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

Questions & Answers

    Do you enjoy making your own candles?

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      • profile image

        Jam 7 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 20 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 3 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