The Art of Darkness

Decorating Jar Candles

May 11th, 2009 by Cobwebs

CandlesNight Magick mentioned the Vampire Candles on this page a while back, and it struck me how cheap and easy it would be to make something similar.

The ones shown on the site are “ritual” candles, but they’re a nice inspirational jumping-off point for some interesting decorative accessories. They’d also be pretty centerpieces for a wedding. A montage effect with spooky clip art and burnt-out fonts would be striking and very easy to do.


  • 7-Day Jar Candle*
  • Translucent paper like vellum or rice paper (thin gift-wrapping paper works, too, if you can find an appropriate design)
  • Glue strips or craft glue
  • Rubber stamps and ink (optional, see below)
  • Glass paint (optional)

*It took me forever to figure out what these were actually called, because I’ve always known them as “those candles in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.” I’m linking to one online just to show you what I’m talking about, but you can probably find them much cheaper locally. You might also see them called “devotional,” “sanctuary,” or “altar” candles. They’re $1.10 at my local grocery.


  1. If desired, paint the rims of the candle holder. Let dry overnight.
  2. Roll a piece of scrap paper around the candle and cut it to fit, leaving a 1/4″ overlap on the ends. (If you plan to make a lot of these, use the paper as a guide to cut a sturdier template out of cardboard).
  3. Trace the pattern onto the vellum and cut out.
  4. Either decorate the vellum with the rubber stamps or use an inkjet printer to decorate it with clip art of your choice (depending upon the desired design and the size of the vellum sheets, you may be able to do this before cutting them out).
  5. Cut two glue strips the width of the short ends of the vellum (the glue will gum up your scissors, so either use a pair you don’t mind ruining or be prepared for some cleanup).
  6. Lay the vellum flat and apply one glue strip along each edge (on the wrong side of the paper)
  7. Lay one edge of the vellum on the candle, making sure it’s aligned properly, and press down on the glue strip to stick it to the candle.
  8. Wrap the vellum around the candle snugly and press down on the other edge to seal.

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