Make Your Own Bleeding Candles

Updated on March 4, 2017

A Subtle Yet Scary Halloween Prop

Here's something scary you can make for Halloween: a candle that "bleeds" when lit. As it burns, red wax drips down the sides, making it look as if the candle has just been stabbed.

One way to make a bleeding candle is to start with a red tapered candle (either store-bought or one you have made yourself) that is then repeatedly dipped in white or pale-colored wax until thoroughly covered on all sides. However, if you are not skilled at candle making or do not have the right set up or materials, I describe below some quick and easy methods I devised for making your own bleeding candles that use pre-made candles and other common tools and materials.

Bleeding candles are the perfect Halloween prop, subtle yet scary. They will definitely make all who lay eyes on them do a double take.

All photos on this page are by DIY Mary.

Had you ever heard about bleeding candles before now?

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Step 1: Assemble starting materials and tools.

  1. White or other pale-colored dinner or other bell-top shaped candle, at least 3/4" in diameter
  2. Candle holder
  3. Red crayon
  4. Matches
  5. Razor blade, knife, or other tool to cut crayon pieces
  6. Screwdriver
  7. Styrofoam cup or other container for boiling water
Notes: All starting materials and tolls (except for Styrofoam cup) are shown in the photo below.

For Steps 2-5, a 3/4" diameter dinner candle is used here for illustration. For candles larger than around 1" in diameter, proceed directly to Step 6.

Other candles with a similar bell shape on top can also be used, but avoid new pillar and other non-drip candles. Used pillar candles in which the molten wax has broken through the outer shell are OK, though.

Step 1 Photo

Starting materials and tools
Starting materials and tools

White Dinner Candles At

Also known as dinner taper candles, all candles used in the tutorials on this page are conical or bell shaped on top. These are the best starting materials for making your own bleeding candles using the techniques described herein.

Step 2: Burn down the candle.

Note: If you candle is larger than around 1" in diameter, go to Step 6 below.

Otherwise, if you are using a candle of less than 1" in diameter, such as the one used here for Steps 2-6, light it and let it burn down until the bell or cone no longer remains (see photo below).

Step 2 Photo

Burned down candle shown alongside cut red crayon piece
Burned down candle shown alongside cut red crayon piece

Step 3: Dig a small hole into top of candle.

Blow out the candle, wait a bit until the wax starts to solidify, and dig a small hole with the screwdriver tip into the softened wax (see photo below).

Step 3 Photo

Digging a hole at the top with a screwdriver
Digging a hole at the top with a screwdriver

Step 4: Insert red crayon piece into hole.

Cut a small piece of red crayon about 1" long. Reduce crayon piece diameter as necessary to make it easier to fit into the hole on top (e.g., by cutting it lengthwise). Insert crayon piece into the hole and push it down as far as it will go (see photo below).

Step 4 Photo

Red crayon piece in hole at top of candle
Red crayon piece in hole at top of candle

Step 5: Resume burning.

Re-light the candle and let it burn until the crayon starts to melt and the wax starts to drip down the sides.

If the flame starts to go out in the meantime, make a couple of grooves on top with a used matchstick so that the molten wax can drip down the sides. Re-light the candle and let the molten wax flow until it start to drip. Blow out the candle until it is ready for use. (See photos below.)

Step 5 Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Burning candleMaking a grooveDripping candleFinished product
Burning candle
Burning candle
Making a groove
Making a groove
Dripping candle
Dripping candle
Finished product
Finished product

Step 6 (for larger candles): Begin by making a hole at the top.

If your candle is around 1" in diameter or larger, Steps 2-5 as illustrated above for a 3/4" diameter candle are modified as follows. Instead of beginning the preparations by partially burning down the candle, we will start by making a hole at the top as demonstrated here (see photos below) for a 1.5" diameter Coach candle:

  1. Fill a Styrofoam cup or other container with boiling water.
  2. Dig a hole into the top of the candle as follows:

  3. Immerse metal part of screwdriver into boiling water and hold for a few seconds.
  4. Begin digging into the top of the candle about 1/4" away from the edge.
  5. Continue digging into the candle using rotating motion until the hole at least 1" deep (the deeper, the better).
  6. Bear down firmly but gently and re-immerse screwdriver into boiling water frequently to keep the metal hot.
  7. Caution: Do not apply too much force or you may break the candle.
  8. Cut a piece of red crayon at least 1" long (or however deep the hole is), and insert into the hole, pressing down as necessary. (See photos below.)

Step 6 Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Digging a hole into the candleRed crayon piece inside hole
Digging a hole into the candle
Digging a hole into the candle
Red crayon piece inside hole
Red crayon piece inside hole

Step 7 (for larger candles): Burn down the candle.

Light the candle and let it burn until it is more or less flat on top, the crayon starts to melt, and the wax starts to drip down the sides.

If the flame goes out in the meantime, make a couple of grooves on top with a used matchstick so that the molten wax can drip along the sides. Re-light the candle and let the molten wax flow until it start to drip.

Also, if the candle has flattened and the flame is still strong but the molten wax seems to be "trapped" inside and doesn't want to drip, go ahead and give things a nudge by making some shallow grooves. Blow out the candle until it is ready for use. (See photos below.)

Step 7 Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Making a grooveFinished product
Making a groove
Making a groove
Finished product
Finished product

Do you enjoy making your own candles?

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    • profile image

      Jam 4 months ago

      I am no candle expert but I thought crayons clog the wick? I was told never to color a candle using crayons because it clogs the wick which could be a fire hazard, but I'm no expert at all I'm just wondering if this would actually burn and if so how long? Has anyone made this?

    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 17 months ago from South Africa

      Whilst we don't technically celebrate Halloween here, we do have fright night parties and these candles will be awesome - thanks. What I particularly like is that they are so easy to make:)

    • profile image

      Robert 2 years ago

      Best gift for that special someone you not sure what to get

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I notice that this is the second time this lens has been LOTD. Well done again!

    • profile image

      Quotes4Smile 3 years ago

      Thanks for the great tutorial, it really inspire me and i will give it a try.

    • storyteller7 lm profile image

      storyteller7 lm 3 years ago

      I've made candles in the past. I was into carving them. So I'm very familiar with dipping candles, but I never thought about bleeding candles or read about it in my various candle making books. This is a wonderful idea I plan to make this Halloween. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a cool idea. I'll be making some of these for sure.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 3 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Yes. And this looks like great fun!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      Not really big into making candles. But if I did I would enjoy sending these to my sisters. A fun way to freak them out from a long distance away.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 3 years ago

      Never done this and they look great fun.

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 3 years ago

      No, but I thought what you did was interesting though. This would be a fun gift to make someone who was into a more goth look.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Your lenses are always top quality and very thorough - this one is no exception. I really like the step-by-step to your how to make the bleeding candles. Although I missed the bleeding candles this year, they will be on my Halloween table next year. Pinned to both my Halloween boards and Crafts I love - and blessed.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Halloween.

    • profile image

      gpoppa 5 years ago

      Cool. Very cool

    • profile image

      candy47 5 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I love the idea of bleeding candles :)

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      I enjoy playing with wax but this looks interesting.

    • esaphotography profile image

      esaphotography 5 years ago

      perfect lens ! Thanksss

    • spids1 profile image

      spids1 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD. Nice lens and great reading suggestions.

    • profile image

      BariqKasep 5 years ago

      great lens...I love it

    • profile image

      BariqKasep 5 years ago

      great lens...I love it

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 5 years ago

      Oops forgot - Congratulations on LOTD!

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 5 years ago

      I've never made my own candles yet but I am planning on giving it a try sometime. I enjoyed this lens! The bleeding candles are very cooll.

    • RDenton LM profile image

      RDenton LM 5 years ago

      Sure do, it is my passion

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love this !

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      It's fun to make them from scratch but I love your lazy version!

    • slackira profile image

      slackira 5 years ago

      Very simple to make...very creative it!

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 5 years ago

      Wonderful idea! I like it!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Love it!

    • rhodacks profile image

      rhodacks 5 years ago


    • profile image

      anniesorganics 5 years ago

      What a great idea for Halloween!

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 5 years ago from Johanesburg

      Great lens, congrats

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 5 years ago

      Yes it is wonderful.

    • dioltcom profile image

      dioltcom 5 years ago

      This is really cool ideas.. Great work

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      Great idea especially for Halloween. I've always made these with large 3 or 4 inch diameter candles and used a drill to melt in crayons or other candles of different colors into the holes making them drip multiple colors as some of those ghost and goblins have different colored blood unlike all of us squids. (:>))

      Congratulations on a well deserved LOTD

    • profile image

      olmpal 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Great lens about making Bleeding Candles!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Sort of, maybe, perhaps, well actually . . . . I'm not sure.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning the Lens of The Day (LOTD)!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved it! Thanks.

    • profile image

      BradKamer 5 years ago

      Never made a candle nor a bleeding one for that matter. I enjoyed reading the lens! Nice work!

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      I haven't tried it but I would really like to! Great lens!

    • Lisa Remmick profile image

      Lisa Remmick 5 years ago

      I am going to make these this week. They are very easy to do and take no time at all.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • catpower68 lm profile image

      catpower68 lm 5 years ago

      Cool Idea! I think I may try this with my daughters for Halloween!

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Washington State

      I use to. This will be a fun project to try. Great instructions and pictures. I love such simple supplies. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a fun unique idea that is sure to please everyone that sees your bleeding candles and I have a feeling many crayon boxes will be missing every shade of red this Halloween with many following your instructions for bloody Halloween lighting coolness!

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I had never heard of these before! Great instructions, it doesn't look too difficult. I should give this a try.

    • NuttSoRuff profile image

      NuttSoRuff 5 years ago

      I've never tried but it looks like a lot of fun!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      I have a better tool(s) for you to use than a screw drive as shown...

      an Ice pick one or a 'punch' (like when you want to dril a hole) or a medium thick nail, or if one likes to do beading.. a Reamer. it makes a 'cleaner' hole and if you are able to get it down enough you won't even see the red crayon for a bit so its MUCH better when you have a party 'all of a sudden they start bleeding) Just put in a ilittle more (r trim it) so that it goes down enough that it cannot be seen, and some of the melted white part can cover it. Great for freaking out family, a wonderous site for the kids & a nice pratical joke for the haunted house.

    • Alana-r profile image

      Alana-r 5 years ago

      Brilliant idea, must give this ago. Thanks for sharing!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Interesting idea! Congrats on LOTD! :-)

    • thegrayrabbit profile image

      thegrayrabbit 5 years ago

      I have made a candle or two before. None like this, seems really cool.

    • profile image

      faye durham 5 years ago

      This is a really cool idea for a scary table. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 5 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I absolutely love this idea for Halloween. Angel Blessings**

    • profile image

      Bundle10 5 years ago

      Great idea, congratulations on lens of the day. We have collected quite a lot of crayons over the years that are no longer used; this will give them a fun use!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Bleeding candles is new to me but it does look groooovy. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • fluffywings profile image

      fluffywings 5 years ago

      love the idea.very effective and well done on lotd. xxx

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      Congratulations on LOTD. Never heard of bleeding candles. What a lovely idea for a very eerie table.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      This is a cool idea and congratulations on the LOTD

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Awesome candle tutorial and great for Halloween!

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 5 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Congrats on LOTD and a cool idea

    • profile image

      rvmom26 5 years ago

      Very KEWL!

    • profile image

      sailor_man 5 years ago

      This lens is pretty cool and I'm happy to look at my

    • profile image

      zac_snyder 5 years ago

      Amazing photos. I can't wait to make these later!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago nice lens.... would be great to make kid cry... hahaha...

    • Radcliff LM profile image

      Radcliff LM 5 years ago

      This is so cool! I've never made my own candles, but I might look into it. Creating things like this would be fun.

    • profile image

      Ben Z98 5 years ago

      Awesome! I don't really decorate for Halloween but this is cool.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Very cool idea. As my two year old grandson would say.....scary. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Congratulations on LOTD!. This looks like as easy to do craft with nice results.

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 5 years ago

      Great idea! Congrats on the LOTD!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      I make my own aromatherapy candles. This is a wonderful lens and congratulations on getting LOTD!

    • BGrimes profile image

      BGrimes 5 years ago

      My kids will love this! Great lens!

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 5 years ago

      Thank you for this Crafty Lens, with Halloween Around the Corner I Better get started Making My Own Bleeding Candles

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      I do like making candles, your instructions are easy to follow and glad you've got a LOTD for it just in time for Halloween! xoxo

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      I make soy container candles, but I haven't tried anything like this before. It would be cool for Halloween!

    • wickerparadise123 profile image

      wickerparadise123 5 years ago

      very nice! certainly making them

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      excellent instructions! congratulations on LOTD!

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 5 years ago

      Very simple and clever! Thanks for the how-to. I've never made bleeding candles, but I just designed a show where we had to make a painted portrait bleed! We ended up using red satin ribbon, pulled by fishing-line. Surprisingly effective!

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 5 years ago from USA

      We used to make these type of candles for many different occasions. You did a great job of explaining how it's done. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      OMG what a cool effect... I will try this :)

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 5 years ago from Concord VA

      I've made gel candles before and had a lot of fun making different types. Never seen a bleeding candle's so perfect for Halloween, especially if you're using a vampire theme. Congratulations on winning LotD!!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      would be fun, indeed...Congrats on the LOTD

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I used to make candles years and years ago, and loved it. This is such a very cool, easy craft. Awesome instructions! Congratulations on your very timely Lens of the Day!

    • JanisSkutanis profile image

      JanisSkutanis 5 years ago

      Squidoo is such a nice place! I find interesting and useful info on any topic that I browse. Thank you for this idea, will make candles like this for Halloween!

    • profile image

      chris1402 5 years ago

      simple, but looks brilliant

    • Bestbuyguide profile image

      Bestbuyguide 5 years ago

      I will definitely be making one of these.

    • Mami Design profile image

      Mami Design 5 years ago

      Great Idea! Blessed!

    • profile image

      xisniel lm 5 years ago

      Wow, so simple but looks awesome. Great lens!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      What a great idea! I've never seen these before but I just might give them a try on Halloween. Congrats on LotD... ~blessed~

    • RosaMorelli profile image

      RosaMorelli 5 years ago

      I'd *love* to make one of these! What a fantastically brilliant and spooky original idea for Halloween, can't wait to get started now :)

    • profile image

      kgdunst 5 years ago

      This is bloody romantic! I like

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great idea, my teen daughter will love this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I will try it for sure, many congratulations for the LOTD

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 5 years ago

      Really cool idea!

    • profile image

      tudzuniverse 5 years ago

      Thank you, great lense!

    • nickybutler profile image

      nickybutler 5 years ago

      Such an awesome idea, yet so little effort! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Nimsrules LM profile image

      Nirmal Shah 5 years ago from India

      Awww, these are so cute. I'm definitely gonna make some in Diwali this year. Supa lens!

    • Julia1000 profile image

      Julia1000 5 years ago

      Used to make with my Mum, but from scratch. This is much easier, great idea.

    • Jemecan profile image

      Jemecan 5 years ago

      Fantastic ideas.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      What a creative idea and perfect for Halloween. Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i want to make thousands of bleeding candles on this Halloween thanks for lens