Applique Organza Nativity Candles

This week, I’ll show you how to make appliques that you can apply to wax candles. The result is oh, so pretty!

Because Bonnie’s Nativity designs are edged in satin stitching, they are perfect for creating appliques that can be glued onto other surfaces.

The freestanding applique technique used here is much the same as with the Cookies for Santa project. Stitching them on water-soluble stabilizer and using a sheer fabric, like organza or tulle, allows the candlelight to shine through.

Creating the Nativity Candles

I used battery-operated pillar candles. Two were six inches tall and one was four inches tall. They were the perfect size for Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus.

Hoop a fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer. You can use a film-type water-soluble stabilizer but it takes a bit more effort to rinse the stabilizer away at the end.

Cut two layers of sheer fabric slightly larger than your hoop (organza was used here). The organza color should match the color of the candle as close as possible. Spray the back of one piece of organza and smooth it over the second piece. Then, spray the back of the sandwiched organza and smooth it onto the hooped stabilizer.


Load the design on your machine, attach the hoop, and run a basting stitch to secure the organza to the stabilizer.


Stitch out the design using the same color of thread in the bobbin as your stitching thread.

When embroidery is finished, carefully trim away excess water-soluble stabilizer (left).

Soak the embroidery to remove the remaining stabilizer but do not completely remove it from the stitches. Crisp organza makes it much easier to trim and glue the pieces to the candles. If you rinse away too much stabilizer and the organza is too flimsy, you can use spray starch to stiffen it up a bit.

Blot the embroidery with a paper towel and let it dry on a flat surface. 

When the organza is dry, carefully trim away the organza as close to the stitching as possible.

Some open areas of the design have little supporting stitches, like the face, halo, and the area between Joseph’s staff and his robe. Organza in these places is best left attached and not cut out (right, above). If you have matched your organza color to that of the candle, any remaining organza will blend right into the background.

When the organza on each piece is trimmed, it is time to glue them to the candles.

A tacky glue works really well for attaching these sheer pieces to curved surfaces. Apply glue to the ridges of the embroidery stitches on the back of each piece. Place the piece on its respective candle and smooth the surface of the embroidery to the contour of candle. Press in place and check regularly to be sure the edges of the embroidery have not lifted. Apply extra glue if needed.

When the glue dries, turn on the candle lights, and enjoy!

The link for the Nativity designs shown on candles is here.

See the video tutorial here!

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  • Bonnie Welsh - November 10, 2020

    Mary—Thank you! Debbie Henry outdid herself with this project. One of my personal favorites. =)

  • Mary kukla - November 09, 2020


  • Bonnie Welsh - July 18, 2018

    Linda—The link is above listed in the post or click on the Nativity pictures and it will take you directly to the designs. I’ve also included the link here for you just in case:×7

  • Linda Brooks - July 16, 2018

    Where is a connection for the nativity that can be put on candles?

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