I know, another candle DIY. I’ll tell you though, flickering candles make such a huge impact with a Halloween setup, especially when you have plenty of them. Even more so, if you have different variations of candles, you can really create a unique setup. Last year you might of seen a pretty genius idea of using pool noodles to make a group of melting pillar candles. It’s very similar to the same idea using PVC pipes. See the images below for examples.
For me I loved the idea of both concepts but as always, I like to take things to the next level and combine ideas. For myself, the pool noodle project needed more detail and the PVC pipe needed ease of creation. They are also lighter and more flexible. So below, you will see a clashing of two ideas.
Let’s get some supplies together:
- Pool noodles
- Flameless candle tea lights
- Hot glue
- Liquid Nails
- Large zip ties
- Exterior primer
- Heirloom Off White Spray Paint
- Furniture stain
- GLOVES! (You will want gloves for all the painting and staining.)
When buying pool noodles, buy more than you think you need. You will want extra in case you mess up on cutting them down, adding extra, or other weird issues with the pool noodles. I bought mine from the Dollar Store so they are perfectly cheap!
First, cut down those pool noodle using a manual saw at a 45° angle. This is to show the cycle of melting a candle goes through. You want different lengths of pool noodles for levels when grouping them together. Stack them next to each other in groups. This will also tell you if you need more smaller candles or larger ones. This is also where having extra pool noodles on hand will come in handy.
From there, you are going to carve the inside of the pool noodle out so it fits a tea light candle. This is the one part of the project that is tedious and time consuming. With PVC pipes, you don’t have to do this, but with PVC you have to fill the pipe so the candle has something to sit on. I traced the candle on the noodle using an X-Acto knife and then pulled out the foam creating a nesting area for the candle. This doesn’t have to look pretty. It’s a melting candle! It should look distorted.
So now we have the candles cut and carved out. Group them back together and zip tie them so they are easier to keep together as we finish them. Once they are grouped together, it’s time to prime them. With these candles being made of foam, the spray paint we use will eat through the foam. While it may produce a cool effect, it’s not the safest. I won’t stop you if you decide to not prime however, I used an exterior primer to paint all the pool noodles.
TIP: I used Dollar Store paint brushes for priming. Primer is very tough to get out of paint brushes so I didn’t bother to clean them. I just tossed them when i was done. I also used a spare piece of foam board I had and put BBQ skewers in the foam. This is so the pools noodles could stand up to dry and they wouldn’t blow away or get knocked down.
Once I primed all the pool noodles together, I then used Liquid Nails that is specifically for foam to glue them back together. When they were glued, I zip tied them once more so they would adhere better. Let the liquid nails cure or dry overnight.
Now it’s time to get our candle drip on. Cut the zip tie off and throw away. Make sure you have a high heat glue gun and are in a well vented area. I say this because the hot glue will melt the pool noodles a little and it does produce a fume especially with the primer. I created the drips by starting at the top and naturally letting it drip down the pool noodle. I did this over and over. I let it harden and after about an hour I did another round to show the sequence of melting over time. I also used the glue on the rim of each noodle so it created a full melt around the whole candle and spread the glue on the rim with a skewer.
The next day, I spray painted the group of candles with an off white spray paint. I didn’t want a bright white paint like the primer. I used Heirloom White from Rust-oleum which has a nice off white kind of dingy color to it. I advise doing at least two coats of spray paint. When we stain the candle drips, it can take some of the paint off so two coats will really help. I also painted a second time inside the candles using the acrylic paint as the spray paint may be tough to get coverage inside the candle.
Let the spray paint fully dry. Now it’s time to stain the candle drips. The reason for this is to accentuate the drips and in between so they pop a little more. Also it’s natural for any candle to have soot or charred areas. This is more for a detailed look. Do it for the Gram! You can go as subtle or hard with the stain as you like. I went a little more hard with the stain because I want to details to show under dark lighting. If you choose not to use furniture stain, you can use a watered down acrylic brown paint.
I dipped the paint brush (also a Dollar Store paint brush) into the stain and brushed most of it away. I then carefully painted the tops of the candle and the drips and in between the drips. Not the whole candle! I brushed upwards to avoid getting other parts of the candle. Let it sit for a minute and then use an old rag (paper towels work but are less sturdy) and brushed upwards again removing most of the stain leaving behind stain inside the nooks and crannies of the candle drips. This is the same technique I used for the smaller stand up candles in another DIY. Let the stain dry overnight.
Lastly, you will add in your tea light candles. Something I didn’t do but I suggest is painting the tea lights a similar color as the candles. Maybe an Unbleached Titanium acrylic paint. If you’re like me these dumb details keep you up at night. That’s it! Now get out there and make some candles!
Any questions? Please let me know!