We can't get enough of candlelit receptions, and are always looking for new creative spins on classic wedding decorations - so imagine our delight when we discovered candle dipping! Using only a few supplies, we were able to create gorgeous centerpiece decorations that would be perfect for a spring wedding, or could be altered slightly to work for any wedding theme.
Spend an afternoon dipping candles in colored wax with our step-by-step instructions below to create a one-of-a-kind look to wow your guests. You may want to gather a few friends or family members to help with this project, but we promise you'll love the results. When you set up your fabulous reception tables, you'll be so glad you took the time to make these gorgeous decorations.
- Assorted Taper Candles
- Wax Beads or Flakes (We used Natural Soy 444 Wax from Amazon)
- Crock Pot
- Mason Jars
- Wooden Spoons or Wooden Craft Sticks
Set up and plug in your crock pot. We turned ours on High. Place several mason jars inside your crock pot, each firmly sitting upright.
Add wax to each mason jar, filling to the top, but not overflowing.
Add water to the crock pot. You will want to add as much water as you can without spilling into the jars or over the sides of the crock pot. The more water you have, the faster your wax will melt. Tip: The reason we do this after adding the wax is that you do not want your jars just floating around in the water - and the wax adds the weight you need to keep them anchored.
As the wax melts, you will need to add more until you have enough melted wax to fill the jars almost all the way to the top - leave about an inch to an inch and a half at the top to avoid overflowing when the tapers are dipped. We ended up using about a pound of wax per color, but it will vary based on the number of candles dipped, as you may need to replenish the wax in the jars if you dip quite a few.
While you are waiting on the wax to melt - which could take a while depending on the type of wax you choose and the amount you are melting - you will need to get your crayons ready.
Shave about 1/2 to 3/4 of each crayon to add to each jar of wax. Shaving the crayons instead of chopping them cuts down on the melting time. We recommend using individual sheets of wax paper for each color to avoid making a mess. Lay down a sheet of wax paper and make small shavings with a paring knife.
When you are done, lift the wax paper with the crayon shavings inside and use the wax paper to pour the crayon pieces into each jar.
Stir each jar to ensure all wax is melted and the crayon is evenly mixed throughout.
At this point, dip a test taper candle in each jar to ensure the color is what you wanted. If it is not as bright as you want, adjust by adding more crayon. If you want to change the hue, add a different color to balance it out. Keep in mind that if you are wanting an ombre effect, you will want a lighter result. That way, when dipped multiple times the color will intensify.
Once you are satisfied with the color, remove the jars from the crock pot and place on a heat-resistant surface. The jars will be hot, so we suggest using a towel or oven mitts when moving them. (The reason for this is that when the wax is so hot, it does not adhere well to the candles - it is best to let it cool a little bit.)
Leave the crock pot on with the water inside in case your wax begins to harden. If the wax begins to harden, place the jar back inside the crock pot until it is fully melted again.
Slowly dip your candles.
For an ombre look, lower the candle as deep in the wax as possible (you may need to tilt the jar on an angle to dip it deeper, but do this cautiously) and hold for 5-10 seconds before removing.
Hold the candle out of the wax for 10-20 seconds to allow the colored wax to set. The wax may drip from the bottom of the candle a bit, so make sure to hold it over the jar.
Dip the candle into the jar again, but do not dip as deep as the first time. Stop about a half inch to an inch below the last dip line. Hold in the wax for 5-10 seconds and then remove for about 10-20 seconds before dipping again.
Repeat these steps, dipping less of the candle each time until you achieve the desired look.
Hold for about a minute to allow the colored wax more time to set.
While the wax is pliable, use your fingers to remove some wax from the base (about an inch at the bottom of the taper candle) so that the candle will fit into the holders you plan to use. It is easy to remove some of the wax in this area at this point and once removed, you can smooth out the wax remaining with your fingers.
Set down to cool. Tip: Use a baking dish with a raised edge. Set the base down in the pan, and prop the top on the edge of the dish so that your candles are not drying on a flat surface.
Repeat with each candle in the color assortment of your choice.
After you are finished, turn off and empty your crock pot.
Once cooled, store the candles - individually wrapped in plastic wrap - in a cool, dry place away from any heat sources until you are ready to use them.
Tip: With the unused wax, you could make small individual candles by placing a wick in a small jar, adding wax mixed with a few drops of essential oils, and allow to cool fully. Package these as gifts for your bridesmaids or to be handed out as favors at your bridal shower.
We hope you enjoy making these beautiful ombre dipped taper candles as much as we did!