How to Make Decorative Prayer or Devotional Candles

three prayer or devotional candles

The Spruce / David Fisher

Overview
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Yield: 1 decorated candle
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5

Whether you call it a devotional candle or a prayer candle, the types of candles that typically come in tall, cylindrical jars are often used in many religions and other traditions. These candles are commonly adorned with an image or a prayer on the outside, and lighting the candle can show reverence to that image or prayer.

This tutorial explains how to make your own custom devotional candle with text or images of your choosing. You can use the candle to hold a special person, holiday, or purpose in mind, or you can make it simply as a decoration. Personalized devotional candles also can make thoughtful gifts. The candle is quick and easy to put together. You'll begin with a pre-made plain devotional candle in the size, color, and wax variety of your choosing.

Plain prayer candles
The Spruce / David Fisher

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Writing utensil
  • Ruler
  • Printer and/or decorating materials, such as markers or paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Materials

  • 1 plain prayer/devotional candle
  • 1 sheet plain paper
  • 1 sheet specialty paper, such as vellum, parchment, or tissue paper
  • Image for the candle wrapper (if you're not hand-decorating it)

Instructions

  1. Measure for the Image Wrap

    Take a sheet of plain paper, and wrap it around the candle jar with the top of the paper right under the top ridge of the jar. Make a mark right where the paper overlaps. And make another mark about 1/2 inch past where the paper overlaps.

    Then, make a mark where the bottom of the jar starts to taper in. This will determine where your wrap should stop to remain smooth.

    Take your ruler, and measure the length and width of the paper between your marks. Your image should be no more than the measurement you made on the height of the jar by the measurement you made right where the paper overlapped. However, you should cut your specialty paper to the jar height measurement by the measurement 1/2 inch past the overlap mark.

    Marking the size of the wrap
    The Spruce / David Fisher
  2. Design the Image Wrap

    Once you have the correct sizing for your wrap, you can let your creative ideas flow. You have two important choices to make: the type of specialty paper to use and the image to print on it.

    For the paper, translucent vellum paper in either white or cream is a lovely option. Other possibilities include tissue paper or parchment paper. You don't want to select anything too opaque, or the light of the candle won't shine through.

    For the image, you can draw on, paint, or otherwise decorate the paper. Alternatively, you can print photos, motivational phrases, holiday images, or other artwork on your paper. Make sure to size the artwork according to your paper size. You might want to test it on regular printer paper first to be sure it will fit the candle.

    Once you have your design planned, either print or draw it on the specialty paper, and cut the paper to size.

    Placing the image
    The Spruce / David Fisher
  3. Put Glue Onto the Candle Jar

    Using a glue stick, run several vertical stripes of glue all around the candle jar. You can also brush liquid glue onto the jar using a small paint brush if you don't have a glue stick.

    Putting glue onto the candle
    The Spruce / David Fisher
  4. Wrap the Candle

    Carefully wrap your designed specialty paper around the glue-covered jar. Work slowly to make sure the paper remains level and without any creases or wrinkles.

    Add a bit more glue on the 1/2 inch of paper that overlaps, and then press it down so the edge is as seamless as possible. Gently smooth the paper wrap all the way around the jar, so it adheres well.

    Wrapping the candle
    The Spruce / David Fisher
  5. Enjoy Your Custom Candle

    Once the glue dries, your candle is ready to use.

    While it is unlikely that a candle with a paper wrapper will catch fire, it's always best to be careful. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and check it periodically to make sure it's burning properly. If the wick drifts off center, either move it back to the center while the wax is soft (but not hot to the touch) or discontinue burning the candle.

    Lit custom prayer candles
    The Spruce / David Fisher