From December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!
Day 10: Stamped Candles
I’m so excited about today’s tutorial! Janelle is back to teach us how to make stamped candles – who doesn’t love a fun candle? Here she is…
“The craft I’m showing you today is a really simple stamped candle. It’s an easy way to give a little homemade touch to a gift, without spending too much time or effort on it.
You will need:
- A pillar candle, any color
- A hairdryer
- Something to press into the candle
- Optional: craft paint and a paintbrush
Let’s talk about materials for a minute. In the candle on the right, I used metal letterpress type to spell out a word. Very cool, and looks great just as an initial also. But most people don’t have metal type in the house, so for this tutorial, I wanted to try out other objects to see how they worked.
I dug around in my jewelry box and sewing kit and here’s what I found:
- Buttons, both plastic and metal
- A tiny wooden spool
- A chunky wooden bracelet with carved beads
- Some charm bracelets
- A metal brooch with rhinestones
- Some kind of button cover from the 1920s with a cameo-like face on it
- Rubber stamps
I also considered a hair elastic with a metal bird on the end and a thin silver necklace, but as you will see later, these didn’t work as well.
The most important thing to consider is the amount of contrast on the piece you’re going to stamp. Of these three, the wooden bracelet is best. The deep ridges show up more than the tiny detail on the silver bracelet. But unlike the bird, most of the surface is the same depth, so you don’t need to press as hard into the candle to get the detail to show up.
It’s easier to stamp with items that are small. Big things need to curve around the candle, which is tricky.
Let’s get started! I’ll wait here while you raid your own jewelry box and craft cupboard.
Ready? Here we go!
Once you have your stamp ready, soften the candle wax so you can press your stamp in. I used a hairdryer on high, held pretty close to the candle. Watch carefully; it doesn’t take long to see the top layer of wax start shimmering. If you’re doing a deep stamp, try holding the heat further away so it penetrates further before totally melting.
And be careful! Hairdryers are HOT!
Quickly press your stamp into place. If you’re doing a design around the border, for example, you can usually do about half the candle at a time. The wax hardens up, but depending on how deep the melt went, you may have enough time to do a larger design.
If you used a white candle, like me, you may be tempted to quit at this point, as your design won’t show up too well. This is the cameo brooch I mentioned earlier.
Get out your acrylic paint and a brush. I used gold and silver paint, but any color would look nice. The foam brushes at Michael’s are great for this craft because they squish the paint into all the little crevices.
And here it is after a little painting. Much better! I probably should have rotated the brooch a bit, but you can get the gist here.
Here are some finished examples:
- Wooden spool on the top row
- Plain plastic button
- Woven metal button
- Flower-stamped metal button
- Rubber stamp of a kitchen whisk
- Pattern made from the rhinestone brooch. This reminds me of champagne bubbles. I think it would be a fun all-over pattern.
- Wooden beads from a bracelet. I didn’t space these out too well, but I love the plaid-like look they give. You could wash these with a red paint and do little stripes with a thin brush for extra credit.
And, at the top of the post, you can see the little deer I used from a charm bracelet. This may be my very favorite. Doesn’t it look like Rudolph?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial, and have fun experimenting!”
Thanks Janelle! I love the little deer too, but the the rhinestone “bubbles” are so fun too! Love this idea so much. Happy crafting everyone!
In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Day 4: Paper Circle Garland
Day 5: Rice-Filled Neck Warmer
Day 6: Felt Stacking Tree
Day 7: Painted Wooden Message Boards
Day 8: Paper Dot Notecards
Day 9: Simple Sewing Projects