A Bewitching Project for Halloween

10:00 AM

Good Morning and Happy October!

I have begun decorating the house for Samhain over the weekend. I swear we have more Samhain / Halloween interior decorations than most folks do for X-mas! It took me most of the day on Sunday to put everything in place with a lot of help from my husband and daughter. And it's not even all up yet. The really intense decorations go up about a week or so before Samhain. No room is safe- not even the bathrooms, as we prepare for our annual Halloween party. I wrote about this in my new book, Seasons of Witchery. Check out the Autumn Equinox and Samhain chapters for more information.

For the past three years my husband and I have thrown a Gothic Halloween party. And every year it gets bigger and more elaborate. Last year he built a toe pincher coffin and everyone had their picture taken in it out in the garage. Here is one of the pictures from our "Photo Shoot" last year. This is Noir, me, Ember and Draco. I wish you could see the garage when it was black lit, but alas when the camera flashes you loose the black light and the creepiness.

2011 Coffin Photo Shoot.
In a couple of weeks I will get started in the garage and transform it once again into a Gothic lair.  Also, my husband built a lid for that big toe pincher coffin.

Imagine my 24 year old walking in the house back in early September and casually asking when she hears the buzz of the saw, "What's Dad doing out in the garage?" And my equally casual response of, "Oh, he's building a lid for his coffin."

She didn't even blink. 

We are planning to use more backdrops this year in the garage. This year we have black fabric and yards of grey and black tulle to drape the walls with- for the background of the coffin set up. (To cover the walls I snagged some flat black sheets on sale.) Much more economical than buying yards of black fabric and its wider!

This summer I found via Pinterest, some directions for making "candles" out of PVC pipe, hot glue, and battery operated tea lights. I couldn't wait to try it out.
This idea appealed to me for many reasons. First of all when I have a garage heavily decorated with spiderwebs, pumpkins, a coffin, a wine bar, and it's all lit with only black light... and you have lots of folks laughing, dancing and partying- the LAST thing I want to worry about is an open flame.

So I thought this was a fabulous idea. I showed the directions to the Hubs and off he went to the hardware store and came home with 6 feet of PVC pipe for about 5 bucks. Here are the pictures of the PVC Candle project in progress.
First he got out his big chop saw and cut the PVC pipe into various lengths. To start, we chose 8 inches, 5 and 3/4 inches and 3 and 1/2 inches. Then I took blue painters tape- (because I had it lying around) and made a sling across the top of the PVC pipe deep enough for a battery operated tea light to fit inside of.

Once we had that done I took my low-temp glue gun and made "drips" down the side of each PVC pipe. Totally covering the tape. This was done in layers so it would build up, and look like a real meting candle. This takes some time AND you will go through MANY glue sticks. So stock up before you begin, otherwise you will find yourself stopping to run to the arts and craft store- (Like we had to do).
For the long drips I started at the bottom and ran the hot glue up the side of the "candle". Then I would let it pool a bit at the top.              Be careful NOT to let the glue drip inside of the pipe. If you do, you may have a tough time getting the battery operated tea-light in and out of the "candle".  So keep the inside clean and clear of hot glue.

We let the hot glue harden up, and then we used acrylic craft paint in black and brushed it over the "candles". Be sure to paint inside of the pipes and if you have white battery operated tea-lights paint around the top of the tea-lights. (Be sure to wipe any paint off the "flame.) See the picture I took on the right- for the painting in progress.

Then we let the paint dry. Just below and to the left is a picture I took of the candles and tea-lights drying.
Ellen dry brushing the "drips".
 Once the candles were completely dry, I used white acrylic paint and dry brushed the "drips".
Dab the paintbrush on paper so it is almost dry- like stenciling before you start brushing the candle with it.
Starting from the bottom of the candle and then brushing up, I highlighted all of those simulated candle wax drips. This really makes it pop against the black. And it made the candles look more realistic.

Variations: I have seen PVC candles done in black with red drips or purple drips, but I really like the white against the black. To me it looks the best. Plus it looks creepy. White candles with red drips would be pretty nifty. But we wanted to stick with black.

Finally we gathered them up turned on the tea lights and took a few pictures. They looked amazing when they were all grouped together. As a matter of fact they looked so good that we went and made about a dozen more the next weekend.

Oh, and also if you look around the Halloween stores you can find black battery operated tea-lights. We snagged some of those too, and at last count I think we have about 20 or so of these PVC Halloween candles for the party.

For display purposes they do look better when you group them up in groups of 3 or 4 candles.
These PVC candles would be great for outdoor rituals as well if there was a concern for wildfires or if it was windy outside. I bet you can think of lots of uses for these. Red candles with sparkly white drips would be pretty for Yuletide as well.

Use your imagination and see what you can conjure up.
As for me... I am on the lookout for the next big Halloween decorating idea. Enjoy the month of October and Blessed be,

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  1. awesome craft project! i may have to do that one myself!

  2. i saw almost the same thing using toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls, the only difference was you had to tape a weight inside the base to sturdy it up. I think PVC looks better

  3. I love that you have so much fun with this holiday! To make creepy candles, I might like to use real ones and do something with red food coloring. Hmm. I'd try your ideas if they were more environmentally friendly. :/ But I'm sure you will use your stash for decades to come.

  4. I hear you about the decorations. I have more for Samhain then for Christmas to. Outdoor lights, grave yard, ghost I made from starch and white cloth and coat hangers to hang in the trees. Lots of pumpkins, that is just out side. Inside every room gets pumpkins, witches, and candles. Yea I love this time of year!

  5. What a wonderful idea. I will have to try that eventually to add to my growing Samhain collection. I hope to one day have as many decorations as you. For now I will just have to keep making and collecting.


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