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How to Engrave a Candle

An engraved candle is one that has an image carved into the surface wax. Candles are often engraved with names or a special occasion, and given as gifts. They are easy to create because the fragile surface of the wax is soft enough to engrave with anything sharp. There are no special tools needed. To make it easier to carve the wax and leave a smooth surface behind, you can heat the instrument before applying it to the wax.

Things You'll Need:

  • Potholder
  • Hot Water
  • Candle
  • Pot
  • Sharp Instrument

Choose an instrument to carve the wax. Pick the instrument based on how deep you want the engraving and the width of the lines that you want. A mechanical pencil that does not have the lead extended, an ice pick, a steak knife or a screwdriver all work to engrave a candle.

Place a pan of hot water onto the stove, then add the instrument if it is metal. A plastic instrument should not be heated. For metal ones, heat on a low to medium setting to make the candle wax melt very slightly. This will allow the instrument to glide along the wax and prevent any jagged lines.

Drain the water and remove the instrument from the pot with a potholder. Grip the instrument through the potholder and press it into the wax to make your engraving.

Reheat the sharp instrument if it doesn't make it easier to press into the wax. The instrument may need to be slightly hotter to make a better impact. Heating the instrument to the boiling point, however, may make the instrument too hot, melting the wax in too large of an area.


If you have a very complicated design to engrave into a candle, try using a stencil to guide the carving. A vinyl stencil with glue on the back can be stuck to the candle and used to create a more precise design.

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