Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween DIY: Fake melted pillar candle tealight holders!

Holy wow. Is that DIY name a mouthful or what?

Here I give you the first of what will likely be many more DIYs I will post to this blog. This is the first Halloween I've had living in my own place that I actually want to decorate. I was living in student housing before (nothing like a room with thin plaster walls and checkered tiles?), and since moving into my new place almost a full year ago, I never really got a chance to even think about decorating for holidays. Mostly just unpacking boxes and assembling furniture. Which I am still doing. It's a little pathetic.

So I bring to you today an easy, wallet-friendly Halloween DIY that you can make with supplies you likely already have lying around the house!

Here's what you'll need:
1. Paper towel/toilet paper rolls of various sizes.
2. Scissors
3. A glue gun
4. A buttload of glue gun sticks
5. Duct tape. Any colour is fine since you won't be seeing it.
6. Paint of some sort, preferably non-toxic. Though I used Liquitex black gesso, which is non-toxic as according to this.
7. Brushes. One is fine, but you can also use various sizes/shapes if you'd like.
8. Tea lights. Scented/unscented, coloured/white, real or fake. The choice is yours!
9. A pen
10. Lots and lots of time. I suggest a TV show marathon! (I recommend American Horror Story in keeping with the Halloween theme)

STEP 1: Use your scissors to cut your paper rolls to the candle heights you'd like. I already made a bunch, so I'm going to make a cute little one to go with the rest!

STEP 2: Once you have the heights you want, you're going to need to make the little platform inside your paper rolls that you'll be nesting your tea light inside. It sounds weird, but once it's in there, you'll get what I mean! Start by cutting off 2 strips of duct tape approximately 5"/12cm long, and one square. You'll need to do this for each candle.

STEP 3: Take one tea light, and use it to trace a circle on your duct tape square. Cut this out, don't worry about it being perfect... cutting duct tape can be annoying. You'll also want to cut both your duct tape strips in half lengthwise. Take only ONE of those halves and cut it lengthwise again so you get two really narrow strips.

STEP 4: Make two X's with your duct tape strips, leaving one of the normal strips for later. Then layer them over one another, sticky sides up, making a star/asterisk-looking thing. Then stick your duct tape circle directly in the middle of the star, sticky sides together.

STEP 5: Now for the tricky part. Circle side facing INTO your paper roll,you're going to use the duct strips to make a basket in the roll for the tea light. I used my tea light as a guide for how far in I wanted my basket. You're going to want it to be in line or a bit higher than the edge of the paper roll to avoid fire hazards. Unless you're using fake tea lights. In which case, go nuts.


Once you've found your desired depth for the platform, seal it in place by folding the duct tape strips over the edge of the paper roll. Then, take the last duct tape strip you have and wrap it around the top of your paper roll to seal the other tape strips.

STEP 6: Now it's time for the fun/tedious part! The gluing! Take your glue gun and start your gluing by lining the top of the roll. This will help as a guide for where to start your glue/fake wax globs. You don't want to go too far over into the roll or else it'll be very hard to take your candle out! Make lines from that first line to however far down you'd like. Make big and little globs with the glue! Make long and short lines! If you're lost on how much glue to add try to think of how much wax would have melted down had the candle been real and originally tall. Have fun with it and don't burn yourself.
Please don't burn yourself.

My candle is pretty small and stubby, so I added a ton of glue to make it look like it had been burning a while!

STEP 7: Once all the glue has dried, PAINT. I chose black gesso, because it dries matte like a candle would be and I thought black would look creepy for Halloween. But you can do any colour. Red, white, pink, orange... whatever. Do as many coats as you feel necessary. I'd also suggest priming your piece beforehand with a primer or gesso if you're not painting with gesso only. It'll help in decreasing the layers of paint you'll have to do with your chosen colour!

SAFETY NOTE: Make sure the paint you use is relatively safe to have flammable substances by it. When in doubt, DON'T. Steer away from oil paints or anything with strong pigments. Don't use your best paints, and this is coming from a design student. Pigments like cadmium can be very dangerous when burnt, please be safe! If in doubt, fake tea lights!

STEP 8: Add your tea lights and arrange them around wherever you want to display them! I bought mine from IKEA. They're red and smell like berries, because why not. You can also buy real and fake tea lights at most dollar stores, IKEA, and Target/Walmart sort of places. They come in different colours and scents, so get creative with matching them to your candle holders! Pink candles in a white holder? Green lights in an orange holder to look like a pumpkin? Go for it! They're inexpensive and come in MASSIVE packs. Change them out whenever you feel like it!

And if you're gettin sick of, or have used up all of the candle in one of your holders... in comes the beauty of the duct tape! Just flip your holder upside down, take a long brush or pencil... and gently push at the little duct tape basket and it'll pop right out! Easy as that.

Personally, I'm very happy with how mine turned out. It's a fun way to re-use paper rolls, and they can be reused every year since they never burn down!

Let me know what you think of my first DIY tutorial, and if you try it out I'd love to see photos of your final products! Send me links to the pictures, or hashtag on twitter/instagram with #hauteteawithhoney. Maybe I'll post some of my favourites in the future?

I know it's last minute... but hey. I made all these in a day. You could totally do this as last minute decorations for your Halloween party. Or make them for next year!

Stay sweet.



  1. wow that's fantastic! You're so creative and I really love how they turned out. I don't really do much/any DIY. I'd like to claim I don't have time, but really I have 85 billion other hobbies instead. I used to do collaging and making my own envelopes and things like that but I had to get rid of most of my supplies because of moving and I haven't bothered to build back up again. This is super easy in terms of the supplies you need though, and the end result is stunning!

  2. Great Content. I have appreciated with getting lot of good quality candles information with your post.......
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