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DIY Rustic Wax Covered LED Taper Candles

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In middle and high school, I’d have an argument each year with my dad about the Christmas candles in my bedroom window. All those little light bulbs in my window annoyed me and kept me awake, so I’d unplug them when I went to bed.

If the modern, LED, battery operated Christmas candles were around then, I might have left them turned on because they glow more faintly – almost like a real candle instead of that annoyingly bright bulb from the old plug in candles! In today’s tutorial, I’m sharing how to make these candles even more realistic by showing you how to make DIY rustic wax covered LED taper candles you can decorate with all year long!

DIY Rustic Wax Covered LED Tapers

Like many of the tutorials I share, this project is very customizable. You can choose to use beeswax, as I did, soy wax for a whiter look, or even colored or scented wax. You can decorate the tapers for Christmas, tie lace on them for spring, or make them spooky for Halloween.

Materials needed to make wax covered LED candles

  • LED taper candles!
  • Wax. I used beeswax, but you can use pretty much any kind of candle wax
  • A glass jar, I used a pint Ball canning jar, and a pan to make a double boiler with using said glass jar, or a tempered glass cup/glass you don’t mind using with wax.
  • A hobby knife or box cutter
  • Decorative items, optional. I used a bit of lace and burlap
  • Oven mits, a towel, or something else to hold the container of melted wax
  • Parchment paper or a nonstick crafting mat

led-candles

How to make wax covered LED candles

The basic process is very simple – melt some wax then dip the taper in! Unless you have a whole lot of wax and a deep container, you’ll probably need to carefully tilt the container, preferably a high-sided glass or jar, and dip half a candle at a time.

You can melt your wax wither in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove. For two candles, I melted about 2 oz of wax. Melting more wax takes more time, but also makes it easier to dip the candle.

beeswax

If you’re using the microwave, keep a very close eye on it. It can melt in as little as 2 minutes or take closer to 4-5, so watch the wax carefully and make sure to use a microwave safe container.

To set up a double boiler, place your wax in a jar or other high-sided, heatable container. Canning jars work well! Put several inches of water in a pan and carefully place the wax filled jar in the water. Try to avoid having the jar sit directly on the bottom. You can carefully set the jar’s lip on the edge of the pan, hold it in place with tongs, or even fit the pan with a steamer basked and let the jar sit on the basket. Place your double boiler on a medium-low heat burner and watch it carefully. Some waxes melt very quickly!

make-a-double-boiler

While the wax is melting, set out a square of parchment paper.

Once your wax has melted, carefully use your oven mitts, towel, or something similar to hold your container of melted wax in one hand and carefully dip the bottom end of a taper into the wax. Holding the wax container on its side is helpful – you need to get wax at least half way up the taper. Remove the candle from the wax and allow any excess to drip off. Hold it in the air for a few seconds before setting it on the wax paper – you want the wax to be mostly cool so it doesn’t flatten out against the paper and look funny.

Update – Wearing silicone finger protectors is a really good idea in case your fingers accidentally get too close to the wax! They’re also great for any time you work with hot glue.

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Repeat this process with the bottom end of your remaining tapers.

dip-candle

If you need to, reheat the wax a little.

Repeat the dipping process for the ‘top’ end of your tapers, quickly rotating each taper as you pull it from the wax so any drips will naturally fall down, adding to the realistic ‘burning candle’ appearance.

wax-covered-tapers

After the candles are fully cooled and the wax is no longer tacky, use a hobby knife or box cutter (or even a regular, non serrated kitchen knife) to carefully cut the wax around the base where it unscrews to add batteries.

cut-bases

Add batteries, screw the end caps back on, and you’re basically ready to rock!

LED Wax Covered Tapers

If you’d like, you can decorate your wax covered tapers. I wrapped a simple band of lace and burlap around each candle and held it in place with a dab of hot glue. As mentioned above, you could add just about anything to personalize the candles to your decor or the time of year!

DIY Rustic Wax Covered Tapers

This same technique can be used for pillar candles, too, which would be great for tablescapes and displays around the house. I enjoy candles, but I’m paranoid about leaving them unattended or having them in places where they might pose a fire hazard, so using wax dipped LED candles is a fantastic solution for me.

How about you? Are you one of those people who can leave candles burning and not panic? Or do you insist on keeping an eagle eye on them, like me?

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Duni December 23, 2016, 02:27

    Another great idea, Natasha! I associate the smell of beeswax with Christmas – perfect 🙂
    I do have real candles at Christmas, but they are never unattended, not with kitties in the house!
    Happy Christmas!

    • Natashalh December 23, 2016, 09:32

      Thank you. =) I absolutely love beeswax candles! They smell so wonderful. Kitties + burning candles is certainly a combination to keep an eye on! My mom seems surprised that her bouncy boys (brothers just about a year old) haven’t knocked her tree over yet.

  • Julie December 22, 2016, 17:25

    AHAHA The war of the candles…! I love candles, I definitely do leave them out burning but make sure nothings around it that could fall on it and catch on fire. Except maybe my cat. But I think he learned his lesson.. HA These are so cute. I wish I had some candles like these now for my staircase/glass wall!

    • Natashalh December 22, 2016, 18:33

      So I saw this horrifying video recently in which this jar candle just shot up into flames out of nowhere! My sister swears it happened to a friend of hers. Now I don’t want to leave them unattended at all, even without things nearby!

  • Rose December 22, 2016, 17:22

    I love your take on LED candles! I bought some candles for the windows this year. They run on a 6-hour timer, and I have them set to turn off around 10:00 p.m. so they don’t keep us up all night. I wouldn’t want them shining while I’m trying to sleep either.

    • Natashalh December 22, 2016, 18:33

      That’s great you have a timer! So convenient. I don’t think as many people are out at about late at night, anyway, which is why I kept unplugging mine when I was growing up.

  • Tasha's mom December 22, 2016, 07:25

    yup, the old candles are all out.
    And your dad used to get upset at me, too, for unplugging the set closest to my pillow at night p but I did it anyway because the light was too bright!

    • Natashalh December 22, 2016, 07:37

      They really are super bright! These little LED bulbs are much dimmer, and they run off batteries so you don’t have to worry about the cords getting in the way, either.

  • Pamela Baker December 22, 2016, 04:51

    Love this tutorial – I am going to try this if I don’t burn down my house first!!! They will make great gifts also.

    I too grew up with the set of 3 Candles in our Grandparent’s window (except it was the living room). I wonder what ever happened to them. Would love to have them now!

    Thanks for another great idea.
    Merry Christmas wishes to you!
    Pam

    • Natashalh December 22, 2016, 06:56

      I wouldn’t be surprised if all our old Christmas candles are still at my mom’s house! I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all out in their windows right now, though I don’t know if they are.
      I’d really like to make these candles with scented wax. I think that would make them even nicer! I’ll have to get more and try it soon.
      Merry Christmas to you, too! I hope you have a joy filled weekend with family.

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