October 28, 2006

Personalized Candles you can Make Yourself

By Christina VanGinkel

I belong to several hobby related boards online. They relate to various hobbies that I or my husband and son are interested, or actively participate in. One of the boards is a scrapbooking board, but within it, there are several other boards related to various craft techniques and subjects related to crafts in general. It was on this board that I found myself browsing some of the messages yesterday. I ended up stumbling into a discussion about a technique I had never heard of, but found quite interesting. The technique that was under discussion involved getting an image, either words, picture, or a combination of both unto the face of a candle. When I first read it, I imagined the person used some fancy, probably expensive tool, but as I read into the posts further, I found just the opposite to be true. What was also under great discussion was how great the finished candles were as gifts. I could not agree more, that was if the technique were as simple as everyone was saying it was.

I decided that yes, it would be the perfect way to make some unique gifts for this upcoming holiday season. Even if it were not quite as simple as it seemed, as the instructions the woman had included in her post seemed almost too simple. I decided that I would look it up online a bit further to see if anything had been left out. While the internet might not always provide definitive answers for everything we come across, when it comes to the crafting hobbies, chances are you can find a wealth of information on just about any related subject if you just take the time to search for information.

What I found both surprised me and delighted me. In addition, I can tell you right now, that there are several people on my holiday gift list, which will be getting personalized candles this year.

Personalized Candle Instructions

After reading through several different people's observations on this craft, I tried out several, and ended up following along the basic steps to create my own personalized candles with no problems or issues whatsoever.

I chose a medium sized white candle to try this on, because that is what I had on hand. I imagine any sized or color candle will do. For the image and text that I chose to use, I printed it, via my inkjet printer, directly onto a sheet of white tissue paper (think thin wrapping paper). Note: I first taped the piece of tissue paper to a plain white sheet of regular printer paper, as the tissue paper seemed a bit too thin to send through my printer on its own, and I hate paper jams and avoid them at all costs. Once I had the image onto the tissue paper, I hand tore the image out, just leaving a very narrow margin around the whole thing. I could have also stamped an image onto the tissue paper and I believe it would work just as well, and I would not have had any worry about issues with the medium going through a printer.

I laid the candle on its side for this part, and I cheated a bit during this step and used just a tiny amount of glue, to keep the image in place on the candle where I wanted it to be. I would not recommend gluing it in place, just a tiny dot, or two on the edges to keep in flat on the curve of the candle.

I then turned my heat gun on and keeping it a few inches away from the candle, but close enough to heat it up just a bit, I moved the heat gun in a back and forth motion so that the wax heated up enough and melded together with the image. What resulted was a personalized candle that looked as if I had it done professionally. When I thought how easy it would be to make candles with my friend's names on, or with sayings or even short pieces of poetry, I realized I will never be without a last minute gift again as long as I keep a few candle s on hand. Finished off with a bit of ribbon, or ribbon and a couple of charms or beads, and even a last minute gift will look as if I spent hours making it or putting the details together to have someone else create it!

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