Sunday, 7 March 2010

Procrastination and Church Candles!!!

Edited to put right all my typos and grammatical faux pas'! but don't claim to have found them all!!!

Well, you know when you are meant to be doing one thing - but do another instead?  That sums up my crafting - i'm not talking about making a card while I should be polishing, cleaning, doing laundry etc, I'm talking about doing one project when you're meant to be doing another - but I am usually able to justify it.

I've got loads of examples - but I won't bore you with them - I'll just talk about yesterdays procrastinations...

I was supposed to be making my Son's Birthday card - it's on Thursday.  I've got most of the elements together made my own backing paper and insert on My Craft Studio (can't wait to get my delivery of the upgraded software version)... It will be a tennis themed card - and can't wait to share it (when i've done it)... you see here is the problem: i've not done it.

However, I DID do something that I wanted to share with you and is a bit of a tutorial.

When I last went to IKEA to buy the furniture for the craft room - you know it's rude not to buy a candle or two from IKEA - so I did...  I thought when I bought them that I'd be able to decorate them.  Well, when I recieved my lovely purchase from WIPSO yesterday - and it was wrapped in gorgeous tissue paper.  Another purchase I made a couple of weeks ago (a CD from Pink Petticote) was also wrapped in delicious tissue paper - so all in all this is where the idea just kicked in. Candles, tissue paper - it was just crying out for a project... i'd read several on blogland - so i'm not claiming what-so-ever to have invented this idea - I just wanted to share my take on it.

So - I wanted to turn something you may just have in your cupboard into something worth giving as a gift - and as I have many birthdays as well as Mothers day this month - I thought I'd give it a try.

Take a plain church candle:


Some ingredients for the project:


A lot of ingredients aren't there (not)

Here's how I did it: I hand tore a strip of each of the colours of tissue paper and also cut some circles using my nestabilies - to do this successfully - you need to make a thickish wad of the tissue paper.  As its very thin - if you tried with a thin layer of paper - it will crumple rather than cut.

I stamped an image on the green paper using 'Lettuce' adirondak ink.  The image is from a design plate I bought a couple of years ago from Elusive Images (by Glenda Waterworth of Artylicious) - I only got it out of the packet yesterday and cut it up!


I then held the tissue paper round the candle and gently heated with my heatgun.  I only have one setting on my heat gun, but if you have two settings - put it on the coolest setting to prevent melting the wax.

When you 'waft' the heatgun over the tissue paper it will all of a sudden go shiney - you then know that it has melted into the surface.  Imagine the change when you do heat embossing - you physically see it change before your very eyes.  This is exactly the same.  Apologise as I didn't take a photo of this stage.  I was concentrating so hard with my tongue stuck out - I forgot!

I then took the pink and burgundy circles and piled them up and put a hole in the centre with my pokey tool then fastened them together with a yellow flower brad.

I added this to the candle with my quickie glue pen - I don't know how - but I managed to stick it to the top layer of the tissue paper (which was slightly waxed) - and it stayed!!  I made 2 leaves by folding a green circle in half and pinching the bottom (ooer)! and glued these to the bottom layer of the flower.

Here is the finished decorated candle:

Then I did it properly!!!

I cut some smaller circles with my nesties and stamped a little heart on some of them with black momento ink (no photo).

I phoned my Mum to beg some greaseproof paper as this is, I found a better way of doing it:

Get your piece of tissue paper and place it in the desired place on the candle.

Take a piece of greaseproof paper that is bigger than the circumference of your candle - i.e. big enough to wrap it round and grab it tight at the back:

As before, heat it with the heatgun over the tissue paper through the greaseproof paper.

You should still be able to see the tissue paper change colour underneath.

The advantage the greaseproof paper gives is that it keeps the surface of the candle smooth while heating it and if you accidentally overheat - it stays smooth rather than making the wax run.  This is what actually happened with the first candle I did so the finish is quite rough.  I will pass it off as rustic (tee hee).
I carried on putting the small circles around the candle quite randomly. Some plain, some with the hearts stamped on.

I then added a broad ribbon which is grossgrain - but organza ribbon would work equally well.  I melted the end of the ribbon on using the same method above.  I then stuck the other end of the ribbon down using glue dots.

Where the ribbon meets, I had cut out three circles from scraps of DP's in matching colours and layered these up.  I stuck these on the ribbon with pinflair glue.  The thin ribbon tied around is just there to ensure that the label doesn't fall off!! Now its dried i've removed it.


So, here are the instructions again in brief:

You will need - 
  • Candle - preferably church candle
  • Tissue paper
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Heatgun
  • Heatproof mat
  • usual craft supplies like ink if your stamping, scissors etc...
What you do-
  1. Cut or stamp your chosen design using the tissue paper
  2. Place in the desired place on your candle
  3. Wrap greaseproof paper around and hold tight behind with the excess
  4. Gently heat with gun (on cool setting if you have one)
  5. Carefully peel the greaseproof paper
  6. Decorate as desired with ribbons, gems and what ever your heart desires.
Please note that it is quite difficult to punch the tissue due to its thinness (probably not a word!!!)

The most important thing for this project is to enjoy yourself and don't beat yourself up if it goes pearshaped - its crafting and you're meant to enjoy it.  

Although the first one didn't turn out as well as my second one - the difference was the greaseproof paper.  It's important to me that I do make my own mistakes as its the very best way to learn - its best to eliminate ways of doing something wrong on your first attempt rather than try do do it differently when it might matter!!!

Let me know if you enjoyed this project and whether you manage to make one yourself - also let me know if you have made one before - and whether you have any additional hints, tips or good advice!!!

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again.


x x x


  1. Hi Paula
    You are just fantastic for sharing all your inspiration and tips with us really do appreciated it, the candle is just perfect would adorn the centre of anybody's table.
    Christine x

  2. These are fab Paula. Hugs Pam x

  3. Great project Paula, enjoyed reading about your experience - I've done this before and I was amazed at the results, you have made me want to try it again. Thanks. ikki

  4. Hi Paula!

    Your candle tutorial ( and candle of course) is beautiful - I always wondered how that was done and thanks to you I know now - must try it myself! Thank you also for your comments the other day and also for being a follower - I hope my blog will be interesting enough to follow!
    Cardarian xxx

  5. This is so pretty, Paula!

    A friend of mine has just completed a candle project as well. If you want to check it out, visit her here:

  6. gorgeous candles Paula and i work on things I shouldn't all the time, hugs xx

  7. how fab - might give it a go!

  8. Beautiful candles Paula, particularly lurve the one with the birdie and gorgeous flower - love the colours of that one ;) You could try cutting the tissue paper with a piece of copy paper on top or bottom - on the side nearest the cutting edge of the punch.
    Anne xx

  9. wow, cool cabled, Paula! I might have to try these, Mine, I just did the image, not other tissue papers.TFS!

  10. Oh well done Paula..great tute and also - the greaseproof thing is a fab idea..I've done a few candles over the years and this technique makes so much more sense! Brill.

  11. Wow these look wonderful Paula and thanks for sharing your tried and tested methods, I had not heard of using greaseproof paper before! The candles look great and your tutorial is so clear that I feel all inspired and will have to have a go at this myself! Tracey x

  12. I read this post several days ago but I didn't seem to leave any comment. I really like what you have done with candles and thanks for showing the procedure... it looks simple and effective!


Thank you for your super scrummy spangly comment and for spending your valuable time letting me know what you think...

Crafty hugs, Paula x x x


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