Make Your Own Photo Candle

Have to do this! Transfer a photo to a candle! (click through for tutorial) You guys know full well how much we love photos here at ABM, which makes our ongoing Canon USA collaboration a dream come true. Like, we have a major “heart-eyed emoji” crush on them, so we have lots of fun doing all kinds of photo-related projects. Emma had mentioned a few months ago that she had seen that it was possible to transfer photos onto candles, and I raised my hand and wiggled around in my seat like a first-grader saying, “Oh, me, me! Let me do it!” until she agreed. Score! It’s actually a pretty simple process and takes only a little time to complete (you could do it in a half hour for sure), so this is definitely a perfect project for a Saturday afternoon crafting session. I thought it would be fun to make a tall rectangle candle as well as a short one and print out one of my favorite PartyParty app photostrips, but you can customize your photo candle based on the picture or the candle shape you want to use.

Have to do this! Transfer a photo to a candle! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-white tissue paper
-8.5×11″ card stock
-scissors and clear tape
white candles (I got the 3×3″ and the 3×9″ sizes)
embossing heat tool
-wax paper
Canon PIXMA MG7520 printer

Here’s a little video to show you exactly how I did it!

NOTE: In all my research, the toxicity impacts of burning the candle down to the ink are minimal, comparable to using non-organic soaps or drinking decaf coffee. But if this is something that’s on your radar, you’ll want to keep these for just decorative uses. Personally, I don’t plan on burning my candles that far to avoid the faces getting all weird and warbly. 🙂

Have to do this! Transfer a photo to a candle! (click through for tutorial) I would print on the less shiny side of the tissue paper. I printed ours on the PIXMA MG7520 photo printer, which was incredibly easy and printed the photo perfectly. Just be sure that the side you want to print on is facing down in the paper tray. And make sure to hold the wax paper tight against the photo while you use the heat gun. Pay attention to how close you are to the photo and how hot your heat setting is. You want to be able to see the photo melting onto the candle, but you don’t want to melt the actual candle itself. The candle you choose also makes a difference in how well the image transfers. The more dense the wax is, the better the image seems to transfer. It still works on the softer wax, but the image isn’t as crisp and you melt the candle a bit more when using the heat gun.

I really wasn’t lying when I said it’s a pretty quick project and these make a great gift or table decor for a wedding or birthday event as well. Like I said, it’s totally up to you if you want to actually burn your candle or not. You can also leave it as a decor-only item if you wish and that way you won’t have creepy melted faces at some point. 😉

Hope you get a free afternoon soon to make your own candles, I think you’ll be glad you did! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman, Video and Music by: Jeremy Larson.  Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

  • This is a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing it. I used a hair drier, which worked just fine after I got the hang of it.

  • Could you get aeay with a regular photo . I do not have a printer but this idea is so awesome. Would make the best christmas presents . very sentimental.

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  • We LOVE this guide – nothing better than a DIY craft that’s personalised!

    Check out our guide to make candle holders (http://afancyhome.com/how-to/diy-shabby-chic-home-decor/) perfect follow-up project to this!

  • Does this have to be done with that specific printer, or will any photo printer work?

  • I love the idea of having my family’s photo’s on a nice scented candke. Can you tell me what kind of tissue paper I should use? Thank you

  • This would make a gorgeous present, think it’s time for me to invest in a embossing gun.

    Thanks for this post

    sundae-spills.blogspot.co.uk/

  • This is so cute 😛

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alina-Does-MakeUp/1420347474928303

  • Hi Aga! Hmm. Ours lasts longer than that, so I’m not sure. You might contact Canon’s customer service. 🙂 -Jacki

  • Love watching all your creative ideas wondered if your printer takes a lot of ink I have one of the Canon’s too and cant keep up with replacement of the ink even when I only print a few pictures. Any ideas why is that ???

  • This is perfect for anniversaries! Gorgeous project =)

    Juju Sprinkles
    http://www.jujusprinkles.com

  • I think it probably would, just try it on the low heat setting first and if that doesn’t melt it, turn on the high setting but hold it a little further away so you don’t melt the candle 🙂

    Laura

  • I love this idea! I would gift it to my best friend as a fun reminder of memorable moments we’ve shared throughout the years. Maybe the fragrance of the candle would remind her of all the great times.

  • Hi Monica! The one we linked in the post is more affordable: http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/purple-two-speed-heat-tool-152355/ 🙂 -Jacki

  • So very lovely! It’s always fun to find new ways to display our much loved photos xo

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    www.littlewildheart.com

  • I have so many candles that could use a makeover like this one. Do you know if a hair dryer would work in place of the embossing gun? I’ve seen them at Michaels are they around $40!

    M.

  • This is amazing. I will definitely be making one on the weekend, it is such a good idea
    xx
    http://diamondsandtulips.blogspot.com.au

  • Love this so much! Adding this to my very long list of crafts haha.

  • Absolutely love this idea! I want to make one asap!

    www.tusksandtails.com

  • this is a such a great idea! love how it came out 🙂

    My Blog – FloralConstellation
    My Etsy Shop

  • We absolutely love this DIY! Would make a great gift for friends 🙂
    AMaVo Boutique
    www.amavoboutique.com

  • i just have to say the music in this video was particularly awesome 🙂

  • Great idea! I may use this for a birthday coming up soon, also have to say I love the picture in the photos too #wordartrocks

  • Wow this idea is awesome! I actually have a recent obsession with candles because of the feel they give off! I’m definitely going to have to try this (: thank you for the great idea!

    – Kayla
    www.kloc.weebly.com

    P.s. I just started my blog so there’s only one post! But more to come

  • Just thought I would throw out there that you can also do this with those LED battery candles. My bro made them for us a couple Christmases ago and used the LED kind. Then you get the light AND it stays good forever!

  • Seriously adorable and the perfect DIY gift for a friend! I love it!

    Elise xo
    http://coffeeandpine.blogspot.ca

  • You can certainly try the hair dryer! Just try the low setting first and if that’s not hot enough to melt the image, try the hot setting with the dryer a little further away. Don’t burn your fingers!

    Laura 🙂

  • Your blog looks great Chloe! Keep it up and good luck!

    Laura 😉

  • so adorable!

    http://nurielfashion.blogspot.co.il/2015/03/prints-are-backo.html

  • I love this! Could you use something in place of the embossing heat gun? Like a hair dryer maybe? Thanks 🙂

  • This makes me want to do photo transfers on wood blocks of similar shapes – both natural and painted. Would be so cute on my bookshelf!

    • Do you have to remove the cardstock from the tissue paper before placing on the candle? Thank you

  • I love this idea! I will definitely be trying it out. A Beautiful Mess has inspired me to create my own blog, it would mean so much if you could check it out and let me know what you think 🙂 Thank you.

  • Oh my goodness, these are so adorable! I have to make some for my room, right now!

    ~Noor
    www.alittlebitofsunshineblog.com

  • Really cool idea, guys. Even I could do this! 😉

    Carrie
    www.wearwherewell.com

  • Oh man I would’ve never thought to do this – so clever I like it.

    -M
    www.violetroots.com

  • Oh wow that is so beautyful! I love candles 🙂

    xx Dörthe

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