This is a super-quick project that produces lovely results. Choose candles that are wrapped in cellophane, as these already have an adhesive surface to which the gilding will adhere.
What you will need:
Brown paper (for work surface)
1 book gold composition leaf (comes in book of twenty-five 5-1/2-inch-square sheets)
Candles Cotton balls
Lay brown paper on clean work surface. Dampen butter knife slightly with your breath, then use knife to transfer one sheet of gold leaf onto paper.
Remove wrapper from candle, touching wax as little as possible.
Break sheet of gold leaf into pieces using perfectly dry fingertips. Leaf will break naturally into irregular shapes and sizes.
Press pieces of leaf onto exposed areas of candle. Alternatively, hold candle at top and bottom, lower it onto edge of leaf, then roll diagonally to adhere gold to candle surface. Repeat to affix additional sheets of leaf until surface is gilded as desired. Leave gaps ungilded or fill gaps using torn pieces.
Rub cotton ball over candle to burnish leaf to shiny finish. Brush off any excess flakes of gold leaf with cotton ball.