How to carve candles for a wedding

Carved candles add a personal touch and a sense of elegance to any wedding. They can serve as centerpieces, favors, or even a part of the ceremony itself. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of carving candles for a wedding, from choosing the right candles to mastering basic carving techniques and adding final touches. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of candle carving!

Choosing the Right Candles

  • Types of Candles, When it comes to choosing the right candles for carving, paraffin wax candles are your best bet. They’re easy to work with and available in a wide range of colors. Beeswax candles can also be used, but they are more brittle and may be more challenging to carve. Avoid using soy or gel candles, as they are too soft and won’t hold the carved designs well.
  • Candle Sizes. Consider the purpose of the carved candles in your wedding when selecting the size. Pillar candles are ideal for centerpieces or table decorations, while taper candles work well for ceremonies.
Lisa Mandel
Lisa Mandel
Smaller votive or tealight candles can make lovely wedding favors for your guests.

Tools and Materials Required

  1. Carving Tools. To get started, you’ll need a set of carving tools. These can include a sharp knife, a melon baller, a spoon, a skewer, or any other tool that can create the desired shapes and patterns in the wax. You can also invest in a specialized candle carving kit for a more professional finish.
  2. Decorating Materials. In addition to carving tools, you’ll need materials for decorating your candles. These may include wax dyes, glitter, paintbrushes, ribbons, or beads. The choice of materials will depend on the theme and color scheme of your wedding.

Basic Carving Techniques

  • Layered Carving. This technique involves carving through layers of different-colored wax. Start by melting multiple layers of colored wax onto the surface of your candle. Once the layers are set, carve your design by cutting through the outer layers, revealing the contrasting colors beneath.
  • Twisted Carving. For a twisted effect, carve grooves into the wax while the candle is still slightly warm. Hold the knife at an angle and cut a spiral pattern around the candle. You can make the twists as tight or loose as you’d like, depending on the desired effect.
  • Sculpted Carving. Create intricate designs by sculpting the wax with your carving tools. This technique requires more skill and patience, but the results can be stunning. Consider practicing on smaller or less expensive candles before attempting this on your wedding candles.

Decorating Your Carved Candles

  • Adding Colors and Glitter. After you’ve carved your candles, enhance their beauty with colors and glitter. Use wax dyes or paint to add a pop of color to your designs. You can also sprinkle glitter on the wet paint or melted wax to give your candles a sparkling finish. Be sure to use non-toxic, heat-resistant materials to ensure the candles burn safely.
  • Incorporating Wedding Themes. Customize your carved candles to match the theme of your wedding. Consider incorporating elements like flowers, hearts, or monograms into your designs. You can also use ribbons, beads, or other embellishments to tie the candles into your overall wedding decor.

Safety Considerations

When working with candles, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes from melting wax.
  2. Use heat-resistant gloves and tools to protect your hands.
  3. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
  4. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  5. Place finished candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface when burning.


Carving candles for your wedding is a unique and creative way to add a personal touch to your special day. With practice and patience, you can master the art of candle carving and create stunning centerpieces, favors, or ceremony candles. Remember to choose the right candles, gather the necessary tools and materials, and follow safety precautions. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting beautiful, one-of-a-kind candles for your wedding celebration.


How long does it take to carve a candle?
The time it takes to carve a candle depends on the size of the candle, the complexity of the design, and your skill level. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to complete a carving project.
Can I use scented candles for carving?
Yes, you can use scented candles for carving. However, be aware that strong fragrances may interfere with the scent of the candles you're using for your wedding.
Is candle carving difficult to learn?
Candle carving can be challenging at first, but with practice and patience, you can develop the skills needed to create beautiful designs. Start with simple techniques and gradually progress to more intricate designs as you gain confidence.
Can I use store-bought candles for carving?
Yes, you can use store-bought candles for carving, as long as they're made of paraffin or beeswax. Ensure that the candles are of good quality and free from imperfections before you start carving.
How do I store carved candles before the wedding?
Store your carved candles in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Wrap them in tissue paper or bubble wrap to protect the designs from damage.
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