How to Make Homemade Candles With Pictures on Them

Candle-making lets you make personalized gifts for friends and family. When you make your own candles, you can choose the color, fragrance, size and shape. Make your homemade candles even more special by putting pictures on the side. Whether you choose a vintage winter scene for Christmas, a beach scene for a summer-themed party, or a portrait of the bride and groom for wedding centerpieces, your candles can be personalized with the picture of your choice.

Things You'll Need

  • Paraffin
  • Double boiler with pitcher
  • Wooden spoon
  • Candle dye and scent
  • 1-quart milk carton
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Cotton candle wick, about 10 inches
  • Pencil
  • Vellum paper
  • Computer with printer


  1. Make the Candle

    • 1

      Heat paraffin in a double boiler. Use 1 1/2 pounds of paraffin to fill a pillar candle mold of 30 ounces. Stir the paraffin occasionally with a wooden spoon to break up the pieces.

    • 2

      Prepare a clean, empty cardboard milk carton as a candle mold. Open the top of the quart-sized carton, leaving the square container open.

    • 3

      Poke a small hole with a needle in the bottom of the carton. Thread about 2 inches of the wick through the hole, then knot it on the underside. Press a ball of clay or putty flat over the knot to block any paraffin from leaking out. Tie the rest of the wick around a pencil or chopstick and turn it until the wick is taut. Rest the pencil on top of the milk carton to keep the wick straight and centered.

    • 4

      Check the temperature of the paraffin with a thermometer. When it reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit, add candle dye and fragrance. Stir it all together with a wooden spoon.

    • 5

      Pour the paraffin into the milk-carton mold, taking care not to move the wick. Fill the carton with 28 to 30 ounces of paraffin. Tap the side of the carton firmly but gently with your hand to loosen any bubbles.

    • 6

      Allow the paraffin to set up, about eight hours. When the candle is cool, peel off the milk carton, leaving a square-shaped pillar candle. Trim the wick to about 1/2 inch.

    Apply the Picture

    • 7

      Print the picture out on vellum paper. Trim it as close to the image as you can using scissors.

    • 8

      Coat the back of the vellum picture with a light layer of glue. Press it onto the candle in the desired location.

    • 9

      Heat paraffin in a double boiler. Stir the paraffin occasionally until all the pieces are melted.

    • 10

      Hold the candle by the wick and dip it into the paraffin. Submerge the entire candle in a layer of paraffin.

    • 11

      Lift the candle up and set it aside to cool.

Tips & Warnings

  • In addition to milk cartons, containers such as coffee-creamer cartons, margarine tubs, or any other containers that hold around 32 ounces make wonderful homemade candle molds.
  • Hot paraffin can burn your skin, so use caution when making candles or affixing pictures to candles.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

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