How to Make a Memorial Candle for a Deceased Loved One

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Light a memorial candle to honor a loved one.
Light a memorial candle to honor a loved one. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

To honor the memory of a deceased loved one, create a personalized memorial candle to use during a wedding ceremony, funeral or religious ceremony such as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. These candles make beautiful keepsakes you can bring home after the ceremony to remember an important person in your life who has passed. Memorial candles feature pictures, prayers or poems about your loved one. Make your own memorial candle using a pillar or votive candle you've made yourself or decorate a ready-made one.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Vellum printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Pillar candle
  • Decoupage medium
  • Brush
  • Clear paraffin wax
  • Candle-making thermometer
  • Tongs
  • Pot
  • Paper towels
  • Clear candle holder

Measure the circumference and height of your pillar candle. Use these measurements to size the image, artwork or text you wish to place on the candle.

Create your design using photo editing software or a word processing program. Ensure the images and text will fit on your candle.

Print the design you have created, including an image of your deceased loved one and a few kind words about her, on a piece of vellum printer paper.

Cut out your images and text so that you can wrap the vellum paper design around the candle or position a smaller design on the front of the candle.

Paint the outside of the candle with decoupage medium. Position the vellum design over the candle in the position you desire. Press down on the paper to adhere it to the surface and smooth out any air bubbles under the paper. Allow it to dry.

Heat enough clear paraffin wax in a double boiler to dip the candle into. Monitor the temperature of the wax with a candle-making thermometer until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fill a pot with cold water and set it down next to your double boiler.

Dip the candle in the hot wax until it is completely submerged, holding the candle by the wick with a pair of tongs. Keep it in the wax for 30 seconds.

Remove the candle from the wax and dip it into the pot of cold water to cool it. Wipe away any water droplets from the candle with paper towels.

Dip the candle into the wax two or three more times, holding the candle in the wax for three seconds at a time. Dip it into the pot of cold water after each wax dip. Wipe any water droplets from the surface of the candle before re-dipping it in the wax.

Place the candle in a clear container to display the image now embedded into the candle.

Tips & Warnings

  • After dipping the candle in the wax, a process known as over dipping, the bottom of the candle may become uneven. Even out the bottom of the candle by rubbing it on a baking sheet placed over a pot of hot water.
  • Write out a poem or design by hand on the vellum to use instead of computer-generated text and images.
  • Make a memorial candle to honor both the beloved people and pets in your life who have passed.
  • Use caution when handling hot wax to prevent burns.
  • Burn the candle for short periods of time, as the vellum design is flammable.

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