Customize plain pillar candles with printable decals.

How to Put a Decal on a Candle

by S.R. Becker

Pillar candles add a warm glow to any room. Whether you're having a fancy birthday party or celebrating a milestone event in your child's life, candles lend a touch of class to the decor. However, plain candles might be too generic for your event. To make your candles your own, customize them with decals printed on candle decal paper, also known as "water-slide" paper. Decal paper, available for both laser and inkjet printers, lets you print any design you like and apply it to your candle.

1 Load your printer with decal paper according to the package directions. Set your printer to the "photo gloss" paper setting.

2 Select the image you wish to print in your image-editing software and print the image onto the glossy side of the candle decal paper. Let the decal dry for 30 minutes.

3 Spray a thin layer of clear acrylic gloss onto the decal if you are using inkjet paper. Apply three to five coats of gloss, letting each coat dry before applying the next. The decal is ready when it turns shiny. If you are using laser paper, skip this step.

4 Cut out the decal with scissors, leaving as little excess paper as possible.

5 Place the decal in a bowl of water for 1 minute, or until the backing starts to peel off.

6 Press the decal onto the candle and smooth it out with your fingers, removing any air bubbles. Allow the decal to dry completely before burning the candle.

Items you will need

  • Candle decal paper
  • High-gloss acrylic spray
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Pillar candle


  • Print your image on plain paper first to ensure it will fit around your candle. If it doesn't, or if you don't like the positioning, resize the image in a photo-editing program and reprint on plain paper until you are happy with the results.
  • Allow your decal to dry outdoors after printing and spraying to speed drying time.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images