Planning and coordinating all the logistics of a relocation is certainly a challenge. By far, though, the hardest part of moving is saying goodbye to the friends that become family during our 1-3 years in a specific place. Although I haven’t loved our actual house in California, we’ve made some of our best and closest friends ever in the last few years, and this transition is shaping up to be an emotionally difficult one for the whole family. I always like to leave our friends with some sort of thoughtful gift…not only as a way to say “thanks for a few great years,” but also: “don’t forget us after we’re gone!” After combing the mall (yes, I actually went to the mall in search of thoughtful gifts!), I determined I could customize some lovely large candles with my Cricut to create a budget-friendly yet personal gift. Not only were these DIY Monogrammed Candles incredibly easy, but they turned out super chic thanks to the use of some gorgeous foil vinyl. Perfect for bridesmaids, teachers, coaches, hostess and more, this project is a great idea to keep tucked away for future use!
I remember a time (back when I was in high school), that I was a regular at Bath and Body Works. Truth be told though, I can’t even remember the last time I set foot in the store recently. Immediately upon walking in however, I was smitten with the size and style of their White Barn 3-wick candles. Not only did their sleek and simple design make them a gorgeous canvas for personalization, but the variety of scents and colors made it really difficult to pick out a set to give as gifts. These candles are pricey, but I was able to score them $10 off at the time. If you want to make these for holiday or teacher gifts, I suggest stocking up when they are on sale!
This Monogrammed Candle project can be applied to any candle you find in any store, but here is what really drew me in about these candles. First, their size is really generous. So not only will they burn/last for a really long time, but they provided a lot of surface area to add a custom design. Second, the labels were small and removable. Some jar candles have large, hard-to-remove labels or are printed/embossed directly on the jar. This makes it harder to personalize the candle for your specific needs. Third, I really loved how the jars themselves were colored glass…not colored by some sort of plastic covering. This means that even long after the candles are burned, the pretty jars can be re-used as pen cups, brush holders, coin jars, etc! And speaking of the jars themselves, true cylinders are always the best bet for adding vinyl designs because they will lay nice and flat with no buckling.
Finally, the metallic silver lid was something I knew I could match perfectly in order to create a super chic look. Cricut now makes a whole series of vinyl in an array of metallic colors (e.g., gold, silver, bronze, rose gold, etc). The metallic vinyls come in both matte and foils (which are super glossy and highly reflective); and it was the silver adhesive foil that perfectly matched the lids on these candles!
These DIY Monogrammed Candles couldn’t be easier to pull together once you have your supplies gathered! Here’s exactly what you need:
- Glass Jar Candles – I personally like the White Barn candles in the colored jars (watch for sales throughout the year or you can buy them on Amazon here!), but you can certainly use any cylindrical-shaped candle you can find.
- Complementary Vinyl – Cricut’s foil vinyls will give your project a super chic look, but you can certainly pick any color/sheen you like!
- Cricut or other die-cutting machine
- Cricut Weeding Tools (optional)
- Transfer Paper
Start by removing any and all labels secured to the jar so you have a blank canvas ready for personalizing. (If you’re worried about your recipient not knowing the candle’s scent, most have an additional tag on the bottom as well.) By far, the quickest and easiest way to do this without leaving any residue is to use a hair dryer. Just blow the heat onto the label for 30 seconds or so until the adhesive releases and you can pull the label off cleanly. If a tiny bit of residue remains, nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol are your best bets. Note: You can use Gu-Gone, but I find that it leaves surfaces pretty oily, making it hard for your new vinyl design to stick.
Next, decide what kind of design you want to put on the jar. Monograms are obviously an easy and super chic choice for almost any occasion, but you can also do some sort of design, phrase, name, inside joke, year, occasion, etc. Create your design in Cricut Design Space (or whatever software your machine requires) and be sure to check the sizing so that it fits comfortably on your candle. For reference, I used the monograms from the Monogram Motifs cartridge in Cricut Design Space.
Once you determine your designs, cut them out of your adhesive foil (or other vinyl of your choice) and weed accordingly. If you’ve never worked with adhesive foils, you can reference my full tutorial here.
Although some designs cut from adhesive foil don’t require transfer paper, my monograms were detailed enough that it was required to lay them down perfectly. Once your jars are clean and dry, simply transfer your cut images to the sides of the jars, centering them as best you can.
Remove the transfer paper and repeat on all the candles! It may be hard to tell in pictures, but the foil of the monogram matches the lids perfectly, and they looked like they were made this way! Such a classy looking but oh-so-easy gift!
Since these Monogrammed Candles were farewell gifts, I printed out simple little tags that said “Thanks for making our time in California a little brighter!” and tied them to each candle wrapped in cellophane. Depending on the occasion you’re using these for, I’m sure you can come up with other “punny” sentiments!
I think my friends were really touched by these gorgeous gifts, and I love that they now have something sitting on their desks or counters, handmade by me, that reminds them of our family. As I mentioned, even after the candle is long gone, these gifts can keep on giving. Check out all these ideas for using up extra wax and re-purposing candle jars!
When I was first looking for personalized gifts for my friends, I stopped by several of the engraving/customization booths and stores at the mall. Although I am certain the quality of their products are exceptional, I just love that owning a Cricut allows me to make really personal gifts for a fraction of the cost! I hope this post gives you some new ideas for putting your machine to work; and if you need even more gift ideas, be sure to check out my project gallery here!