How To Design and Print Your Own Holiday Candles

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Candles are an integral part of the holiday décor in many houses--the flickering lights and the sweet aromas help create a festive atmosphere. Instead of dropping $25 on prepackaged decorated candles, why not use your printer to make your own candles? Of course, you can't print the whole candle (unless you have a nifty 3D printer that prints wax), but you can personalize inexpensive pillar candles with festive or personal designs.

  1. First, pick up some low-cost pillar candles (white and cream are the classic colors to use, but feel free to play with brighter colors) and some candle decal paper (10 sheets for $11 at
  2. Design your decal in a graphic design program such as Photoshop. Remember that you'll be placing the decal around the candle, so try to make it match the circumference of the candle (so that it wraps all the way around) or design decals that measure less than half the candle's diameter (so the entire design is visible from one side). Play around with photos, holiday clip art, and patterns.
  3. Set your printer paper settings to 'Photo Gloss' with the best resolution possible, and print your decal on the glossy side of the decal paper.
  4. Once your decal is printed, spray the sheet of paper with Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear High Gloss spray until the sheet is shiny (you'll need about three coats). You can purchase acrylic spray online or at your local hardware or craft store.
  5. After the spray has dried (it takes about an hour), cut out the image.
  6. Place your cut-out image in a cup of water for about a minute, or until the decal film begins to slip against the backing.
  7. Then peel the decal away from the backing and carefully apply it to your pillar candle.

Note: The above instructions are for an inkjet printer. If you're using a laser printer, purchase laser printer decal paper and skip the acrylic spray.

Other fun holiday printer projects include turning photos into calendars, gifts, and greeting cards. And in past years, we've described in detail how to print your own greeting cards, how to make custom photo gifts, and how to design calendars.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon