Archive for September, 2017

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Burning candles can enhance any Halloween set whether it’s an apothecary case or a grave yard.  To avoid the expense and potential danger of real candles, it is easy to make your own reusable candles that work indoors as well as outdoors.

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For this project you will need: PVC pipe, something to cut the PVC pipe, a razor or knife, spray paint, a hot glue gun, glue sticks and a piece of thin foam insulation or cardboard.

Start with PVC pipe the circumference you prefer.  In this case I used 1 inch pipe with the thin walls as that was the size that my battery operated tea lights could fit into.

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Cut the pipe into various lengths.  Be careful to make straight cuts so that your candles will stand on their own.  If they do not, use sandpaper to create an even edge.  Next, using a razor or knife, cut scoops out of the top edge so it looks as if the edge has been melted in various locations.  Then sand around your cuts on both the inside and outside to smooth the surface and eliminate any bits of PVC handing on.

Now paint the PVC any color you choose.  Spray paint made for plastic adheres best.

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After the paint has dried, plug in your glue gun and choose your glue sticks.  You can use clear glue sticks and paint your “wax drips” or you can purchase colored glue sticks.  Your candles can be the same color as your “wax” or a contrasting color.  I’ve seen black and red used most commonly for the “wax drips” and white, black or red for the candles.

Carefully run a bead of the glue around the top edge of your candle.  This will hide the PVC. But, don’t let the glue run down the inside or your tea light won’t fit.  Once you’ve completed the top, squeeze out enough glue on the upper, outside edge to cause it to run down the candle.  Repeat around the entire candle, letting the glue run different amounts to create a random look.

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Once you are satisfied with the look of your candle, create a ledge for your tea light to rest on so that the top of it is even with the top of your candle.  Above, scraps of foam insulation were glued into the candle about an inch deep to hold the lights.

You could burn real tea lights, but I chose battery operated lights.  In the top picture you can see the difference in the look of a black tea light and a white tea light.  The black ones are much more expensive.  But, you can easily create your own by putting masking tape on the “flame” and spray painting the base of the tea light with spray paint for plastic.

I liked the contrast created using colored glue sticks.  But, with my first attempt at creating candles I used paint.  You can see the result of that on the supersize candles pictured below.

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witchburnWhether you plan to burn a witch, stage a demon rising from hell or BBQ a corpse, this simple, inexpensive bed of coals can be created with minimal time and effort to make the scene pop.  The resulting prop is also light weight and water resistant.

I began with a piece of corrugated plastic board from an old yard sign.  I also covered it with aluminum foil to hide any of the image on it that might show through. This forms the base of the coals and is sturdy enough to carry the prop.  For this example I cut a hole in the center and took care not to cover it so that I could drive a short piece of rebar into the ground to support a piece of bamboo with a doll tied to it.

Collect a variety of clear plastic bottles.  Cut off the top part of as many bottles as you need to cover your base.  Be sure to cut them into various heights.  Colored bottles could be used, but I chose to stick with clear bottles so the light would be as bright as possible.

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Next, place a set of orange or red holiday string lights on the base.  Leave some extra cord on the end with the plug sticking out past the edge of the base.   Push some lights up into the bottle necks.  You can tape or glue them to the inside of the bottle necks if you wish, but it’s not necessary (I did not).

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Once the lights are evenly spread out and the bottles placed, randomly spray expanding foam over the entire thing.  Be sure to leave some holes in the foam for the light to show through.  After the foam has dried completely, spray a combination of red, gray and black paint on it so that it also looks like hot coals during the daylight.  Take care not to spray into the holes too much or you will block the lights from shinning through.

witchburnBelow is an attempt to show the finished product in the dark.  My doll needs some work to show the result of her torturous demise.  But, you get the idea.  And, as you can tell in the above photograph, she actually stands on her own indoors.  Outside she is even more stable as a short piece of rebar is driven into the center hole in the prop to support the bamboo stake to which she is tied.

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