Our Head Haunters found several instances of and references to the creation of LED candles in the internet. They said the even saw several creations as designed by other haunters, but none seemed to fit the needs of Where History Meets Haunting, until now. Our Haunters crafted candles that fit our situation perfectly. As you undoubtedly know by now, especially if you read our page on What Works and What Doesn’t, electrical outlets are at a premium and batteries are a must. We also have something else to consider, being that our event is entitled Where History Meets Haunting, we have HISTORY to consider. Batteries are perfect for LED candles. After all, the last time we checked, candles didn’t burn electricity, of course they didn’t use batteries either, but we couldn’t be to picky. Remember, you can make these in any size you wish, you’ll just have to wire them differently. Our Haunters said they got lucky with these as they size allowed them to use commercially produced LED votive lights. If you are looking for something considerably smaller check the tutorial LED Candles 2.
- 3/4 PVC
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Off white spray paint
- LED votive candles
- Nonstick baking sheet and/or nonstick bread pan
Using lengths of 3/4 PVC pipe, cut the pipe to the desired length. We found that cutting the pipe to varied lengths both maximized the number of candles you can make and provides for a more realistic appearance, especially when clustered.
Once you have cut the pipe to the lengths you desire glue the individual pipe lengths together. We suggest running a bead on hot glue down the side of the pipe with the manufacturing stamps on it, being careful not to burn yourself. The stamps are easily removed and we suggest doing so before any further work is completed. You can leave them if you want, just note that the paint will cause the ink to run a bit and you will need more than one coat to cover the discolorations.
Now that you have your sets of candles glued together you can begin your decorating process. Using the hot glue again run a bead of glue around the top rim of the candle. You can then either drip the glue down the sides using the glue gun or you can allow the glue melt well and it will naturally run down the sides of the pipe. Repeat this process for each candle. Drip the glue more than once, allowing the previous layer to dry to some extent before adding the next.
We also suggest using a nonstick baking sheet and that you bring more than one of the drip marks (melted wax) down the entirety of the candle side and allow it to pool around the base of the individual candles. Don’t be afraid to let the glue (wax) puddle extensively. The glue won’t stick to the baking sheet and will release easily when it’s dry. If you choose to add drip marks that cascade down the side as though the wax were dripping off a ledge, then use the side of the bread pan. If you add a cut piece of wire in the drippings you will be able to bend it and conform the glue to a curved surface later.
When you have added all the glue (wax) you desire and you are certain that your glue has cooled and dried, you can then paint your candles. We chose a Rust-Oleum product in a off white color. Candles in the 19th century were often spermaceti candles, made from the wax found in the head cavities of sperm whales. We chose a color that closely approximated the color of spermaceti candles.
Once your candles are painted and dry you can then slip your LED vitives inside the tube. We found that the votive lights are just a bit smaller for the 3/4 PVC pipe so sugges that you wrap just a few turns of tape around the body of the vitive to add bulk and friction to the votive so that it fits tightly into the PVC pipe. Be sure to keep the light slightly beneath the rim of the pipe. Candles burn irregularly and often sink in the middle. You want your to look as realistic as possible.