quick christmas ideas: wrapped candles

here's a fun little gift idea if you still need some inspiration -- these tissue paper-covered candles are the perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift, and can be made from supplies you already have around the house!

paper-wrapped holiday candles
supplies needed:
patterned or blank tissue paper
embossing gun
stamps and ink or other embellishments, if you want them

start out with plain, un-decorated candles in any color. i used two small white ones, picked up at the dollar store:

pick some patterned tissue paper or stamp your own pattern on plain tissue paper. i even embossed some little gingerbread men on mine for an extra texture. then, lay out the candle on its side and mark the top and bottom so you know how tall your strip of paper needs to be. roll the candle along in a straight line, marking every few inches [see the yellow arrows below] so you can connect the dots and cut the full strip:

cut out the strip and make sure it fits around your candle -- you might need to trim a bit to get a perfect fit. you want the ends of the strip to meet with very little, if any, overlap:

now's the fun part! lay the candle on its side and line up one end of the strip, with the rest hanging behind. grab your embossing gun and begin heating the end of the strip, holding the gun about 2-4 inches away from your candle and waving it slowly back and forth to help distribute the heat:

since my candles were from the dollar store [read: cheap], the wax melted a bit more than normal. i've done this with higher-quality candles before and didn't have this problem. it's okay though -- once you set the tissue paper over the melted part, you can smooth it out with your fingers and no one will know the difference.

as the outer layer of candle wax melts, you'll see the tissue paper start to "melt" into it. the tissue paper takes on a shiny, wet quality as it settles into the wax -- it will settle on its own, so don't succumb to the impulse to push it with your finger while you're heating it. you will burn your fingers :)

here, you can see the difference between the settled paper and the dry paper, which hasn't melted into the candle yet:

continue heating the rest of the way around the candle, making sure your paper stays straight against the edges of the candle as you go. smooth out any bumps in the paper with your fingers when you're done -- you might need to heat the edges a little extra to make sure they lay flat.

and voila! decorative candles, perfect for a christmastime mantle.

you can personalize these any way you want -- stamp the person's name, favorite color, whatever onto your tissue paper. they don't even have to stay christmas-y -- use some bright and funky birthday-colored tissue paper or stamp flowers or stars for year-round presents. have fun wrapping your candles!

* find the rest of my quick christmas ideas here.

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