DIY Pretty Candles for Your Table (2 ways we didn’t love and one we did)

Have you seen all those pretty candle pictures that people make using decoupaged napkins? We tried it and here’s what happened!

We met up to have a craft evening and thought we’d just whip up a quick project with some candles and mod podge but weren’t we surprised!

Have you ever tried using mod podge on candles?

Let us tell you about our experience!

We read several different people’s directions and they all basically said to do the same thing – use Mod Podge and pretty napkins and you’ll make pretty candles.

Someone pointed out that the spray Mod Podge was the best and easiest to use ever so we assembled all of our supplies and got started.

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Supplies used to make DIY Pretty Candles

Using Spray Mod Podge to Make Pretty Candles

For our first attempt we got out our Valentine napkins and laid them out to fit around our candles.

The plan was to just wrap the candle in the napkin and we were using the spray method.

Following the directions we sprayed our candle, then lay it on the napkin to roll around and cover.

And we wound up with a wrinkled mess!

So we peeled it off, read the directions again, tried again.

And guess what?

The same thing happened!

Using spray Mod Podge to create Pretty Candles

So we decided to try another method.

Brushing on Mod Podge to get Pretty Candles

We thought that maybe if we used a smaller piece of napkin it would work better so we set out cutting out some of the designs to glue onto the napkins.

Of course we are adults and realize that this is really just a paste project but it I guess it sounds fancier when you say Mod Podge and when you use napkins instead of construction paper right?

You’re never going to guess what happened this time are you?

The same thing!!

The napkins wrinkled up!

Using brush on Mod Podge to make pretty candles

This was before we’d even opened up any wine, so at this point we decided maybe we needed to do some research while having a glass of wine!

What we did find was basically the same advice on everything we read, but we did finally find someone who said you could use plastic wrap to help smooth the napkin without tearing it, but she also said to “embrace the wrinkles” which leaves us wondering if the plastic wrap helps.

Nope, we didn’t try it.

We found another method to try but we didn’t have the supplies for it so it’s going to have to be a (secret) project for the future.

Maybe this was our punishment for thinking we could whip out this project in just a few minutes!

At this point we were more than an hour into the project and wasted several napkins.

We also managed to get the spray Mod Podge on a table, a phone and some clothing. So fair warning, use that stuff in a protected area!

But we did have other supplies and we decided to try another method entirely!

How to Paint Pretty Candles for Your Table

We always have a huge supply of paint in all kinds of colors so it seemed like a no brainer to try painting candles.

We do have a tip for you though!!

You don’t want to just start painting right onto the surface of a candle because, as we’re sure you know, they’re pretty slick. They are made out of wax!

Use alcohol to clean your candle!

Rubbing alcohol. To be clear.

Cleaning the surface with alcohol will help the paint adhere to the surface of the candle.

Using acrylic paint to make pretty candles

We recommend using acrylic paint (that’s what we used) but there may be other paints that will work well. Acrylic paint is just the one we tried.

We used tape to make perfect stripes but you can freehand the whole thing if you’d like.

Now of course we didn’t get wrinkles on our candles, but we didn’t get absolutely perfect designs either!

But we were much happier with the outcome of this project than the previous ones!

A few designs of painted pretty candles

A search on Instagram showed that there are some really amazing artist’s who paint candles and sell them so that’s definitely an option and wouldn’t that be an amazing gift?

Can you imagine having someone gift you candles painted in your perfect colors? Or with your dogs (or other pets) on them? Oh my!

You can find those makers on Instagram by searching for their account names (above) or by searching the hashtag #paintedcandles

All of those gorgeous designs are well above our talent. At least at this point in time!

We’d imagine that it would take a lot of practice and a steady hand to make some of those. And patience. Definitely a lot of patience,

Which is why we’re not candle designers.

But we definitely admire this talent and you should check them out on Instagram.

After peeling off the tape we did get these beauty’s though!

Pretty Painted Candles

If you look closely you’ll see that our lines aren’t perfect and we’re okay with that. In fact next time we might just make the lines wavy instead of taping them off. We’ll embrace a more organic style of line.

We definitely feel like this looks like a candle we made but it also turned out better than the decoupage candles.

At least that’s our opinion!

DIY Pretty Candles FAQ

Will the paint catch fire?

On the larger pillar candles that we used, we’re not as worried about the paint catching fire since they generally burn down the center and don’t melt completely. Unless they’re in a tall candle holder, in which case read on….

Use a water based, non toxic paint for your candles.

Spray paint or household paint will definitely emit fumes when they’re burned so it’s not a safe option for painting candles. Oil based paint is much more flammable so definitely don’t use it.

Acrylic paint is a better choice and if you’re worried, paint a small design and leave plenty of candle wax showing through.

How long do I have to wait to burn my candles?

Let your candles dry for a few hours and they should be just fine to burn.

Can I paint battery candles?

We’d say the battery candles are probably the safest bet when it comes to painting, just be sure that you remove the battery’s while you paint and tape off the area where they operate so there’s no chance of getting any kind of moisture in there.

Be Sure to Follow Candle Safety when Burning!

This is just a craft blog so we’re showing you fun ideas to make crafts and decorate your home but if you’re burning candles be sure that you burn them safely!

You probably already know all these tips but you should definitely check them out here: Candle Burning Fire Safety

So have you ever made a decoupage candle? What did we do wrong?

Have you ever painted a candle? How’d that turn out for you?

Be sure to let us know in the comments below and send us all your pictures because we want to celebrate with you!

Follow us on Pinterest and on Instagram for lot’s more ideas and inspiration!

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