How To Make A Floating Candle


Materials Needed

In order to make a floating candle, you will need a few essential materials. Here is a list of everything you will need to get started:

  • A vessel: Choose a container or vessel that is suitable for holding water and can safely accommodate a lit candle.
  • A candle: Select a candle specifically designed for floating. These candles are usually small and will float in water without tipping over.
  • Water: You will need enough water to fill the vessel and allow the candle to float freely.
  • Candle adhesive: This is optional but can help secure the candle to the vessel to prevent it from drifting away or tipping over.
  • Decorations (optional): You can add decorative elements such as flower petals, seashells, or colorful gemstones to enhance the overall look of your floating candle.
  • A lighter or matches: You will need a heat source to ignite the candle and allow it to produce a beautiful flame.

Ensure that you have all these materials prepared before starting the process. Having everything on-hand will make the process much smoother and allow you to create a stunning floating candle display.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Vessel

The first step in making a floating candle is choosing the right vessel to hold the water and candle. When selecting a vessel, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Size: Choose a vessel that is large enough to accommodate the desired number of floating candles. It should also be deep enough to hold an adequate amount of water without overflowing.
  2. Stability: Look for a vessel with a wide and stable base to prevent it from tipping over. This is especially important if you plan to use the floating candles in outdoor settings or areas with air currents.
  3. Material: Consider the material of the vessel. Glass or clear plastic vessels are popular choices as they allow the candlelight to shine through, creating a beautiful glow. However, you can get creative and experiment with different materials to achieve the desired aesthetic.
  4. Design: Choose a vessel with a design that complements the theme or ambiance you wish to create. Whether it’s a simple bowl, a decorative dish, or even a repurposed jar, the vessel’s design can add a unique touch to your floating candle display.
  5. Accessibility: Ensure that the vessel allows easy access for adding and removing the candle and water. This will make it easier to replace the candle when needed or to clean the vessel after use.

Take your time to find a vessel that meets your preferences and requirements. Consider the size of the space where you plan to place the floating candle as well. Choosing the right vessel sets the foundation for creating a visually appealing and stable floating candle display.

Step 2: Selecting the Perfect Candle

Once you have chosen the vessel for your floating candle, the next step is to select the perfect candle to achieve the desired effect. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Size: Choose a candle that fits well within the vessel without crowding the space. Opt for smaller-sized floating candles to ensure they float effectively.
  2. Shape: Floating candles come in various shapes, such as round, square, or even flower-shaped. Consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve and select a shape that complements the vessel and the ambiance you desire.
  3. Burn Time: Check the estimated burn time of the candle. Floating candles typically have shorter burn times compared to regular candles. Ensure that the candle will last throughout the duration of your event or evening.
  4. Quality: Invest in good quality floating candles to ensure a reliable and beautiful floating experience. High-quality candles are more likely to float consistently and provide a steady flame.
  5. Color: Consider the color of the candle in relation to the overall theme or mood you want to create. You can choose traditional white or experiment with colorful options to add a vibrant touch to your floating candle display.

Take your time to explore different options and find the perfect candle that suits your vision. Remember, the candle will play a significant role in creating the desired ambiance and capturing attention with its gentle flickering light.

Step 3: Preparing the Vessel

Before you can start assembling your floating candle, it’s important to prepare the vessel properly. Follow these steps to ensure the vessel is clean and ready for use:

  1. Clean the vessel: If using a new vessel or one that has been stored for a while, clean it thoroughly. Wash the vessel with soap and warm water, removing any dirt, dust, or residue that may be present.
  2. Dry the vessel: After cleaning, ensure that the vessel is completely dry. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to dry the interior and exterior of the vessel to prevent any water or moisture from affecting the floating candle.
  3. Check for leaks: Inspect the vessel for any cracks or leaks that could lead to water seeping out. Fill the vessel with water and let it sit for a few minutes to see if any leaks appear. If any leaks are detected, consider using a different vessel to ensure the stability of your floating candle setup.
  4. Remove any unwanted elements: If there are any stickers, labels, or price tags on the vessel, make sure to remove them. Soak the vessel in warm water to help loosen the adhesive and gently peel off the unwanted elements. Use a mild solvent if necessary, ensuring it is safe for the material of the vessel.
  5. Inspect for blemishes: Check the vessel for any scratches or blemishes that could affect its appearance. If desired, you can use a glass or plastic cleaner to remove any marks and restore the vessel’s pristine look.

Once you have completed these steps, your vessel will be clean, dry, and ready to be filled with water and assembled with the floating candle. Ensuring the vessel is properly prepared is essential for creating an attractive and long-lasting display.

Step 4: Filling the Vessel with Water

Now that your vessel is prepared, it’s time to fill it with water. Follow these steps to ensure the water is added correctly for your floating candle:

  1. Measure the water level: Determine how much water is needed to fill the vessel to the desired level. It’s important not to overfill the vessel, as this may cause it to overflow when the floating candle is added.
  2. Use filtered water: To keep your floating candle display looking pristine, use filtered or distilled water. This will help prevent any impurities or contaminants from affecting the appearance of the water.
  3. Add fragrance or color (optional): If desired, you can enhance the experience by adding a few drops of scented oil or food coloring to the water. This will create a fragrant or colorful backdrop for your floating candle display.
  4. Pour water gently: Carefully pour the water into the vessel, ensuring that it doesn’t splash or spill over the sides. Take your time to avoid disturbing the water and creating unnecessary waves.
  5. Leave space for the candle: Remember to leave enough space at the top of the vessel to accommodate the floating candle. This will prevent the water from overflowing when the candle is added and keep the display balanced.

By following these steps, you will ensure that your vessel is filled with water properly and ready to house the floating candle. Take care not to introduce any impurities or disrupt the water too much, as this can affect the overall appearance and stability of the floating candle display.

Step 5: Attaching the Candle

Now that your vessel is filled with water, it’s time to attach the floating candle. This step ensures that the candle remains in place and floats freely without tipping over. Follow these guidelines to attach the candle securely:

  1. Choose a candle adhesive: Depending on your preference, you can use a candle adhesive or wax adhesive seal to secure the floating candle to the bottom of the vessel. This will prevent it from drifting away or tipping over.
  2. Apply the adhesive: If using a candle adhesive, carefully apply a small amount to the base of the floating candle. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results.
  3. Center the candle: With the adhesive applied, gently place the candle in the center of the vessel, pressing it down slightly to secure it in place. Ensure that the candle is positioned upright and is not leaning or at an angle.
  4. Hold it in place (optional): If needed, you can hold the candle in place for a few seconds to allow the adhesive to set. This will provide additional security to ensure that the candle remains in position throughout the duration of its burn time.
  5. Inspect the attachment: Check to ensure that the candle is securely attached and does not move or wobble when the vessel is gently shaken. This will help prevent any accidents or mishaps during use.

Attaching the floating candle securely ensures that it remains in place and creates a visually pleasing display. Take care during this step to ensure the candle is properly secured, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful sight of a floating candle gently flickering on the water’s surface.

Step 6: Testing the Candle

Once the floating candle is securely attached to the vessel, it’s important to test it before fully igniting it. This step ensures that the candle will float properly and burn safely. Follow these steps to test the candle:

  1. Check the stability: Gently shake the vessel to see if the candle wobbles or tips over. If it remains stable, it indicates that the adhesive or wax seal has properly secured the candle in place.
  2. Float the candle: Carefully place the vessel in water, such as a sink or a basin, to test the floating capability of the candle. Observe if the candle floats evenly and does not sink or tilt to one side.
  3. Observe the flame: Use a long-reach lighter or matches to carefully ignite the candle. Observe the flame to ensure that it burns steadily and does not flicker excessively or create smoke. A stable flame is an indicator of a well-made floating candle.
  4. Monitor burning time: Allow the candle to burn for a few minutes and observe its burn time. Floating candles often have shorter burn times than regular candles. Make sure the candle lasts for the desired duration.
  5. Watch for hazards: During the testing process, keep an eye out for any potential hazards or issues. If you notice any unusual behavior, such as excessive smoke, unraveling wicks, or an unsteady flame, it may be best to choose a different candle to ensure safety.

By conducting this simple test, you can ensure that the floating candle is safe and functions as expected. It provides an opportunity to rectify any issues before lighting the candle for an extended period, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy your floating candle display.

Step 7: Add Decorations (Optional)

If you want to enhance the visual appeal of your floating candle display, you can add decorative elements to the water. This step allows for customization and personalization, making your display truly unique. Here’s how you can add decorations to your floating candle:

  1. Choose decorations: Select decorative items that complement the theme or mood you want to create. You can use flower petals, leaves, seashells, colorful gemstones, or floating tea lights.
  2. Prepare the decorations: Ensure that the decorations are clean and free from any dirt or debris. If using natural elements such as flower petals or leaves, gently rinse them with water and pat them dry.
  3. Place the decorations: Sprinkle the decorations onto the surface of the water around the floating candle. Arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing manner, allowing them to float freely and enhance the overall visual impact.
  4. Experiment with placement: Feel free to experiment with different arrangements and designs. You can create a pattern or scatter the decorations randomly, depending on your preference and the vibe you want to create.
  5. Be mindful of flammability: If adding additional candles or using decorations that are flammable, exercise caution and ensure they are positioned safely away from the floating candle flame. Safety should always be a top priority when adding decorations to your display.

Adding decorations is an optional step that allows you to inject creativity and personal flair to your floating candle setup. It allows you to customize the display according to your taste, making it visually captivating and unique.

Step 8: Lighting and Enjoying Your Floating Candle

After all the preparations and arrangements, it’s time to light your floating candle and bask in the mesmerizing glow. Follow these steps to light and enjoy your floating candle:

  1. Create a calm environment: Ensure that the surrounding area is free from any potential hazards or distractions. Arrange the floating candle display in a serene space to enhance the ambiance and allow you to fully enjoy the experience.
  2. Ignite the candle: Use a long-reach lighter or matches to carefully light the floating candle’s wick. Take caution not to burn yourself or create any drips that may affect the water’s clarity.
  3. Observe the flickering flame: Watch as the flame dances atop the water’s surface, casting a gentle glow and creating a soothing atmosphere. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the floating candle display.
  4. Supervise the burning candle: Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep a close eye on the floating candle as it burns and ensure it remains stable and safe throughout its burn time.
  5. Enjoy the ambiance: Soak in the calming ambiance created by the soft illumination of the floating candle. Whether you’re using it for relaxation, meditation, or as a centerpiece for a special occasion, take pleasure in the serene and enchanting atmosphere it provides.
  6. Extinguish the candle: Once you’re ready to conclude your floating candle experience, carefully extinguish the flame. Use a candle snuffer or gently blow on the flame until it goes out. Avoid using water to extinguish the candle, as it can make it difficult to remove any melted wax from the vessel.

By following these steps, you can safely and enjoyably light and appreciate your floating candle. The ethereal glow and peaceful ambiance it brings will surely create a memorable and magical experience.

Tips and Tricks

To ensure the success of your floating candle project and make the most out of your display, consider these helpful tips and tricks:

  • Experiment with different vessel shapes and sizes to create varying effects. A shallow dish might produce a wider and more dispersed glow, while a tall cylindrical vase can create an elegant and concentrated illumination.
  • If you’re using scented candles, choose fragrances that complement the overall ambiance you want to create. Avoid overpowering scents that may clash with the surroundings or distract from the overall experience.
  • For outdoor use, ensure that your floating candle display is shielded from wind or draft. Wind can cause the flame to flicker excessively, making it difficult for the candle to stay lit and maintain a stable position in the water.
  • If you plan to use your floating candle display for an event or special occasion, give it a test run beforehand to ensure that everything is as you envision. This way, you can make any necessary adjustments or changes to achieve the desired effect.
  • Consider using LED floating candles if an open flame is not suitable or allowed in your setting. LED candles can provide a similar aesthetic without the risk of fire or melting wax.
  • When adding decorations to the water, avoid overloading the vessel. Too many decorations can weigh down the candle and disrupt its floating balance.
  • Regularly check the water level in your floating candle display. As the candle burns, the water may evaporate. Ensure there is always enough water to keep the candle afloat and prevent any accidents due to low water levels.
  • After using the floating candle, clean the vessel thoroughly. Remove any remnants of wax, debris, or decorations to keep the vessel ready for future use. Wash it with warm soapy water and let it dry completely before storage.

By implementing these tips and tricks, you can elevate your floating candle experience and create a stunning display that captivates both you and your guests.