Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Halloween DIY Printed Candles

Steampunk Inspired Tutorial

As well as my usual stitching, I'm also busy preparing for George's Halloween birthday party.  I kept my eyes open throughout the Summer car boot sale season for anything fitting our Victorian Gothic / Steampunk theme and now have lots of lovely upcycling projects to share over the next few weeks!

Firstly we want the house to be candlelit for the dinner but I was taken aback by the price of pillar candles in the shops, so they were a definite on my 'booting hit-list', (provided they cost 20p or less!)  Luckily I found plenty but, having been purchased secondhand, they were all different sizes and varying shades of white and cream. Some of them were also warped, presumably having being displayed on sunny windowsills, and all were rather grubby.   They were therefore in desperate need of a revamp and here are the results;

Steampunk Inspired Candles

I had already designed the party invitations and the artwork I used was also perfect for this project.  Having the same strong images running throughout creates unity, and a gives far more stylish and glamorous feel than you would expect from a thrifted event!

Easy DIY Printed Candle Tutorial

The candles were super easy to produce and cost mere pennies using materials you probably already have;

Inkjet printer or ink-pad and stamps 
Tissue paper
Printer paper
Glue stick

An uninspiring grubby start!

The first step is to transfer your chosen images to the tissue paper.  If you have suitable Halloween stamps simply use these, otherwise a quick search of the internet will throw up hundreds of possibilities!

I was using printed images, so cut down a sheet of tissue paper to the same size as a regular sheet of copier paper.  My tissue was upcycled from gift packaging so I also gave it a quick press with my iron before securing it to the copier paper with a tiny dab of glue in each corner.  Both sheets were then feed thorough the printer in the usual manner.

Here they come!

Now cut out the printed images, trimming closely to the outlines.  Depending on the sharpness of your scissors it might be easier to achieve this whilst the tissue is still backed with the thicker printer paper.

The final stage is to fix the trimmed images to the candle fronts using the heat from your hairdryer.  Another quick dab of glue stick prevents an image from fluttering off in the warm air before it's fully fused!

As the hairdryer heats up the candle, the edges of the tissue paper magically disappear, sinking gently into the molten wax. In the above photo you can just make out the tissue edge around the skeleton's right hand and leg but in another second or two they'll be gone!

All finished

Halloween Gothic Candles 

I've made over thirty of them but here are just two making their debut in this year's 'Glamorous Gothic' mantel display.  

Happy Halloween!


  1. Dear Josie
    Another fantastic idea - thank you for sharing.
    Best wishes

  2. cool ! :D
    thanks for sharing , I'll try this.

  3. Josie - those candles are fabulous!!! And I love them on your mantel with the feather boas! I've got to make some of these so I'm pinning it. I've already made 3 different types of candles for our Halloween party this year, but I know I can find a spot for some of these! Just love them!

  4. OMG I love those! Where did you get the printables at? I need those in my house STAT lol
    I am hosting my first ever Tuesday Link Up Party. I hope you can come over and link up with me!! I love meeting new ladies and getting to see all the amazing content everyone has to offer!

    1. I've just been over and linked up to your lovely new party!

  5. They look amazing well done :) Definitely more decadent!

  6. Can I come to this party! Lol! These are fabulous Josie, such great images. Xx

  7. Great outcome! Well worth the searching around the car boot sales :)

  8. Love this! Thanks for the great instructions. I love the steam punk images you chose. Thanks for sharing! Pinned!!

  9. That is amazing! Thank you so much for the tute. I'd never have considered the possibility of transferring to candles like that. Your Halloween theme looks great too. I hope the party goes well :)

  10. I love these, and the steampunk images... Great choice! Wonderful project, and a great tutorial.... Pinning!

  11. Hehe! They look fantastic! What a fab technique, i will definitely be giving it a go :) Thanks for sharing and i hope you have a wonderful party! x

  12. Absolutely love the images you chose! Thanks for sharing how you made them as well :)

  13. Very effective candles, thanks for the lesson!

  14. That is a great tutorial, and I am now going to focus when I visit a boot fair and look for candles.

  15. Wow, Wow, Wow... I have a thing about skulls and i absolutely Love these candles youve made...
    Thank you so much for the tutorial, it was so interesting, I guess thats another project to add to the growing list of things i wish to do!!
    Your mantle looks fantastic!! Oh how i wish to have a mantle... xx

  16. These are brilliant, your fire place looks amazing :)

  17. They are amazing, I'm sure its going to be an awesome party.

  18. SO clever!! I can't wait to try this. Pinning and sharing! XO

  19. Just stopping by to let you know..YOU'VE BEEN FEATURED... Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Up Party @ LiveRandomlysimple
    Thanks for linking up last week and congrats! I loved your post and super excited to feature it! The new link up party is now live so I hope you can come back :) Make sure you grab your feature button so you get bragging rights WHOOP WHOOP!

  20. This is so clever! I'd love for you to link this up to the Be. YOU. tiful link party live on Thursdays. Glad to find you here. Pinning!

  21. What a fab idea - they look great, and thanks for sharing the tutorial:)

  22. I just LOVE this whole look. Vintage spooky is right up my alley for Halloween. The feather boa is genius-what a great mantel!

  23. Love your tutorial and the final result! I might try it out. :) Do you mind if I do something similar and show it on my blog? I would make sure to credit you for the idea and link to your blog for more inspiration. Kind regards /Helena

  24. Replies
    1. I didn't find they burned any differently, the tissue paper is obviously very very thin. Also most modern candles seem to burn from the inside, leaving the outer edges still standing!