Taper Candles: How To Use and Display Them

An Introduction to Taper Candles

Setting the right atmosphere is essential in transforming your space into something warm and inviting. Taper candles are simple elements that provide a gentle glow while adding a beautiful ambiance to any home or event space. Whether you are setting the mood for a romantic candlelit dinner or decorating for a special event, taper candles can elevate the look of any setting. 

You might be surprised to know that taper candles have been around for millennia and are the oldest form of candles. Ancient Romans and Egyptians created some of the earliest forms using beeswax and tallow. In medieval times, chandlers, or candle artisans, had flourishing businesses making candles. After electric light was introduced, however, candle use greatly decreased but that trend is returning again due to its beautiful aesthetic value.

What Are Taper Candles?

Taper candles are long and slender and come in various heights from 6” to 18”.  They may be made by dipping wicks in thin layers of wax and repeating the process when the previous coating has dried. More wax will gradually draw to the bottom as it hangs to dry, creating the candle’s classic taper shape where the top is narrower than the base. New variations show these long, slender candles in twisted or geometric shapes. The shapes may be achieved by hand but many of the rigid forms are made with the use of molds.

The availability of varying heights gives users the opportunity to create a layered, multidimensional look with different sizes, or a more refined, uniform look using the taper candles of the same height.  

Taper candles’ burn time depends on the material and length of the candle, but you can typically approximate a one inch per hour burn time - for instance, you can expect a 12 inch taper candle to burn for 12 hours. These candles are typically unscented given their inefficiency at scent throw due to their long and thin shape. But due to this unique shape and exposed flame, taper candles bring visual depth and dimension to any tablescape. 

Taper Candle Holders

Tapers are unable to stand on their own and therefore must be paired with a candle holder. A taper candle holder or candlestick will stabilize and support the candle, preventing it from falling over. Standard taper candles have a diameter of 7/8” at the base which will fit into most candlestick holders. To minimize wax dripping and avoid any safety hazards, ensure that the candle is placed straight in its holder at a 90 degree angle and that the holder is on a level surface. 

While candlestick holders serve a functional safety purpose, they also provide the opportunity to further customize your tablescape. Our candle holder collection is handmade to be functional with an elegant, sophisticated design to complement any arrangement.

Adjusting Taper Candles

If you find that your taper candle is too large in its holder, there are some simple tricks to make it fit using everyday household items. Carefully use a knife or scissors to shave small amounts of excess wax from the base until it fits snugly in the holder. For shallower candle holders, you can heat the bottom of the candle until some wax melts as another option to ensure the candles are secured in place and remain standing upright. Using the hot wax as an adhesive, place the candle in the holder and be sure that the candle is aligned properly, holding it in place for a few seconds while the wax dries. 

If you have the opposite problem and the candle is too large, one solution is to wrap the base of the taper candle with material to make it thicker so that it fills the remaining space in the holder. Using masking tape or aluminum foil, wrap small amounts at the base until the taper candle fits snugly inside the holder. Another option is to invest in candle snugglers, pieces of circular foam that are specifically designed to secure the candle in place.  

Setting the Mood Right

You don’t have to be a professional designer in order to style your home or event space in a way that turns heads - taper candles do just that in a few simple steps. With their variations in height, color, and material, taper candles can transform a setting to meet the aesthetic needs for any occasion and even the everyday moments of being at home. If  you are going for a classy and elegant look for weddings or dining, tall, ivory taper candles give a timeless, romantic look to the event. Colored candles also provide a stylish accent and pair nicely with arrangements, fitting especially well with a theme. Dark colors, on the other hand, are chic and sultry and provide a wonderful contrast with the bright flame. With any color you choose, arranging them in odd numbers and varying candle heights makes for a stunning, multidimensional presentation sure to amplify the look of any space.



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