Grungy Candles

Candles are a big part of any Halloween display.

They add the perfect amount of light and add a bit of mysterious movement as the light bounces off the walls. But, if you’re like me, you may opt to use battery operated ‘candles’ because they are a safe alternatives to open flames. You can find them just about anywhere these days and range from inexpensive to expensive depending on what you’re looking for. I usually need lots of candles during the Halloween season so I buy the cheap ones. Unfortunately, they usually come in a bright white color and look a bit too "normal" for me. This is how I grunge them up a bit.

Start with putting your candles in candle holders you can clean or ones you don’t care about. They need to dry standing up so you may get drips of paint or glue on the holders. I used these cheap plastic ones from the dollar store.

Using your glue gun, start by adding a bit of ‘dripping wax’ to the candle. You want your candles to look like they’ve been lit for awhile. Hold your glue gun to the top of the candle and squeeze a bunch out in random amounts along the rim. I don’t force the glue to drip in any certain place or pattern. I find that if I just add a lot in one area, gravity takes over and makes the perfect drips for me. Let cool and harden.

Next, I mix up some medium brown paint with water so it’s fairly runny. You don’t want a solid paint, but more of a transparent wash. I added a bit of gold paint to it too – just to add a bit of shine for the light to play off of. Using a brush paint all over the candle and dripped ‘wax’. Set in the holder and let dry for a few minutes. Don’t let it dry completely because the next step is important.

Now, take a paper towel or small rag and begin to wipe and dab at the paint. Don’t leave any brush strokes behind. You want the candle to look bit dirty and leave some around the drips to enhance them. Let dry completely.