Let's Craft with ARTifact: Candle Decorating

Ronnie's Awesome List presents a guest article by Lauren Sharp is the Founder of ARTifact.

Nobody wants to be the tree in the school play. Rooted, speechless, a wallflower. Melting under the heat of the lights. But someoneโ€™s got to do it. A play just isnโ€™t a play without someone playing the tree.

This is a metaphor for the everyday life of our friend, the candle.

A romantic dinner isnโ€™t the same without a candle. Neither is a birthday. Candles are the centerpiece of nearly every celebration held around the world. It is also often the most modest and unsophisticated accessory to any special occasion. This year, we want to challenge the candle to shine in all its glory and light. To be an integral participant in a celebration instead of just the tree.

Thereโ€™s more to this activity than just decorating a candle. Some of the most important elements of this project come after the candle is decorated.

๐Ÿ•ฏUse a decorated candle as a centerpiece on the dinner table. So often, conversations at the dinner table (especially around holidays) are centered around adult topics that children might have a hard time relating to. Use the visual of the candle as an invitation for children to share about their creation and join in on the table talk!

๐Ÿ•ฏSave the candle for special occasions, like a birthday, New Years, or the first day of school. One of the most clever candles one of our students created was a 100-year birthday candle for the new baby in their family. The pillar candle is marked with 100 lines and then decorated with wishes that will last 100 years. As each year passes, they pull the candle out and let it flicker until it melts down to the next notch. What a great way to gather around and reminisce about the events that happened during the year! 


Wax Paper
Permanent Markers
Pillar Candle
White Tissue Paper
Craft Heat Gun or Hair Dryer


Cut a piece of tissue paper to a length and width slightly shorter than the candle. Using permanent markers, draw a picture onto the tissue paper (markers can bleed through tissue paper so be sure to protect the table first.)

Wrap the tissue paper around the candle tightly. Cover the tissue paper with a piece of was paper (Wax side should be against the tissue paper. Use a craft heat gun or hair dryer on high to apply heat to the wrapped candle (adult should assist depending on age)

Peel off the wax paper

And voila there you have it!

Download PDF Here

Lauren Sharp is the Founder of ARTifact, an arts enrichment program for children in Corte Madera and San Francisco.  Having little interest in mastering the art of cooking anything beyond toast, the cupboards of her San Francisco kitchen are filled with paints, clays, and curiosities. She has a penchant for cooking up avant-garde curriculum that blends math, science and history with art. When she isn't serving her students up a plate of Bacon and Eggs finger paint (relax, it's only shaving cream!), she's chasing waves along the Pacific Coast. Find her on Facebook or LinkedIn or more likely, somewhere on the surf.