Interior design

Hand-painted dinner and sculptural candles is Instagram’s biggest interior trend

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Megan Murray
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Hand-painted candles

Hand-painted candles is the trend our homes are calling out for. Here are the independent makers to buy yours from. 

Candles, candles, candles; we can’t get enough of them. Whether they be twisted, marbled, honour the female form, glow-in-the-dark or shaped like a cube we, and the rest of Instagram, just won’t stop buying them.

The candle trend started in lockdown with dinner candles in beautiful colours to make meals at home feel more special. But it’s a fascination which isn’t going anywhere, and is only getting more creative as time goes on. 

’Too pretty to burn’ is a phrase we’re seeing in the comment sections of many candle brands right now. As more independent makers try their hands at creating something unique from wax and consumers look upon their candles as works of art, the candle bar is only getting raised.

In fact, this new found love of interesting candles has become so far-reaching that there are now trends popping up within the trend, one of the most aesthetically pleasing being hand-painted designs. 

Whether it be delicate flowers or tiny stars, carefully hand-painted messages of love or bright paint splodges and squiggly shapes, these hand-painted candles take candle appreciation to the next level. 

After all, why decorate your table with a plain ol’ cream tapered number when you can invest in a small business and get something hand-made and unique to match your table linens. 

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Louise, the founder of creative lifestyle brand Cocolulu which specialises in candles, candle holders, cards and personalised embroidery, explains to Stylist.co.uk how she first became inspired to try painting cute designs on dinner candles.

“I have always loved painting on different surfaces so deciding to try it out on candles was a no-brainer to keep up with trends,” she says. 

“I did a little bit of research but, lo and behold, it wasn’t as easy as I had anticipated! It takes so much precision, and as a candle is round, a steady hand is so important! Paint application isn’t simple and sometimes requires multiple layers, making it time confusing to get the design you want.”

She continues: “I wanted to create designs that incorporated balanced colour compilations through shapes to create a repeat pattern. Subtle but eye catching at the same time. I’m about to launch some new designs which I hope will bring some more smiles, too!”

If you’re keen to get some hand-painted candles from a talented independent maker, check out our curation of the best brands to try. Your tablescape won’t know what’s hit it.

  • Bable

    Bianca of Bable is generally seen as the pioneer of the hand-painted candle trend, starting her business in June last year. She’s now amassed over 10,000 followers on Instagram and has done collaborations with Rixo and Matilda Goad.

    Her designs have spanned a Valentine’s collection, advent designs, every flower under the sun, animal prints, the celestial and much, much more.

    While her online offering is currently sold out, her next re-stock will be 28 February, a date to put in your diary if you’re keen on bagging one.

    Shop candles at Bable, from £14

  • Kenduru

    Not only is Rumbie Shearer a foodie who likes to “make mealtimes special, whatever the occasion” but she’s also the founder of virtual event series UK Supper Clubs.

    So, when it comes to creating atmosphere and occasion at the dinner table, it makes sense that she would be the perfect person to start up yet another venture, this time in beautiful dinner candles.

    Kenduru means candle in Rumbie’s native Zimbabwean language, Shona, and she’s inspired by Africa, travel and nature to create thoughtful designs.

    While her candles started off as gifts for friends, she has now launched a small collection online which includes springtime flowers like tulips and, our favourite, personalised messages.

    Shop candles at Kenduru, from £15

  • Cocolulu

    Louise of Cocolulu is one of those lucky, artistic people who can turn her hand to just about anything and make it look beautiful. 

    While her brand Cocolulu sells a range of creative products, such as hand-embroidered T-shirts and flower-shaped gingham candle holders, her hand-painted candles are becoming a fast favourite at Stylist HQ.

    With a focus on bright colours and happy pastels, Louise’s delicate designs are perfect for spring. We particularly like the lilac hearts and pansies that she’s been painting recently.

    Shop candles at Cocolulu, from £10

  • Bridie Candles

    Bridie Candles stand out thanks to the product’s cute, chunky shape and pastel colour palette, bringing together the prettiest shades with a modern aesthetic. 

    Candles can be twisted or straight, it’s totally up to you. Just let the lovely founder Amber know and she can make your order to your taste at her studio in London.

    Bridie Candles is all sold out for now, but keep your peepers peeled because brand new designs will be coming soon and we have it on good authority that they will be prettier than ever.

    Shop candles at Bridie Candles, from £8

  • Peach Fuzz Candles

    Long taper candles may be at the forefront of this trend, but we have a special soft spot for Peach Fuzz Candles, which are hand-painted by Anya. 

    Anya says that her idea to create fruit-shaped candles came from experimenting with melted wax, as one evening, feeling a little bored, she tried moulding a burnt-down candle into new forms. 

    Currently Peach Fuzz Candles spans peaches, lemons and strawberries. Each is scented with a fruity fragrance and is incredibly lifelike, with delicate, textured surfaces.

    Please note: these are candles intended for decoration or lighting. They are not edible. Please do not try and eat.

    Shop candles at Peach Fuzz Candles, from £7.50

  • Orna

    With 10 years’ experience as a buyer in the fashion industry, Meghan is a self-confessed print obsessive with a deep love of colour and pattern.

    But when she fancied a change of career in 2020, Meghan was keen to get more involved with the process of creating her own designs. At first she tried her hand at nail art, but when the pandemic meant closures for nail salons, she used this same skill and precision to paint candles. 

    Orna’s style is whimsical with a celestial, fairytale feel. Her current collections are inspired by ‘enchanted spring dreams’, ‘allotment life’ and ‘fall from the stars’.

    Shop candles at Orna, from £12

  • By Otter

    The painted candle trend features lots of delicate motifs and tiny details, so we love that By Otter choses to go down a bigger, bolder route. 

    Think huge, splodgy clementine oranges or fun squiggly lines; By Otter mixes impactful shapes and eye-catching colours for candles that stand out. 

    By Otter’s next drop is in March, with a date yet to be confirmed, so keep an eye on the brand’s Instagram.

    Shop candles at By Otter, from £15

  • Rosily Roberts

    There is an artistic nature to every candle in this list, but Rosily Roberts takes the nature of ‘candle art’ to the next level.

    Rosily Roberts candles have a unique aesthetic because her chosen medium is oil paint, which gives her designs a multi-layered, flouncy feel.

    So far her muses have been flowers, fish and fruit and she invites Instagram followers to direct message her to buy those that she posts.

    Shop candles at Rosily Roberts, from £6

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Images: Bridie Candles / courtesy of brands

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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