The Art of Darkness

Crystal Ball Candlesticks

May 7th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Crystal BallsFabulous commenter xJane pointed me in the direction of this brilliant, simple decorating idea by Flamingo Toes: Little “crystal balls” with spooky images inside.

The execution is really clever: Print the desired image on transparency film, roll it into a tube, and insert it through the neck of a clear glass Christmas ornament. Display atop the candlestick of your choice. I love how the images seem to float with no visible means of support.

You can find appropriate clipart online, but the blogger has also been kind enough to provide a download of the images she used for her demonstration. Transparency film for overhead projectors can be found at office supply stores, but it’s also available at Amazon. I’ve seen blank glass ornaments at craft stores, although they’re more readily available (and in a wider variety of sizes) closer to Christmas. If you can’t find them locally, Amazon has those too; be sure that the ones you get are large enough for the project.

Her technique involves using a candle flame to slightly smoke the interior of the bulb, not only making it look a little more mysterious but also slightly obscuring the edges of the transparency. If you, like me, are apt to do yourself an injury in the process of attempting this, you might try tinting the glass instead: There are good tutorials for doing that here and here. To create a smokey appearance, try for uneven streaks rather than the uniform stain in the tutorials.

You can pick up mismatched candlesticks at thrift stores or on clearance at craft and home decor stores. Spray-paint them a glossy black and mass a bunch of them on a table or mantelpiece (they’d also look great on a party buffet). Several of the crystal balls interspersed with candles would also be attractive.

Be sure to check out the rest of Flamingo Toes’ Halloween projects (and, y’know, other holidays, if you’re into that kind of thing); she’s got some great stuff.

(Thanks, xJane!)

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