How to Make Fingerprint Candles
Using your child’s fingerprint to design adorable animals or shapes on a candle is a great way to create a keepsake. The resulting candle can be used for special events, kept as long as you like or given to relatives and friends.
Create Your Design
Place a large piece of newsprint or wax paper on a clear flat surface.This is where your child will work. Use a comfortable spot at the kitchen table, workroom––or even outdoors if the day is nice.
- Always cover the surface before working. Since your child will be creating his or her design on the tissue paper, the paint will eventually soak through onto the surface.
Lay a piece of tissue paper on top of the newsprint or wax paper and secure in place.You may want to use a small amount of clear tape on each side of the tissue to avoid having it slide around the table. Your child will create the artwork directly on the tissue paper, which will be wrapped around the candle and placed under heat to transfer the design.
- Make sure the tissue paper is the same size as the candle. Test it by wrapping it around the candle and cutting to size if it isn’t an exact fit.
Provide your child with different color paints and paintbrushes.Also, provide clear water to wash brushes and hands. It might be easier to transfer the paint to smaller, separate bowls.
Decide how you plan to integrate your child’s fingerprint into a design.The print could double as flower petals, animal heads (or bodies), stick figure people or other designs. It can help guide the fingerprinting if you draw a design outline first––nothing too fancy, and be prepared to be flexible and incorporate changes your child makes.
Guide your child’s finger into the paint and create your fingerprint design on the tissue paper.Depending on your child’s age, he or she could work independently too.
- Keep a clean towel or paper towels on hand to wipe excess paint from your child’s fingers should the project become a little messy.
Embellish the fingerprint design with paintbrushes after washing hands.Add the fingerprints first and then paint around them and/or create designs such as animals or flowers, following the design you planned earlier.
- Use a paint pen to mark the occasion such as, “Happy Birthday Grandma 2013!”, or add your child’s name.
Create the Candle
Allow the tissue paper painting to dry before transferring it to the candle.Allow for up to 24 hours of dry time before performing the next step.
Wrap the painted tissue paper around the candle.The painted side should face outward from the candle (this ensures the writing reads the right way, etc.). Next, wrap a larger piece of wax paper around the tissue paper and candle. Leave excess wax paper to allow you to hold the candle while you transfer the design.
Transfer the design to the candle using a heat embossing gun or a hair dryer.Heat the candle holding your chosen heat source close over the paper until you see the tissue paper begin to disappear and the wax paper melt. Shift the heat source around the candle to ensure the whole design is covered. The design will be transferred to the candle as the heat is applied.
- Hold the heat source away from the hand holding the candle! Beware burning yourself––this part must be done by an adult.
Remove the wax paper with care once the design has been transferred to the candle.Go slowly as you don’t want to peel away any of the newly transferred design.
- Package the candles in a decorative box or include in a gift basket to that someone special.
- When selecting an area to do this craft, choose a spot that won't be distracting. Put the pets away and choose a time when your child isn’t tired or hungry, a time when your child is keen to do some craft.
- Try this technique on a battery operated candle, as long as it has a wax exterior.
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