How to Make Faux Candles

I have been trying to finish this project for over a week! I kept getting sidetracked by annoying things like:

-school starting (it never seems to happen at the right time….like July 1st)

-out-of-town company (which forced me to clean up all the crap on the dining room table)

-Dr appointments for the kids (they need to toughen up….who needs immunizations?)

-going to the monthly flea market in the next town (forcing me to spend lots of money)

-more company this week (forcing me to clean all the crap out of my bedroom, AKA The Local Dump)

-Project Runway (a waste of an hour this week…exercise clothes? Seriously?)

-all the normal stuff squeezed in there too….making meals, doing laundry, endless cleaning…for all that company

Finally, I can show you my great idea!!! At least I THINK it’s a great idea….

Remember my thrift store $25 chandelier that is now in the living room?

Here’s the before…….

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Here’s the after….

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Don’t you love those fat, drippy candles? Wanna know how I did it?

Send $$$$$….just kidding…..You know I love teaching you how to get a great designer look on the cheap!

I’ve seen tutes out there about adding hot glue drips to your candle sleeves but I haven’t seen anyone do these fat candles (which doesn’t mean it’s not out there!) and I like this look so much better!

You can buy them here but they’re a bit expensive for a 15 light chandelier!

Here’s the supply list I had:

2 inch PVC pipe cut into 5 inch lengths….I needed 15

A hot glue gun

A heat gun

Adjustable long nose pliers

A glove that can protect you from the heat…a gardening glove would work

Coarse sandpaper

Spray paint… I used Rustoleum’s Heirloom White

Here’s the method and then I’ll show you pictures. Sand the PVC to remove the printing and to create some “tooth” for the paint to stick well.

Do your heating and bending where there is good ventilation. Heating PVC can give off fumes….not a lot but you can’t be too careful!

Have your glove on one hand (my left, since I’m right handed) and have the pliers ready. Using the heat gun with the PVC piece standing on a heatproof surface, direct the heat straight down on the top rim of the pipe so it is flowing down the inside and the outside at the same time. I counted out 45 seconds and it was soft enough to bend. It doesn’t stay pliable for long so when you think it’s ready, turn off the gun and set it down, hold the pipe with your gloved hand, grab the pliers and bend over the area that is soft. Hold it for about 10 seconds so it will cool a bit and retain the shape. Continue around the pipe, doing as much bending and shaping as you like.

Finishing the faux candles is easy. Take the prepared pieces outside and give them a coat of the spray paint. When they’re dry, add your drips with the hot glue gun. When that is cool, do another coat of paint.

Here’s the pictures…

Supplies…

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Sand off the writing……

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Heat the rim with the heat gun…..

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Bend the top edge with the pliers……

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After the first coat of paint, add drips with hot glue…..

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Vary the drips for a more authentic look….

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Paint the second time……..

Left: unpainted, right: painted

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Put them on the chandelier!!

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I had regular large candelabra bulbs installed at first but decided the smaller 7 watt nightlight bulbs looked better. If you don’t need your chandelier as your main light source, I’d recommend that.

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I love how they dressed up the chandelier!

Comments

  1. I’ve seen this with other materials…PVC was brilliant.
    Looks so pretty!
    Tina recently posted…Vote For Bruce!My Profile

  2. Brilliant!

  3. Lorraine, this is amazing!

    You did a remarkable job taking this chandy t o a whole new higher level.

    Now….have you seen those bulbs that are flame SHAPED???? They’d be even better, since you areen’t using this as a main source of light……………taking it even more authentically candle-ish…..not sure what the wattage is though?? but they’re pointy t ipped and go off to one side as a flame would when burning.

    GREAT job with this!

    • There are flame shaped bulbs out there but they can be costly (they even have the kind of bulbs that flicker like flame), if you want something cheaper and diy….get the clear silicone caulk and pour/squeeze into a disposable bowl. Take the light bulbs and dip them into the caulk and pull them straight out. Let them dry upside down (I found using clothes pins on a line works well). The caulk is heat resistant and when the lights are on they will have this neat flame look. You can also tint the caulk with food coloring to have the visual affect of fire. 🙂

  4. Great idea Lorraine! They look super. If I ever get any of my chandeliers redone I will use this idea!
    karen@somewhatquirky recently posted…A Vist at Dreaming In ColorMy Profile

  5. Lorraine–this is so inventive! I love the way this chandelier looks.
    kirby carespodi recently posted…Thirty YearsMy Profile

  6. Hmmm, trying to think if I have a better chance of finishing my dining room light by doing this or making some sort of shade……
    Bliss recently posted…Rock & Roll Dresser, the EncoreMy Profile

  7. Doood!! That’s brilliant!! At first I couldn’t figure out why you were bending the PVC…then I got it. So smart and it looks amazing! Thanks for the toot!
    Jean recently posted…Basement Remodel Update: That snail is barely moving…My Profile

  8. This is fabulous!!! I gotta find me an old chandy and do this!!!~~Angela
    Angela recently posted…Chalk Paint TableMy Profile

  9. Great, great job. I LOVE how that turned out. It looks really great- xo Diana
    Nana Diana recently posted…Remembering 9/11 12 Years GoneMy Profile

  10. I am just sitting here stunned! That is amazing Lorraine…and beautiful too! Now I’m eyeballing my own little chandelier which only has 5 arms. I could do this. I need to find my heat gun! Pinning and way to go!!
    Danni@SiloHillFarm recently posted…I LOVE TRASH!My Profile

  11. Wow! That is so very cool! I can’t believe the drips are glue gun drips … genius, my friend!!!!

    🙂 Linda
    Linda @ it all started with paint recently posted…Once Upon A Time …My Profile

  12. fantastic job!!
    Anne@DesignDreams recently posted…Farmhouse Look Side TableMy Profile

  13. Now that’s brilliant, I love candle at Christmas but they’re not very practical with toddlers, or summer!
    Mel recently posted…Disaster Luggage TagsMy Profile

  14. YOU are a genius Lorraine – a GENIUS !!!
    These are fantastic – what a great idea – do you think you could put tea lights inside of them???
    Off to pin this incredible idea!!!
    XOXO
    Suzan recently posted…Stop the presses – we have a visitor today !!!My Profile

  15. Whoa…..that is freakin’ sweet!!!!! You are pure genius. I like the glove idea. In fact, I’m moments away from posting about a project where I pretty nearly melted my hands off with a glue gun. Fun times. 🙂

    -andi
    Andi recently posted…the crap sandwich {delusional rant #3}My Profile

  16. I love those fat drippy candles. You are so clever. I also love those vignettes. So beautiful for autumn. x
    Danielle recently posted…Seasons of Home – Outdoor DecorMy Profile

  17. Such a creative idea! They turned out so great. 🙂
    Megan @ Our Pinteresting Family recently posted…Freezer Meals Round UpMy Profile

  18. The chandelier looks great, now add silicon to the bulbs for more candle like effect

  19. This is very cool! I love the look and the creative idea is just amazing!
    amy recently posted…Our new Deluxe Maison Decor Mora ClockMy Profile

  20. You’re a genius!! Of course, I’m sure you already know that. :-)) This really adds the finishing touch to your chandelier.
    Mary Alice
    Mary Alice Patterson recently posted…A Mix of Shiny and WoodMy Profile

  21. OH MY GOSH. How cool is that? I have never seen this before! I LOVE it! Now I need a new chandelier so I can make those! 😉
    Nancy
    Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule recently posted…Kitchen Island Makeover – Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint ®My Profile

  22. Genius, I say! I love the look of your chandelier with chunky “candles”!!!
    Vickie recently posted…Color my world.My Profile

  23. Great idea. The pictures really helped explain the whole process. I have gotten used to the little night light bulbs too. Sometimes I like them better than the larger bulbs.
    Little Miss Maggie recently posted…Selling at the Little French Flea MarketMy Profile

  24. Just now getting here! What a fantastic idea Lorraine! I am pinning!

  25. Now this is just genius – never crossed my mind to melt and bend pvc – How awesome is this? thanks so much for sharing your idea!
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