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Candle Shapes

By Editorial Staff

candlesContributed by Info Guru Paul Seaburn

I’m one of those people who occasionally gets a burning desire to light a candle. Or many candles.

I don’t have power company problems and I don’t have a houseful of kids with birthdays. I just like the look of a burning candle, the smell it fills the room with and the haunting shapes it dances across my walls. Scents are personal but the candle shapes you choose can depend on many things.

10. Tealights

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Tealights or tea candles are tiny discs of wax, usually in a metal or paper cup. Originally used to keep a teapot warm, they’re popular for other warming stands like fondue pots but most often used inside decorative holders.

9. Votive


Votive candles are shaped the same but larger than tea candles and without the metal holder. They’re most often seen in churches in red glass holders for worshipers to light while making a prayer request.

8. Pillar


The giants of the wax world, pillar candles are large, self-standing candles that are at least two inches in diameter and can have multiple wicks. Although they stand on their own, it’s safer to burn them in a dish or flat holder. Pillar candles often have strong scents.

7. Liquid


Liquid candles are often called emergency candles because they burn long and are often refillable, making them handy for power outages or outdoor camping. These candles are filled with liquid paraffin and many advertise that they’ll burn for up to 100 hours.

6. Birthday


The candle that means you’ve spent another year eating cake and ice cream, birthday candles are small, thin, colorful and usually unscented. They burn quickly – watch out for the trick mind! – and often drip so blow them out fast or use little holders to keep your icing wax-free.

5. Container or Jar

When you’re looking for fragrance, candles in containers or glass jars are the choice to make. If you can smell the scent in the store with the lid still on, you know it will fill the room when it burns. Container candles also make great gifts.

4. Luminaria


Luminaria actually refers to the paper lantern or weighted bag these candles burn in when used outdoors for festival decorations or religious events. The candles inside are usually tealights or votives and the bags are generally weighted with sand to keep them in place and keep the candles from burning them.

3. Sculpted


Wax can be carved or molded into an unlimited number of candle shapes and figures for all occasions. A popular sculpted candle is the anniversary tower with markings to chow how much to burn each year. Buddha candles, flower candles and various other designs can be used to enhance the theme of your decor. Sculpted figures are usually meant to be displayed but it’s always fun to watch them melt down into colorful blobs.

2. Gel


The gel in gel candles is a mix of primarily mineral oil with a little polymer resin to make it about the same consistency as Jell-O. Soft gel is poured into clear containers to hold the candle’s shape and display its color, while hard gel candles can stand on their own.

1. Taper


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The long, thin tapered candle is the one candlesticks were made for. They’re perfect for the dinner table as well as for many religious ceremonies.


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