Decorate Prayer or Devotional Candles for Everyday Use

  • 01 of 08

    Make Prayer Candles for Everyday Use

    Prayer Candles
    Prayer/devotional candles. David Fisher

    Whether you call it a devotion or a prayer, lighting a candle with a person or purpose in mind is a powerful ritual act that is common to many religions and traditions. Prayer candles, usually available in clear glass jars, burn for 7 or 14 days. They are often adorned with an image or a prayer, and the thought/belief is that the image or prayer is held in spirit while the candle is lit.

    Here is a method to make your own custom prayer or devotional candles with text and images of your own...MORE choosing. You can use them to hold a special person, holiday, or purpose in mind, or you can use them for more decorative rather than devotional purposes. They are easy to make and impressive on a table, altar, or mantle.

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Getting Started Making Prayer or Devotional Candles

    Plain Prayer Candles
    David Fisher

    It's easy to find plain white prayer candles online, whether through Amazon or another online purveyor. Search around to find the size, quality, and color you prefer. It's possible to find prayer candles in basic white at a very low price. Alternatively, look for larger candles, beeswax candles, or other specialty options at much higher price points.

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Measure the Image Wrap for Your Prayer or Devotional Candle

    Marking the Size of the Wrap
    Marking the size of the candle wrap. David Fisher

    Once you've found your source for plain white prayer candles, you'll need to print out the sleeve or wrap that goes on the outside of the jar.

    Take a sheet of paper and wrap it around the candle jar with the top of the sheet right under the top ridge of the candle. Make a mark where the sheet overlaps and another mark about 1/2" past that to allow for some overlap.

    Then, make a mark where the bottom of the jar starts to taper in. You will want about 1/2 inch for overlap as you wrap the...MORE image around your candle. You don't need any overlap for the top to bottom measure. Your candle wrap size will vary depending on the supplier of your candles. You may want to try a couple of test sheets to make sure that it will wrap correctly.

    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Print Out the Image Wrap for your Prayer or Devotional Candles

    Placing the Image
    Test placing the image on the prayer candle. David Fisher

    Once you've got the correct image size for your wrap, you can let your creative inspiration flow. The first choice is the type of paper. Translucent vellum paper, either white or cream colored, is a lovely option. Other possibilities include white paper, tissue paper, or deeper beige parchment paper. You don't want anything too opaque, or else the light of the candle won't shine through.

    Once you've chosen your paper, create the image in whatever page layout software you may have...MORE and print it out. Or you can even create it by hand by drawing, painting or using a collage technique on your paper.

    Some of my favorite images to use are:

    • Famous works of art
    • Family photos
    • Poems or motivational phrases
    • Botanical pictures or images
    • Holiday images
    • Collages of abstract images, textures, and colors
    • Combinations of the above - a painting or photo with a poem on the back - a holiday image with the lyrics of a carol on the back etc.

    Print out or draw the image and test wrap it on the candle to make sure that it's going to fit properly.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Put Glue Onto the Candle

    Putting Glue Onto the Candle
    Applying glue to the candle. David Fisher

    If you're using a collage of small images, especially abstract images, you can use the "brush and glue" technique: just brush the glue onto the jar and place the pieces of paper.

    However, if you're using one large piece of paper, or one large image, you'll want to use a different, much lighter glue technique.

    Take a glue stick and put 6 to 8 vertical stripes of glue on the jar, just enough to hold the paper to the jar.

    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Wrap the Candle

    Wrapping the Candle
    Wrapping the candle and adding a bit more glue. David Fisher

    Once you've put the glue on the jar, set the jar on the counter and very carefully wrap the paper around the candle. Make sure that the paper is level and even with the top of the candle. Add a bit more glue on the 1/2" of overlap and lay the final edge down.

    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Press and Smooth the Wrap

    Smoothing the Surface of the Prayer Candle
    Smoothing the surface of the wrapped prayer candle. David Fisher

    Using a soft towel or cloth, rub the paper wrap so that it adheres well to the jar.

    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Enjoy Your Custom Prayer or Devotional Candles

    Lit Custom Prayer Candles
    Lit custom devotional candles. David Fisher

    That's it! Once the paper wraps are dry, the candles are ready to use. Your only limit in the variety you can create in these candles is in the images and text you can place on them.

    While it is highly unlikely that a candle with a paper wrapping will catch fire, it's always best to be careful. As with any burning candle, you must follow basic candle-burning procedures. These should not be left unattended and should be checked periodically to make sure they are burning properly. If the...MORE wick drifts too close to the side of the jar, either move it back to the center or stop burning the candle.