You might want to grab some LED candles when you see this gorgeous gift idea—and it takes just 10 minutes to make!

Three years ago when I started crafting, I chose a decoupage project as my first project. What a mistake! Every time I tried to get rid of the air bubbles, I ended up tearing the dang paper! After four or five tries, I was so annoyed that I swore I would never try my hand at decoupage again. Hahahaha, I know…what a sore loser, right? But just like anything else in life, the more you practice, the better you become at it…or should I say, the more you practice, the better you handle the defeat! LOL.
A couple months and many defeats later, I must have trained my nerves much better, as I again dared to pick up Mod Podge. This time, surprisingly, everything went excellent, and I managed to make some beautiful antique world map decoupaged candles for Greg’s Mom as a Mother’s Day gift. Since Mother’s Day is approaching, I wanted to share a mother-loved-and-approved project with you, and this makes the cut, as Mom still loves the ones I gave her three years ago.
Have you had enough of my yapping? Then let’s get on with the tutorial, shall we?
First I took a bunch of measurements to find out the size of my LED candles. Once I knew the candle size, I started preparing my antique world maps according to size.
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
I made several decoupage designs for both 5 inch and 6 inch tall LED candles…and yes, as usual I am sharing all of them with you on our blog post. Hence, if you’d like to use those designs, you can download them from our blog post and skip the step above. 😉
Once I was finished with the designs, I printed them on copy paper and let the ink dry for a couple of hours.
Now here is a little hint for you: I normally use two different methods when decoupaging-
  1. Spreading the glue on the surface.
  2. Spreading the glue on the paper.
When working on this project, I first started with Method No.1, which I usually have great success with on big flat surfaces, as it helps eliminating bubbles. But since the decoupage surface on these candles was small and not flat, I also gave Method No.2 a try, and I have to say that was much easier and faster.
I will be sharing Method No.2 here, but if you’d like to see Method no.1 you find that on our blog post. I also prepared a video tutorial for this project. Those who prefer the video tutorial can find it at the end of this post.
Now let me show how I decoupaged my candles:
I poured some decoupage glue into a small bowl, as that makes it easier to work with. Then, using a sponge brush, I started spreading the glue on the back of the paper. I used a moderate amount of glue – not too much nor too little.
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
Next, I placed my paper carefully on the candle and I tried to align the paper with the top of the candle as best I could.
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
Once I had the top of the paper aligned, I gently wrapped the paper all around the candle, and  again gently started to smooth it with my fingers. This smoothing process is to get rid of any creases or air bubbles you may have.
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
Next, I moved on to the bottom of the candle. I added a tiny bit more glue and bent the sides of the paper inwards so they would be glued to the bottom of the candle.
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
Once I was done with the bottom, I trimmed any excess paper from the top
Once the paper was glued to the candles, I let the candles sit for an hour. This was for letting the glue dry and cure a little. An hour later, I took a new sponge brush and started putting the protective coat on the decoupage paper. I put 2 thin layers of Mod Podge with the sponge brush.
After the protective layer dried, my antique map decoupaged candles were ready for indoor use.
You may make these also for outdoor use if you like – all it would need is a protective layer (brush on or spray varnish) suitable for outdoors.
Now it is time for the beauty shots. Let’s see if you’ll like my antique map decoupaged candles.
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
  • antique world map decoupaged candles
  • antique world map decoupaged candles

Materials I used for this project:

  • 5 – 6 inch led candles
  • Decoupage design   (You can find the antique maps on our blog post.)
  • Decoupage glue
  • Sponge brush