How to Make Twisted Taper Candles

You've seen them in stores, now make them at home for a fraction of the price.

Candlelight is a staple of elegant tables, but consider putting a literal spin on your next centerpiece. After a quick soak in hot water, it's easy to twist a plain taper candle into a sculptural piece of table decor. Create an inexpensive holiday centerpiece by grouping several candles together on a tray. This easy at-home DIY project also makes a heartfelt birthday or Christmas gift. Get creative when twisting and shaping your candles, the design options are endless. To store the finished tapers, wrap them gently with bubble wrap and keep them in a sturdy container to avoid denting the wax.

twisted parrafin candle tapers on wooden candle holders
Carson Downing

How to Make Twisted Taper Candles

Supplies Needed

  • Wide-mouth Mason jar
  • Candy thermometer
  • Solid-color paraffin wax taper candles
  • Waxed paper
  • Rolling pin

Step-by-Step Directions

You should be able to create a full set of twisted candles in under 30 minutes. If you have leftover candles, try making these dip-dyed tapers.

Step 1: Prep Candles

Fill a heat-resistant container, like a wide-mouth Mason jar, with 100°F water. We used a candy thermometer ($6, Walmart) to measure. Place taper candles ($14 for 12, The Home Depot) in the water and let sit for 10 minutes until slightly soft.

Editor's Tip: Try this with solid-color (not coated) paraffin wax candles; they are the easiest to shape.

Step 2: Twist and Cool

Keep the candles in the hot water while working with them. One at a time, remove, pat dry, and place on waxed paper. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten the candle's middle. Twist the candle gently to create sculptural designs. Try twisting the candles, bending them into shapes, or curving them into loops. Place the finished candle in cold water to set the design.

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