For creating a dramatic statement, whether as part of a centerpiece, or designing a whole room for maximum impact, nothing beats candelabra. There are so many large and small-scale candelabra designs, and so many individual taper holders that can be grouped to create a similar or complementary effect, that your choices are endless!

The one thing they all have in common, though, is the taper. It is the workhorse staple of the candle world. Tapers have been around since candle-making began, and were made by repeatedly dipping the wick into a vat of animal fat or melted beeswax (now we use a paraffin and wax base). The wicks were hung to dry and cool before being dipped again, so gravity and the length of the wick determined the shape of the candle.

Although our manufacturing methods have modernized, the basic taper shape has remained the same. A traditional taper can be between 12” and 18” and can have either a traditional tapered top (which gradually narrows toward the top of the wick), or a dinner candle top (which cuts in deliberately at the top of the cylinder to create the candle point). The dinner candle variety is designed to allow the point to burn low and the cylinder to create a lip to catch the liquid wax, minimizing drips.

The taper candle style has expanded a little over the years, and there are now 7” dinner candles, and elegant and extremely thin floral tapers, which are designed to sit in floral centerpieces. It is important to be sure the candle’s base is the right size for your holders. Large tapers are usually 7/8”or 9/16” in diameter, dinner candles, 1/2”, and floral tapers, 1/4”. 

If you find that your candles aren’t standing quite vertical, they are probably a little small for their holders, but there is a simple fix that will work for those “almost fits” moments. Light the candle and drip some of the wax (about a quarter-sized dollop) into the holder, then replace the candle into the holder, pressing it down to adhere to the melted wax. This usually will allow your candles to stand tall, and create the visually stunning ambience you deserve!

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