Make Your Own Bleeding Candles - FeltMagnet - Crafts
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Make Your Own Bleeding Candles

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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.

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 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

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 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 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.)

Do you enjoy making your own candles?

Jam on September 18, 2017:

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 from South Africa on August 07, 2016:

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:)

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on August 17, 2014:

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

Quotes4Smile on August 16, 2014:

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

storyteller7 lm on August 13, 2014:

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 from Ontario, Canada on August 09, 2014:

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

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on August 09, 2014:

Yes. And this looks like great fun!

PaigSr from State of Confusion on August 08, 2014:

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.

reasonablerobby on August 07, 2014:

Never done this and they look great fun.

MarcellaCarlton on May 02, 2014:

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.

Rose Jones on November 03, 2012:

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 on October 31, 2012:

Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Halloween.

gpoppa on October 22, 2012:

Cool. Very cool

candy47 on October 21, 2012:

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

ryokomayuka from USA on October 19, 2012:

I enjoy playing with wax but this looks interesting.

esaphotography on October 19, 2012:

perfect lens ! Thanksss

spids1 on October 19, 2012:

Congratulations on LOTD. Nice lens and great reading suggestions.

BariqKasep on October 17, 2012:

great lens...I love it

BariqKasep on October 17, 2012:

great lens...I love it

fotolady49 lm on October 17, 2012:

Oops forgot - Congratulations on LOTD!

fotolady49 lm on October 17, 2012:

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 on October 17, 2012:

Sure do, it is my passion

anonymous on October 16, 2012:

Love this !

Tea Pixie on October 16, 2012:

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

slackira on October 16, 2012:

Very simple to make...very creative idea..love it!

kayla_harris on October 15, 2012:

Wonderful idea! I like it!

DebMartin on October 15, 2012:

Love it!

rhodacks on October 15, 2012:

wow!

anniesorganics on October 15, 2012:

What a great idea for Halloween!

Nnadi bonaventure Chima from Johanesburg on October 15, 2012:

Great lens, congrats

smsr0100451 on October 15, 2012:

Yes it is wonderful.

dioltcom on October 15, 2012:

This is really cool ideas.. Great work

mrducksmrnot on October 14, 2012:

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

olmpal on October 14, 2012:

Congratulations on LOTD! Great lens about making Bleeding Candles!

SteveKaye on October 14, 2012:

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

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on October 14, 2012:

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

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

Loved it! Thanks.

BradKamer on October 14, 2012:

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

JZinoBodyArt on October 14, 2012:

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

Lisa Remmick on October 14, 2012:

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

KimGiancaterino on October 14, 2012:

Congratulations on LOTD!

catpower68 lm on October 14, 2012:

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

MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on October 14, 2012:

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

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

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!

Sharon Bellissimo from Toronto, Canada on October 14, 2012:

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

NuttSoRuff on October 14, 2012:

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

Kim from Yonkers, NY on October 14, 2012:

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 on October 14, 2012:

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

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on October 14, 2012:

Interesting idea! Congrats on LOTD! :-)

thegrayrabbit on October 14, 2012:

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

faye durham on October 14, 2012:

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

Cynthia Davis from Pittsburgh on October 14, 2012:

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

Bundle10 on October 14, 2012:

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!

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

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

fluffywings on October 14, 2012:

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

Mary Stephenson from California on October 14, 2012:

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

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on October 14, 2012:

This is a cool idea and congratulations on the LOTD

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on October 14, 2012:

Awesome candle tutorial and great for Halloween!

Eileen from Western Cape , South Africa on October 14, 2012:

Congrats on LOTD and a cool idea

rvmom26 on October 14, 2012:

Very KEWL!

sailor_man on October 14, 2012:

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

zac_snyder on October 14, 2012:

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

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

so...cool..... nice lens.... would be great to make kid cry... hahaha...

Radcliff LM on October 14, 2012:

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

Ben Z98 on October 14, 2012:

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

pawpaw911 on October 14, 2012:

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

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on October 14, 2012:

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

lewisgirl on October 14, 2012:

Great idea! Congrats on the LOTD!

VspaBotanicals on October 14, 2012:

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

BGrimes on October 14, 2012:

My kids will love this! Great lens!

Fox Music on October 14, 2012:

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

Cindy from Pittsburgh Pa on October 14, 2012:

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

Terrie_Schultz on October 14, 2012:

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

wickerparadise123 on October 14, 2012:

very nice! certainly making them

Deborah Swain from Rome, Italy on October 14, 2012:

excellent instructions! congratulations on LOTD!

cdevries on October 14, 2012:

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 from USA on October 14, 2012:

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!

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

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

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on October 14, 2012:

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

poldepc lm on October 14, 2012:

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

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 14, 2012:

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 on October 14, 2012:

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!

chris1402 on October 14, 2012:

simple, but looks brilliant

Bestbuyguide on October 14, 2012:

I will definitely be making one of these.

Mami Design on October 14, 2012:

Great Idea! Blessed!

xisniel lm on October 14, 2012:

Wow, so simple but looks awesome. Great lens!

fullofshoes on October 14, 2012:

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 on October 14, 2012:

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 :)

kgdunst on October 14, 2012:

This is bloody romantic! I like

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

Great idea, my teen daughter will love this!

anonymous on October 14, 2012:

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

RoadMonkey on October 14, 2012:

Really cool idea!

tudzuniverse on October 14, 2012:

Thank you, great lense!

nickybutler on October 14, 2012:

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

Nimsrules LM on October 14, 2012:

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

Julia1000 on October 14, 2012:

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

Jemecan on October 13, 2012:

Fantastic ideas.

WriterJanis2 on October 13, 2012:

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

anonymous on October 13, 2012:

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

RaidaMoon on October 13, 2012:

Not yet, but I can't wait to test the waters with this amazing idea.