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Magical Creations

How to Make Magical Harry Potter Floating Candles

As we come into the festive holiday season, it’s time to start preparing. After all, one of the most important ways to make your Muggle house magical is with decorations!

Inspired by the floating candles described in the Harry Potter books – and brought to life on-screen in the movies –, I decided to try and make Harry Potter floating candles at home. I used Muggle craft items and a few other things you probably have lying around the house.

If you want to level up the magic at the next feast in your own Great Hall, read on. I’ll go through a detailed explanation of how I made them, plus instructions for how you can make magical floating candles at home.

Making Harry Potter Floating Candles

Here’s what you need to make Harry Potter floating candles:

Start by collecting your cardboard rolls. I used both toilet paper rolls and a paper towel roll that I cut once to make candles a few different heights.

Next, grab your hot glue gun. With each roll standing upright on a table or flat surface, start from the bottom of each “drip” and squeeze to apply hot glue, moving up the roll toward the top. This will give the glue the appearance of having dripped from the top – just like a candle.

If you’re making Harry Poter floating candles with kids, mom and dad should do the hot glue gun part of the craft. To help kids be active in this part of the activity, you could lend them a pencil or yellow highlighter to draw the lines of dripping wax that they want on their own candle.

Once you’ve applied drips of wax all the way around your candle, you need to let it dry. I recommend letting the “candles” sit overnight to ensure the glue is completely hardened.

Next, you need to paint your candles the right color so they look like the same magical candles floating above the tables in the Great Hall. I used FolkArt acrylic paint in “Vintage White” because it looked more like a wax candle than a whiter white. I also applied 2-3 coats of paint to ensure that the entire candle was all one solid color.

Once the candles are dry, it’s time to do a bit of muggle magic. Using a large sewing needle, poke four holes about ½” from the top of each candle. The four holes should be opposite each other, 90 degrees apart. Then take some clear fishing thread and thread it through the candle, creating a criss-cross inside the candle; this is what will hold the votive inside.

Tie the fishing thread to create two loops, which you can hang from your ceiling or light fixtures. Turn on the votive, set it inside the candle, and turn off the other lights in the room. Voilá: you now have floating candles inspired by Harry Potter!

Here’s a how-to card you can save or print to remember these instructions:

Harry Potter Floating Candles

Floating Candles Pin

Want to add a little magic to your next feast? Learn how to make magically floating candles inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour

Materials

  • Cardboard rolls (as many as you like)
  • Paint
  • Fishing line
  • A hot glue gun
  • Paintbrush
  • Sewing needle
  • Battery-powered votives

Tools

  • Hot glue gun
  • Paintbrushes
  • Large sewing needle
  • Battery-powered votive candles

Instructions

  1. (Optional) Start by tracing lines using the highlighter to indicate where your wax will "drip."
  2. Using the hot glue gun, create lines of dripping wax around the "top" of each cardboard roll. This will be the top of each candle.
  3. Once dry, apply 2-3 coats of white paint to each roll to make them look candle-like.
  4. Using a large sewing needle, poke four holes in each cardboard roll – make them 90° apart. Use one votive candle to make sure you don't put the holes too far down each candle.
  5. Thread the fishing line through the holes creating a criss-cross within each roll. (This is what will hold the votive inside the top of the candle.
  6. Create two loops of the fishing line and tie them off at the top.
  7. Hang the candles using the loops, then turn on and place each votive candle inside each one.

Final Product: Harry Potter Floating Candles

Curious what the final product looks like? Here’s a side-by-side of my floating candles with the light on – and once the room is dark.

Harry Potter Floating Candles - ComparisonHarry Potter Floating Candles - Comparison

The most magical part of these floating candles is when you turn off the lights and can see them hanging there. While they take a little while to make, this is a magical addition to your Harry Potter Halloween party plans!

Have any questions about making magical Harry Potter floating candles? Let me know in the comments!

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