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Transferring an Image to a Candle – Easy Gift Series



Transferring an Image to a Candle - Easy Gift Series

I love this process!  Seriously not much is easier, you only need a couple of supplies (you probably already have them) and not a lot of time!  The first thing you need to do is find an image.  The Graphics Fairy is my go to spot for cool vintage images and she does not disappoint!  With over 4,000 images you are sure to find something that fits what you are looking for.

Supplies: (may include affiliate links)

Once you have found the image you want  and you have edited it to the size you need to fit your candle you print it off on tissue paper.  Trim your image leaving as little border as possible and the place it INK SIDE OUT on your candle.

Transferring an Image to a Candle - Easy Gift Series
Wrap a piece of wax paper tightly around your candle, holding both ends in one hand on the back side (you might want to wear an oven mitt for this part!)  For the next step you can use an embossing gun, hairdryer or even your stove.  Holding your candle with your hands away from the heat  slowly heat until you see the wax paper start to melt and you see the ink come through the paper . At that point, you’re done. Carefully peel the wax paper away and reveal your printed candle.
Transferring an Image to a Candle - Easy Gift Series

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98 Comments

  • Maureen November 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Ashley. Love this idea. Could you please give me more details on how you printed on tissue paper? Was it with an ink jet printer and how did you feed the tissue paper through the printer? Thanks! Maureen

    Reply
    • Ashley November 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Maureen! In this example I used tracing paper (the kind they sell in the kids section at joann’s or walmart). It comes in a pad with like 40 sheets and is actually 9×12, so I had to cut it down to standard letter size. After I cut it I stuck it in the paper tray of my printer just like normal copy paper! I use a regular ink jet printer (it’s an hp) and and normal print settings (nothing fancy here). Let me know if you have any other questions. You can also use gift wrapping tissue paper, you would need to cut it down to letter size and then use a little bit of tape to attach it to a regular sheet of paper to feed it through. I like the tracing paper because it is faster less hassle.

      Reply
      • Bonnie June 10, 2014 at 5:11 am

        Ashley, Would it be possible to rewrite the instruction to include this way to do the tracking paper or tissue paper instructions? I too could not figure out how to put tissue paper into them tray to print , it as it would go through. Let us all know when you re-write the instruction so we can re copy it. Thanks

        Reply
        • Kitty June 11, 2014 at 5:24 pm

          In reply to those who were asking about actually using these candles, I would like to pass on a tip that has worked well for me. I use a wood bore (flat) drill bit and drill down into the candle. Watch carefully, it only takes a second or two. Then you can insert a tea candle in the indentation, or even a battery operated flameless candle. So the candle can be used, but the design stays intact forever. HTH 🙂

          Reply
          • Carol November 13, 2014 at 9:07 am

            That is a GREAT idea!! Like a “why didn’t I think of it” moment. Thank-you!

          • Ashley Emmett November 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm

            Thank you!

          • MARTHA OBRIAN April 23, 2016 at 7:28 pm

            It is also called a paddle bit, in case anyone is more familiar with that term.

    • Joseph November 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      If you do not have an InkJet Printer, what do you do if you have a LaserJet? And how do you properly place the tracing paper in the printer without jamming the machine?

      Reply
      • Ashley Emmett November 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm

        This should work with a laser printer no problem. I cut my paper to exactly the same size as a regular piece of paper and then tape it to a regular piece of paper along the top edge that feeds into the machine. good luck!!

        Reply
      • Lizzie November 15, 2014 at 8:54 am

        Hi Joseph! I would be careful. If I am right in thinking that LaserJet is the same as Laser printers, your printer might melt the paper. I was reading online about printing onto tracing paper. I found several places where it said that using a Laser printer could melt the paper and ruin the printer.
        Lizzie recently posted…Learning in MexicoMy Profile

        Reply
    • Dianne May 2, 2015 at 9:37 am

      I just read somewhere to tape a larger piece of tissue paper to a piiece of printer paper (like you are wrapping the printer paper in tissue) and put the printer on transparency mode and it will print onto the tissue paper

      Reply
  • How To Transfer Images To Candles November 12, 2013 at 6:17 am

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    Reply
  • Rita November 12, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for the directions, they are very easy to follow.

    Is this candle only decorative or can you burn it? If you can burn it, do you have to do anything special to prevent the design from catching fire?

    Reply
    • Donna November 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

      yeah, I was wondering the same thing as Rita…..is this a craft that is just for looks or can the candle be burned? I would think if you lit the candle, the tissue paper would burn and cause an unfortunate accident. This is some thing I would think someone would actually like to make and sale in a store….I would think they would need to include a disclaimer IF they did this and sold it OR even if they just decided to give as a gift

      Reply
    • Ashley November 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I am burning one right now! As it burns down the design will come off of the candle (it is only attached by a thin layer of wax), but should not catch fire. As with ALL candles, you should never leave them burning unattended. I personally have never had a problem with them catching on fire, however do what you feel is best for you!
      Ashley recently posted…Awesome Things Tuesday – 1My Profile

      Reply
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  • Yna Johnstar November 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    can i use bondpaper

    Reply
    • Ashley November 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      You can use regular copy paper so I imagine you can also use bond paper. The part around your design will not be transparent but if you use a similar colored candle it wouldn’t be a big deal!

      Reply
  • Jan November 13, 2013 at 2:29 am

    When you “wax paper” can you tell me exactly what this is? I am in the UK and may not be able to access the same stores or products as you. Thanks

    Reply
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  • Deneen Wilson December 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    What kind of tissue paper can you print on?

    Reply
    • Ashley December 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      You can print on tissue paper like you would use in a gift bag for a present! You would need to cut it to fit a regular sheet of paper and then use a little bit of tape to attach it to a regular sheet of paper (on each of the edges) so that you could feed it through your printer.

      Reply
  • Olivia December 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Have you ever tried it on flameless candles? I’m not sure if the wax is the same or not, but I’m thinking it would help preserve the image as well as not burn the house down. That being said, I’m trying to give this as a gift to grandparents and I don’t exactly trust them with flames.

    Reply
    • Ashley December 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      I have not tried it on flameless candles, but if you do let me know how it works out!

      Reply
  • Mandy December 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I’ve tried doing this a couple times and can’t get it to work if my life depended on it. How long do you have to heat the ink before it will transfer?

    Reply
    • Ashley December 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      It takes about 5 minutes of constant heat which is why I recommend the oven mitt! Also, you can only use the wax paper one time per image (I tried to reuse them and it didn’t work at all) and you need to get the blow dryer pretty close to the candle to melt the wax coating like within an inch. Hope that helps! If it makes you feel better I had a lot of failures before I was able to successfully get it to work (no one’s perfect the first time right?) but once you get it down it goes pretty quickly!

      Reply
      • kim akins May 16, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        I have tried until the wax is almost running. The shine is there and everything. When I remove the wax paper it looks perfect. After it dries the image starts to peel up. I’m using tracing paper.

        Reply
    • Marlene June 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Mandy, I think you are misunderstanding the process. You are not transferring the ink to the candle. You are adhering the paper with the design to the candle. The heat softens the wax of the candle and on the waxed paper, so they “glue” the paper to the candle.

      Reply
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  • Maami in Melbourne February 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    This is so fab!! I have some bond sheets and white candles that I want to use right away. Will get the wax paper soonest!! Thanks

    http://maamiinmelbourne.wordpress.com
    Maami in Melbourne recently posted…A green thumb – new developmentMy Profile

    Reply
  • Kathy March 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    To protect your design on your candle from being destroyed, burn your candle down far enough to insert a tea light.

    Reply
    • Ashley March 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      That is a great tip! Thanks for sharing!!

      Reply
  • Kitty April 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Would it be safe to coat the transferred image on the candle with spray or brush-on polyurethane to protect the image and make it last longer when the candle is lit? How about coating it with Mod Podge? Thanks!

    Reply
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  • kyra kiele June 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    How do you get image onto the wax paper??? You lost me there!!!

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett June 11, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Hi Kyra! You will print the image onto your tracing paper. Then trim the tracing paper around the image. Place the image on the candle (with the ink facing out) and wrap the wax paper tightly around it. Apply heat until the wax from the wax paper has melted and attached itself to the tracing paper image and the candle. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Silvana August 31, 2014 at 4:49 am

        And the tissue paper? I am lost… 🙂

        Reply
    • Victoria Sterling July 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      I just tape it to printer paper works perfect

      Reply
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  • sarah September 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Is it acod free tissue paper from a craft store or regular tissue paper used in gift bags?

    Reply
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  • Marie@The Interior Frugalista September 30, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Hi Ashley, thank you so much for the awesome tutorial on how to transfer images onto candles! I’m definitely going to try this and pinned it for reference.

    Reply
  • Renita October 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Ashley, this is a fab idea. I want to make thank you gifts for a wedding using the picture of the bride and groom. How would I go about using a photo as the image that needs to get onto the candle.
    Do u have any other ideas on wedding favors using a photo?

    Renita(RSA)

    Reply
  • diskrete Sextreffs October 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    That iis a really good tip especially to those new
    to the blogosphere. Short but very precise info… Thank you for sharjng this one.
    A muswt read post!
    diskrete Sextreffs recently posted…diskrete SextreffsMy Profile

    Reply
  • Erin October 28, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Just read this article and had to try it. No wax paper so i used a tealight and melted it on some paper making a wax layer. Also don’t have a printer so i drew a picture on some tissue paper. Was pretty sure i was just wasting time but by goodness it worked! Thanks! Now my art is on a candle 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett November 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      YEAH!!! I love hearing this, send me a pic? thanks!

      Reply
  • brendaparrish1951@yahoo.com October 29, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I was wondering if you could use a charcoal drawing pencil and hand draw on the tissue paper and still have the image to transfer to the candle??

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett November 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      I don’t see why not! It’s the melting wax from the wax paper that adheres it to the candle! good luck, let me know how it works! 🙂

      Reply
    • Naomi November 24, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      I drew on tissue paper with a graphite pencil (greylead) and melted it onto a candle last night and it worked beautifully.

      Reply
    • Naomi November 24, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      I was wondering about hazards. I read somewhere that the tissue paper might catch alight when you burn the candle. Does anyone know anything about this?

      Also, with the ink, when the wax melts, does the ink vaporize? Does anyone know anything about that in terms of toxicity?

      I transferred a graphite pencil drawn image to a candle last night and it worked beautifully and looked great – and graphite is non-toxic.

      Reply
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  • John A. November 3, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I would like to know if your system also works on a hard surface such as painted metal.
    also do know where I could get an set of three initial overlay for a handle on a metal item. ????

    Reply
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  • Lisa at Mabey She Made It November 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Such a cool idea!
    Lisa at Mabey She Made It recently posted…18 DIY Kitchen TowelsMy Profile

    Reply
  • Mrs Major Hoff November 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Love these, so clever!
    Mrs Major Hoff recently posted…Comfort Food! More than 25 of your favorite Dinners!My Profile

    Reply
  • April November 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Print it out on tissue paper? Or on tracing paper, which is on the list of supplies? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett November 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Either one! I had tracing paper on hand so I used it, but tissue paper works just the same!

      Reply
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  • privter sextreff November 21, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Wow! After all I got a blog from where I can actually obtain useful information concerning my study
    and knowledge.
    privter sextreff recently posted…privter sextreffMy Profile

    Reply
  • Ian December 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hi there,

    I just found this page and thought it would be great for a work gift exchange. The problem is that my image does not end up on the candle. Not even a little piece transfers.

    I printed my image on tracing paper
    placed it ink side out on the candle and taped it tight ( I only have one hand so I can’t hold and blow)
    placed wax paper on top and taped that tight
    used a hair dryer
    peeled off

    What am I doing wrong? Your candles look amazing!

    Reply
  • Ian December 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Wait a second, I am just noticing… Is the paper itself adhering to the candle, or is the ink transferring?

    If it’s the tracing paper attaching itself to the candle, and I am taping it, is that my problem?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett December 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Exactly! The paper is actually being attached to the candle by melting the wax off the wax paper onto the candle by heating it up with the blow drier.

      Reply
  • Deanna December 11, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Yes love the candle idea everyone loves candles but where do u go or what website has the ideas to print…..ty

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett December 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      I get a lot of my graphics from the graphics fairy! Good luck!

      Reply
  • Jade December 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Hi I’m in Australia and just discovered this wonderful hobby! I successfully transfer the image to the candle but notice a day later the paper with the image appears to have lifted and when I pull it it comes off like it was never stuck at all!
    Do you think I should heat it longer? But if I heat it longer my round candle loses it’s shape? Any tips or advice would be great!

    Reply
    • Samantha June 9, 2015 at 4:53 am

      I used vellum paper, as I have seen in other tutorials. It worked great at first, but as the candle cooled the paper now has ripples in it. Any recommendations? Should I heat longer?

      Reply
      • Ashley Emmett June 18, 2015 at 1:07 am

        I’m not sure, you could try heating it again. I’m worried the heat is what’s causing the vellum itself to warp though…

        Reply
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  • Nikita April 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Hiya i was wonder if it was possible for me to be able to draw on tissue paper and then transfer this on to candle, I want to make sure its safe. Also i am from the uk and do not have access to wax paper could i use grease proof paper or baking paper ?
    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett April 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      You can definitely draw your own picture on the tissue paper. You do have to use wax paper for the transfer though, the melting wax on the paper is what attaches the image to the candle.

      Reply
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  • KRIS July 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Does parchment paper work? I heard the wax paper is just to prevent some little bubbles and stuff…

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett July 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      The wax from the wax paper is actually what adheres your image to the candle, so you could use parchment for the design, but you still need wax paper over top.

      Reply
  • Julia September 3, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Hi, I love the look of these candles and am looking for ideas of things I could start to make and sell. Please can you tell me if you need a particular kind of printer for printing onto tissue paper? Thanks.

    Reply
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  • Sandra October 5, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Can you do this without the tissue or tracing paper? Was wondering if you can print the image onto wax paper instead of the tissue/tracing paper, so the image gets transferred to the candle without the tissue/tracing paper. Would like to light/burn the candles, but worried about the tissue paper. Would the image transfer onto the candle?

    Reply
  • micci November 2, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Hi i actually liked your diy candle and i do have a slight problem, im a little confused about the supplies needed it says there tracing paper while on the tutorial you used tissue paper… i tried to research but they all use tissue paper..im a little confuse..is this the normal tissue paper we use at home? same with those rolled tissue paper? Or can i also use tracing paper? Please guide and enlighten me im wanting yo use this idea for my son’s christening souvenir and give aways thanks in advance! Please do reply please pleas e and email me! If in case i lost track of yhis wonderful page

    Reply
    • Ashley Emmett November 4, 2015 at 7:44 am

      You can use either tracing paper (which is what I had on hand) or tissue paper. You can use the tissue paper you get in gift bags, the kind that comes in sheets or rolls. It doesn’t matter as long as you cut it to fit into your printer. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Pat November 10, 2015 at 4:13 am

    I managed to do this using a photo copied to ordinary printing paper. When I tried the tissue paper, even though I stuck it at ends, it jammed in my Ppprinter?

    Great thread and enjoy the comments as well. Great safety idea the fake tealight!!!

    Reply
  • Nonie Johnson December 6, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Instead of buying designs or having trouble with printing them out you can stamp on tissue paper and do your designs that way. Of course this limits your colors but you can do lots with black , red, etc.

    Reply
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  • Private December 23, 2015 at 2:48 am

    A hair dryer doesn’t work, it melts the candle

    Reply
  • Samantha March 3, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Hi,

    I just wanted to ask a question. I got the image onto the candle and with a bit of perfection it will look better but each time my candle melts. I’m using a small hair dryer. Is there I can do to stop the melting of the candle around the edges of the print?

    Thanks!

    Reply

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