Transferring your photos onto candles

The Woot

Who says photos only belong in frames? If you can print it, you can add any photo or design of your choice to a candle. With a printer and just a few other inexpensive supplies, you can create unique decorative additions to your home or personalized gifts for loved ones. Fast and fun, photo-candle transfers are simple enough craft projects even to do with kids.

Supplies you’ll need

Tissue paper
Printer paper
Tape or glue stick
Wax paper
Hairdryer or heat gun

Step 1
Adhere a sheet of tissue paper to a piece of printer paper. You can use tape or a glue stick, just be sure the thickness is not so great that it has trouble running through the printer. If adhered with glue, allow it to dry completely.

Tip: For photo-realism, print on white tissue paper, but you can also experiment with different colors of tissue paper or photo-editing color filters such as sepia or greyscale.

Step 2
Print a picture onto the tissue paper, measuring beforehand to make sure the print is the appropriate size. For best results, set the printer on the setting used for transparencies. Once printed, carefully remove the tissue paper from the backing paper and trim as desired.

Tip: In addition to photos, you can print clip art or designs and add them as a decorative border or embellish other types of candles, such as tapers used during a candlelit dinner.

Step 3
Position the photo on the candle—ink side up—then cover with wax paper—wax side down. For a secure handhold, bunch excess wax paper around the back of the candle, pulling taut and gripping the bunch to ensure neither the photo or wax paper will slip mid-transfer.

Step 4
Apply heat with a hairdryer or heat gun, allowing the wax to melt slowly and evenly in order to set the photo. Move the heat source continuously in order to avoid puddling the wax in any one spot. The photo will darken and become clearer as the wax from the paper melts. Remove the heat when this happens and allow the surface to cool. Carefully peel the wax paper away.

Step 5
Check over the transfer, lightly tamping down flakes. If the transfer appears spotty or lighter in some areas than others, you may need to repeat the process with fresh wax paper, allowing the wax to melt more evenly.

Watch the video on YouTube here.