Birchbark candles aren’t really made of birch bark, but when you’re done with them, they will look like it! First, you’ll need a white candle, pillar or taper, and some white candle stubs to meltdown. Boil some water in a saucepan and set a tin can, raised on a metal ring of some sort, in the hot water. Break up the candle stubs and remove the wick. Drop the wax chunks into the can and melt.
Let the wax cool somewhat and then mound it onto the candle randomly. Don’t worry about dribbles and lines, these will all add to the reality. In fact, swish your spoon back and forth a couple of times so lines of wax drizzle across your candle. What you are doing now is adding texture. The wax you mound up should somewhat resemble where branches have broken off. All of them should stick up toward the top of the candle. Let the candle cool and trim any excess wax.
Now for the painting. You will need acrylic craft paint in the following colors: black, dark brown, tan, off-white, and white. Paint the whole candle with a white base coat and let dry. Now for the details. Mix up some grey paint and use a little on a small brush to swish back and forth randomly across the candle in a side-to-side motion. Repeat with the tan and blend it a bit.
Paint the top of the candle tan and create a radiating wood grain with the dark brown. Paint a border of dark brown around the edge. Paint the knobs on the candle a mixture of dark brown and black over the white. The idea is to create the look of a weathered piece of birch. Of course, if you can find a picture of a birch tree, you will have a bit of an advantage.
Paint the various lines black or dark brown to make the look of scarred bark and let all the paint dry. Touch up any areas that need help and you are ready to start burning your candle!
HINTS: Putting the candle in a candle holder works well for painting all the way around. Finish up the bottom once the rest is dry.
For taper candles, you can heat them slightly over a burner or flame and bend them just a little to create a more flawed appearance.