Make your own DIY image transfer candles with any photo or image that you like. Use this super easy image transfer method to make your own custom photo candles.
A note from Aimee: This blog post first appeared on The Crazy Craft Lady in January 2017. It has since been updated to bring you the best, most current creative content.
Years ago, back when my blog photography skills were shameful, I saw these music pillar candles in Pottery Barn. In typical fashion, I told myself, “I could totally make that.” So I did.
This image transfer method is one of my absolute favorites. Since my early days of blogging, I have used this technique to transfer more than just music notes onto candles.
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Video Tutorials for the 2 Image Transfer Methods
Method 1: The Tissue Paper Method
Here’s watch the video below to learn how to print any image onto tissue paper and transfer it onto a candle (NOTE this was a fall craft, but it’s the same exact method used for the music note and family picture candles):
Method 2: The Napkin Method
Watch this quick video to see how I updated a plain dollar store candle with a cute fall napkin:
- white or cream pillar wax candle
- parchment paper
- white tissue paper, 1 sheet of printer paper, and masking tape (if using the tissue paper method)
- OR 1 decorative napkin (if using the napkin method)
- hair dryer or heat gun
- printer (if using the tissue paper method)
Watch the video tutorial before you begin, and let that be your visual guide for this project.
Prepare your image to be transferred:
- If using the tissue paper method: Cut a piece of tissue paper to slightly smaller than the size of your printer paper. Then tape the tissue paper to the computer paper (at only the top and bottom, to prevent jamming), making sure that the tissue paper is as smooth as possible. Then, print your image onto the tissue paper.
- If using the napkin method: Peel apart the layers of the napkin, saving only the top ply with the image.
Trim the tissue paper down to size: either cut out a single image, or trim the tissue paper to the dimensions of your candle.
Lay your trimmed tissue paper flat over the candle. Wrap tightly with parchment paper.
Heat the candle with your hair dryer or heat gun. The hot air will begin to melt the candle surface. You just want to melt the surface layer of wax enough so that the tissue paper adheres to the candle. The pressure from pulling the parchment paper tight will help smooth the paper into the melted wax and keep the candle's shape.
Remove the parchment paper. Then you can rotate the candle and re-heat any sections that may not have fully adhered.
Note: The music that I used just came from a Google image search for “sheet music.”
I also made an image transfer candle with a picture of the twins at the apple orchard this fall. For that candle, I trimmed the tissue paper to the exact size of the photo. If you’re doing this for the first time, I would probably recommend starting with a smaller picture or image, before trying to cover a whole candle in one go.