There are many ways to personalize and decorate such as adding your favorite scent by using fragrance oils or changing the color by adding some candle dye.
These two methods are relatively simple. But if you want to try some more advanced candle making techniques, you might want to take a look at hand candle carving, also known as sculpted candles.
This article will deal with everything you need to start carving candles at home.
What you need to get started
1 candle making supplies
Candles need to be carved directly after making them before they completely solidify.
This means you won’t be able to start carving on a store-bought candle.
Moreover, for most designs you want to start with a candle that has multiple layers of wax with different colors. So when you carve a small piece away it will reveal a new color.
You won’t find these any of these candles anywhere for sale, so you will have to make them yourself.
Some basic candle making supplies include:
2 carving tools
When it comes to the actual carving, you can use a variety of different tools depending on the effect you want to create.
Having a variety of options to choose from is always nice but as a beginner just a small kitchen knife will do.
How to carve candles
1 Make a pillar candle
To start you will need a pillar candle that will be the core on which you will layer different colors of wax.
I’ll assume that you already made pillar candles before. But if you don’t have any candle making experience, you might want to check our article on homemade candles.
2 Preparing the colored wax
Prepare several batches of molten wax in different colors.
The colored wax needs to be warm enough to be molten, but cold enough to stick to the core candle. A temperature around 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit is normally warm enough.
You might also want to add some vybar or stearic acid to your wax. This will make the wax more pliable and makes it solidify slower. This will give you more time to carve it.
Also read our other article on how to color candle wax.
3 Dip the core candle
Once you have everything in front of you, start by dipping the core candle in one of the colored waxes and hold it for several seconds before taking it out again.
You can let the new layer of wax cool down naturally or dip it in a vat of cold water for a few seconds.
Make sure not to cool down the new layer completely! If it reaches room temperate it will be solid and hard to carve.
Keep repeating these steps with different colors until you have several layers.
4 Carving your design
If you go through a lot of dip and cool cycles, you will notice that some excess wax might form at the bottom of the candle. You can easily cut this away while the wax is still pliable.
Now before the wax completely cools down you want to quickly carve your design. You normally will have around 15 to 20 minutes.
By changing the depth and angle between cuts, you can create different effects. Additionally, you can twist and fold pedals of wax to achieve more intrinsic designs.
5 Applying a finishing touch
After carving the sides of the candle, it is time to finish off your candle.
First, you want to remove some wax on top around the wick to create a well. This can be done easily with a cookie-cutter or with a knife. This well will guarantee that the candle will burn evenly and the sides will remain intact.
Secondly, you want to smoothen out the bottom of the candle to make sure it is stable enough to stand firmly. Warm up the base of the candle using a pan or hot water and then rapidly spin the candle to level the base.
Finally, you want to dip the candle in a glaze that will protect your decorative carved candle by keeping everything in place. Additionally, the glaze will give your candle a nice glossy shine.
Amazing candle carving designs
Now that you know how to make carved candles, all you need to do is come up with a nice design.
Since you don’t have much time to come up with ideas while carving, you definitely want to take some time for this before you start.
Here are some beautiful carve candle designs you might want to take inspiration from.