Make Your Own Bleeding Candles
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?
Step 1: Assemble starting materials and tools.
- White or other pale-colored dinner or other bell-top shaped candle, at least 3/4" in diameter
- Candle holder
- Red crayon
- Razor blade, knife, or other tool to cut crayon pieces
- Styrofoam cup or other container for boiling water
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
White Dinner Candles At Amazon.com
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
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
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
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 PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
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:
- Fill a Styrofoam cup or other container with boiling water.
- Dig a hole into the top of the candle as follows:
- Immerse metal part of screwdriver into boiling water and hold for a few seconds.
- Begin digging into the top of the candle about 1/4" away from the edge.
- Continue digging into the candle using rotating motion until the hole at least 1" deep (the deeper, the better).
- Bear down firmly but gently and re-immerse screwdriver into boiling water frequently to keep the metal hot.
- Caution: Do not apply too much force or you may break the candle.
- 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 PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.)