I like to be able to actually burn my candles, but I know that if you don't have a "trick" it can be dangerous to do so with all the spices and primness. So, what I do first is buy a bunch of pillar candles at the end of the holiday season.
Then, I burn it just long enough for it to have a "nice" well in the middle.
Next, I rub the candle with a towel and rubbing alcohol to remove the waxiness and to help the paint stick better. Allow to dry.
Then, I paint the candle with black acrylic paint, right up to the well, but not inside the well.
After the black paint is thoroughly dry... I paint a little burnt umber acrylic paint here and there for that nice aged look. And, allow that to dry.
Next, I paint the candle with Mod Podge, and sprinkle well with whatever spices I am in the mood for. Today, I just used cinnamon, but they come out great with ground cloves and nutmeg too... and sometimes I will also add a little coffee grounds to the mix. Allow to dry and set well.
When all is dry, I then gently rub off any excess with my hands.
Decorate with a little grungy cheese cloth or homespun. And voila, a grubby candle you can actual use!
Wasn't that easy??