Lighting a unity candle is a part of many wedding ceremonies. A personalized candle can cost around $32.00 online. A less expensive version can be easily made at home.
To make the unity candle pictured, you will need:
- Large pillar candle
- White candle stub at least one inch long or canning paraffin
- Cat food or tuna tin can, label removed
- Old cooking pot you don’t care about
- Small paint brush you don’t care about
- Short straight pins with small heads
- Hair dryer
- Printed motif
- Scrap of netting or old panty hose
Target on Bayou Blvd. and Walmart on Airport Blvd. both carry pillar candles and taper candles that match. Most unity candles are white to symbolize pure intentions.
First design the motif for the front of the candle. The elaborate M in the center of the page was downloaded from http://www.weddingchicks.com/freebies/custom-monograms/
Save the initial as a picture and insert it into a Word document. Format the picture to be behind the text. The margins of the picture are a little too wide, and the words won’t be close to the initial unless you format it this way. Move the initial to the center of the page, using the rulers as a guide. Center the text above and below the initial. Add the names and date using a script font. The pictured candle uses Edwardian Script. Print.
Use a ruler or paper cutter to trim the sheet down to size with half inch margins. Position the paper on the lower part of the candle and hold it in place with short straight pins.
Pillar candles have a half-inch layer of bees wax on the outside and paraffin on the inside. Paraffin burns more quickly, and this creates the wall that holds the melted wax in a pool. Bees wax is soft; paraffin is hard. The pins need to be as short as the bees wax in order to avoid cracking the candle. If your pins are longer than ½ inch, cut them at an angle with wire cutters.
Trim the burnt end of the wick on a white candle stub. The burnt end can make little black dots in the melted wax. Canning paraffin works well, too, and is a little more translucent. Do not use a stub that has a lot of bees wax in it because bees wax is opaque. Use a candle that is mostly paraffin. Put the stub into a clean tin can. Put water into a small cooking pot and make a double boiler with the can. Heat the wax on medium until melted.
Use the paint brush to apply melted paraffin over the paper. Paint over the entire surface of the paper with melted wax.
The wax will now be on the top surface of the paper. To make the paper translucent, it needs to be melted in. Use a hair dryer to melt the applied wax into the paper. Work from one end to the other. Don’t wave the hairdryer back and forth because this will cause drips. Hold the heat in one place until the wax melts and soaks into the paper, then move to the next spot over.
Use a scrap of netting or panty hose like sand paper and scrub off the drips and places where the wax is too thick. Leave enough wax along the edges to hide the pin heads.
Cut a piece of ribbon that will go all the way around the candle, overlapping the ends by ½ inch. Cut two pieces, and tape them to the candle, covering the top and bottom edge of the paper, with the ends positioned on the back of the candle. Use short straight pins to attach the ribbon to the candle.