The Art of Darkness

Awesome Spooky Candles

September 25th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Evil CandlesThese are pretty neat. I ran across them on Pinterest and tracked them down to HouseofDewberry on Etsy (which has lots of other neat stuff, too). The friend who pinned them speculated on doing a DIY version, and I think they should be pretty easy to hack together.

These are essentially heavily-hot-glued PVC candles, which are a popular Halloween prop. You can find a zillion different tutorials for making the basic candle with a bit of googling: Here’s a video tutorial, and there’s a nice overview here (omit the step where you fill them with insulation) with some additional tips here. Choose a pipe diameter that will let you slip a battery-powered tea light inside, since they’ll be used both as a wick and to illuminate the interior.

The eyes and mouth can be cut pretty easily: Use a marker to draw the holes (it’s all going to be painted, so it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes), making sure you leave enough space around them that the pipe won’t crack when you cut it). Drill a pilot hole (google “how to drill PVC pipe” for instructions such as this one), then cut the shape using a keyhole saw or Dremel tool.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but I think that the eyes and mouth have a translucent covering. Translucent vellum in the color of your choice would work well for that; since the light is provided by LEDs instead of flame, you don’t have to worry about paper getting hot. Cut pieces of vellum a bit larger than the holes. Roughen the plastic with a bit of sandpaper for better adhesion, then run a bead of glue around the edges of the hole, taking care not to use too much so it doesn’t squish out and show. (If you want an inset appearance, glue the vellum to the inside of the pipe. Otherwise, glue it outside; the edges of the vellum will be covered with hot glue.) If you just want the holes to be open, use plastic-friendly spray paint to paint the interior of the pipe a dark red or other spooky color (again, it doesn’t matter if some gets on the outside, since you’ll be painting that anyway).

Once glue and/or paint is dry, you’ll need to create a holder for the top tea light. Most tutorials instruct you to fill the interior with insulation or styrofoam and just rest the tea light on that, but we’re leaving the interior hollow. The easiest thing to do is to use a couple of pieces of floral wire to make a little platform for the tea light to sit on. Cross two pieces of wire and tie them together with a bit of tape. Place the crossed part over the end of the pipe and press the tea light down on top so that the wire is pushed down inside. When the top of the tea light is flush with the top of the pipe, bend the ends of the wire down over the outside of the pipe. Cut off all but an inch or two of the excess and then secure with a bit of hot glue.

Now it’s time to build up the “drips” with hot glue. You can run a thin bead of glue around the eyes and mouth to build them up a bit, then make thick drips all over the rest of the candle, making sure to cover up the ends of the wire. If you want to add a puddle of “wax” around the base–which will help stabilize the candle–place the candle upright on a piece of silicone-covered parchment paper (the kind used for baking) and draw a puddle of hot glue around the bottom. Once cool, the hot glue should release easily from the non-stick paper; if bits stick for some reason, just trim them off with an Xacto knife.

You can similarly build up the top of the candle so that it appears to have melted down unevenly. Wait until the rest of the glue dries, then roll up a piece of parchment paper and stick it into the top of the pipe. Turn the pipe upside down and drip hot glue from the end of the pipe onto the parchment paper (make sure it doesn’t buckle inward, since then it’ll be hard to get the tea light inside).

Once the hot glue is very thoroughly cooled, it’s time to paint. Make sure to carefully mask the vellum, then use plastic-friendly spray paint in the color of your choice. Once dry, remove the masking and touch up by hand if necessary.

Finally, use a metallic paint to give the whole thing a waxy sheen. Get a small amount on a dry brush and brush it quickly over the drips; you want to highlight them but not cover them completely.

Dry thoroughly, and you’re done. When ready to display, stick one tealight up inside the base and press the other one down into the top.

One of these would look great perched on a dramatic candlestick, but you could also make two or three and mass them spookily in a corner.

Posted in Bad Things | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. xJane Says:

    One of my favorite things to do is make things I love on Etsy. Just made myself a set of earrings last night!

  2. Fiend4Halloween Says:

    I make these candles often and they are a fun to make. Experiment with different techniques and mix and match ideas. Have fun trying out this craft but please make sure your doing this in a well ventilated area. Either have a fan on or be in an open space while burning the pvc. Since pvc is made with toxic chemicals in the process, you’ll get toxic smoke (dioxins) when burning it. It can cause headaches, eye itching, sickness, but if your in a well vented area, you have nothing to worry about. I’m not trying to scare anyone away from it, just making sure that your safe while having fun making candles. Enjoy!

  3. Hushgirl Says:

    House of Dewberry actually has a blog too & she has a tutorial for these. They are actually made from TP and paper towel tubes! Even easier!

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