How to Make Hand Candles


I ran across a tutorial on how to make a candle by dipping an inflated balloon into wax. It got me wondering if I could do the same with a latex glove. The thing about the balloon candle is that it doesn't have a wick, you just place a tealight inside of the wax shell. I didn't like that, I wanted my hand candle to have wicks on the fingers. So instead of dipping the glove in wax, I poured wax into the inside with wicks running through the fingers. To make my hand candle more ghoulish for Halloween I added some red wax to make it look like the fingers are bleeding.

In this instructable I will show you on how to make your own hand candle.

Warning the flames can burn very high, use caution, never leave candle unattended.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
  • Candle wax (I used white/off white and red for the blood)
  • Powder free disposable gloves/exam gloves (ie latex)*
  • Candle wicks
  • Pot for melting wax
  • 20 gauge wire
  • Clamps
  • Duct tape
*A note about the gloves: I work in a lab so I have access to several different types (and sizes) of gloves. The gloves I used withstood the heat of the wax, but I found that some thinner gloves seem to tear a bit around the wick and started to leak, I managed to clamp the leak shut with some binder clips was still salvageable. The ones I found worked best were Curad Latex Powder Free Exam Gloves. We also Nitrile gloves in our lab but I haven't tried those yet.
While I was writing up this Instructable it occurred to me that dish-washing gloves may be used as well. They are much thicker and likely won't tear, although they often have a lining inside (you can probably just turn them inside out) .

Step 2: Preparing glove

  • Poke a tiny hole in the tip of the each finger you want to have a candle wick.
  • Tie knots in the wicks about 1 cm from the end.
  • Poke the wick through the hole from the inside (the knot should be inside the glove right against the tip).
  • Cover the finger tip with duct tape covering the wick and the hole to prevent the wax from seeping out.

Step 3: Making a holder

To make it easier and safer to hold the glove open while pouring hot wax into it I used some wire to fashion a loop. I slipped the loop around the opening and used some clamps to hold it on. To make sure that the wick(s) stay centred in the fingers I knotted them together and wrapped the loose end around a pencil to anchor them (see image below).

Step 4: Wax

A word of caution, be careful when pouring the hot wax as the gloves may tear and spill the hot wax everywhere. So pour away from yourself fingers to prevent burns.

The amount of wax you will need depends on the size of glove that you are using, you can fill a glove with water and then pour it into a measuring cup to get the correct amount. It is a good idea to melt more than you need in case you spill. Place a plate or tray under your glove to catch any drips or leaks. Melt your wax in a pot on the stove then slowly pour it into the glove. Once filled hang it somewhere to allow it to set (I hung mine from a banana hanger). I placed a cork between the thumb and fingers since the thumb seemed to sag.

Hand Gestures
Before the wax sets you have an opportunity to bend the fingers (and tape them up) if you want to make hand gestures, such as a peace sign, Vulcan salute etc.

Step 5: Admire your handy work

Once the wax has fully hardened you can peel/cut off the glove. Trim the end of the wick from the bottom. If the bottom is uneven you can use a knife to carve it flat so that it can stand without tipping.

Several of these hand candles have been recalled due to fire hazard. When the fingers burn down they really burn due to all the paraffin melting. Take care.
sdhardie10 months ago
This is such a fantastic idea. Thanks for posting!
ChrysN (author)  sdhardie10 months ago
wocket2 years ago
Awesome. A tripple dip would work even better. start with thin white candles for the fingers, cover with red wax in the mold then dip in skin coloured wax.
bde cock2 years ago
If you use a red candle and then dip the red "hand" in white candle wax about 20 times, it will look even awesomer
kazmataz2 years ago
Love this! Would be fun to do with soap - gives a whole new meaning to "hand soap"
ChrysN (author)  kazmataz2 years ago
LOL, great idea!
sunshiine2 years ago
Cool idea!
"Admire your handy work"
^ like
Need to give a great “hand” of applause for this “handy”, “hands” on project.
Haha, of course! mdr :P
This is why they say: Many “hands” make “Light” work....... But in this case I have to “hand” it to him and say one “hand” makes 5 “lights” work!!!
for my "hand-off": I gotta "hand" it to you.
strixowl2 years ago
Have you tried double dipping the candle, this could really make a cool effect. having two different colours of wax using say white on the outside and red after a few layers on the inside. Great idea
ChrysN (author)  strixowl2 years ago
I haven't tried it, that sounds like a great idea!
TSC2 years ago
Awsome! candle!
Beadevil2 years ago
Hi ChrysN! This is a wonderfully ghoulish decoration. I just accepted an invitation to a halloween party and asked what I might bring along. Well, now I know! Perhaps I will make a big Devil's Food Cake with blood-red frosting. I'll bake it in a Bundt pan, so there is a hole in the center where I can place the candle, elevated a bit on a 'pedestal', so that the wrist is just below the level of the cake. Oh, what fun!

May I offer a SAFETY TIP? Always melt parafin or wax in a container (such as a washed out can) that is placed into a pot that is filled with simmering water. This is especially important when heating over an open flame, such as a gas stove.

As with oil fires, should a fire occur, NEVER use water to extinguish (use a fire extinguisher, baking soda, or smother the fire with a blanket (but not a synthetic one.) In addition, wear natural-fiber clothing, such as cotton, when working near flame.

To simplify the process, I wonder if it would be possible to place five candles into the fingers and thumb of the glove and then pour the melted wax or parafin into the glove to fill in the spaces.

Thanks for sharing!
putting candles in the fingers would help center the wick.
Yes, that is true. And, I'm not certain, but using red candles might even make them drip red "blood". It's worth a try.
ChrysN (author)  Beadevil2 years ago
Thanks for the safety tips!
Beadevil ChrysN2 years ago
You're welcome. I worked for a number of years in occupational therapy and in teaching arts and crafts to children and adults. We dipped candles every advent season, and we were well drilled about melting wax and parafin! None of our candles were quite like your's. I forwarded the link to a number of friends, and one of them immediately called me long distance to laughingly say that she had to delete the mail because it was too gory!
kstevens22 years ago
Can you tell me approximately how much wax is needed and what type you use? Thanks these are awesome!! Can't wait to make some!
ChrysN (author)  kstevens22 years ago
It depends on the size of glove, probably about 500grams (1 pound) or so.
acoleman32 years ago
hmm....a hand of glory! or at least something that *looks* like one. nice job.....
Phantomn2 years ago
Surely "Handles"...?

Hi Five! Hand-some! Very hand-y to have on hand in case of a black-out. Could be used as a prosthetic ( but as long as it is only used on cloudy days.) Talk to the hand! Make 6 for a genetically enhanced spider.
ChrysN (author)  porcupinemamma2 years ago
LOL! I was anticipating some puns.
Oppidum2 years ago
Waaaa! Amazing! I'll try to do that! A perfect cadle for Halloween! :D
cpacker12 years ago
cool idea
eross-12 years ago
The Hand of Glory! That is super cool!
ccrook12 years ago
love it gonna have ago as halloween is best day of the year i think
Super creative =)
Browncoat2 years ago
dimtick2 years ago
I love this. Such a cool effect. Think I'll be making some of these.....although I think the blood will creap my kids out to much so mine will just be wax.

nice job!
mischka2 years ago
Looks great! I wish I had the time to make it for my halloween party.
Ooh, I did something like this once at a candle shop. The guy had me just stick my thumb in wax. I like the way you do it better. The outcome is certainly more awesome :)
Creativeman2 years ago
Clever ChrysN....very good!
mikeasaurus2 years ago
freakish and awesome!