Hello there Thursday readers!
As those of you who have been reading know, I am all about Halloween decorating, especially on the cheap with all the mad DIY skillz you can muster. Today I bring you an inexpensive, easy and thoroughly impressive way to light up your home. This would work particularly well in hallways but I think you can do it in any indoor room of the house. I say indoor not because of any fire hazards, but because you don’t want the wind to ruin your sense of awe.
I wonder how many of you are Harry Potter fans, and how many of you guys will give a shout of approval when I show you a picture for the tutorial we’re going to do today:
That’s right! This is going to be a tutorial on recreating the candles that float around Hogwart’s on special occasions. I am going to be using pictures from this tutorial as well as some of the steps, but not all of them may work for what you have around the house, so remember to improvise. I’ll also give other alternative recommendations for ways you can do the same thing.
This isn’t too complicated but, realistically I should have probably posted this weeks ago so you could start saving some of the supplies that are needed. The good news is that this mood lighting doesn’t need to be just for halloween, but it can be for Christmas as well. Or really any cool party that you want amazing lighting for.
There are many different ways that this tutorial can be done. You can find them all over the internet. I’m going to post some photos from the various tutorials around, (as well as some links to their pages) but I’m going to give you some of my own methods and suggestions that would make things a little bit easier. First, your tools: A selection of toilet paper and paper towel rolls, scissors, a hot glue gun, white (or off white) craft paint and a brush,some white paper, a push pin, some fishing line and some heavy duty tape. You’ll also need as many LED tealight candles as you have toilet paper rolls. You can decide the best number for your hallway.
The first part is easy. Cut down any paper towel rolls to the sizes you want. It’s good to have a variety of sizes but going smaller than a toilet paper roll will make them look a little stubby so try to keep them longer than that. Next, you’ll need to apply your first layer of white paint around the outside of your tubes. Allow this to fully dry before moving on to your next step.
For this step, there’s a couple of ways to achieve the desired effect. The one that I think is probably the easiest is with a glue gun, where you basically let the glue drip like candle wax down from the top. Before you do anything else with these, allow them to dry. Another DIYer recommended using thin foam to glue to the tops rather than having dripping glue, but they used a special cutter to get them looking nice, not scissors. (that tutorial is here). Remember to keep the glue on the outside of your candle so that it’s easier to deal with the LED lights inside.
Next, the step illustrated above might seem a little convoluted, but bear with me. The reason for dipping the top of the candles in paint rather than using a brush is so that the brushes don’t leave brush strokes on the glue. Alternatively, if you can find a way to spray paint them without spray painting everything else around, that would be an amazing option – this you could do in a couple of stages, spraing first the top half then the bottom to get full coverage.
Once your candles are dry, you’ are going to need to make some holes to string fishing line through. Many LED tea lights are aboug 3/4 of an inch thick (that’s about 2cm for us metric folk), so it would be good to poke your holes about 3/4 of an inch from the top of your candle. You want the “wicks” to just be showing. You should also cut lengths of fishing line to create a loop (which you can do by either tying the ends or hot gluing the ends together) which you will loop through the holes that you’ve made. This tutorial recommends about 10-20 inches in length, that’s 25-50cm, (varying between these so they all hang at different spots)
The next step is easy. You want to trace a circle of paper the size of the tube and glue this to the bottom of your candle. You don’t want people to see that your candles are hollow.
We’re getting closer to the end. The next step is to insert your LED light into the top of the tube. Now, the tutorial writer claims that it should sit on the fishing wire without falling as the rest of the tube will hold it up. For me, I would probably pull the string out from the top of the tube to tape it to the bottom of the candle just to be sure. Just make sure, however you decide to put them inside, that you will need to access the bottom to turn them on. Very important.
Your last step is to affix them to the ceiling. If you have a ceiling like mine that is flat, you can use some tape to hold the loop of fishing line in place since they’re not heavy. If you have a different ceiling, you may have to get creative. If your ceiling cannot be taped, you will basically need to put up a fabric drape to hold them. You can either make one – This tutorial goes through it, or you can use tulle (which is found at your local fabric store) or a blanket or tapestry. If you need to use a hanging, all you need to do is either safety pin the fishing line to the fabric (with the pin on the underside) or use small Christmas ornament hooks .
This image from diyave.com. A great example of someone using a galaxy tapestry as a hanging device.
When you get everything turned off and your candles turned on, you will have a magical ambiance that looks hugely impressive!