October 2016

When I decided to throw a Harry Potter Party, I went all out. Because that’s how I do things. Full obsession or complete apathy. And what Harry Potter party is complete with out the floating candles from the Great Hall?

Floating candle DIY - by whiskandthread.com

It’s really not as hard as I thought it would be. There are some varying levels of this project. I went medium grade this round. We’re doing the HP party every other year for Halloween, I think. I made SO many things and it was such a great hit, I’d hate to not use it all again. Anyway, here’s how I did it.

Things you need:
Toilet paper rolls and/or paper towel rolls
White paint
Paint brush (you can use the cheap foam ones or a fairly large brush)
Hot glue gun
Regular glue for glue gun (nothin’ fancy)
Battery powered tea lights (I used flickering ones that I found in the candle section of Target, the Room Essentials brand, because they were MUCH cheaper than the ones you could find in the Halloween section, and it doesn’t matter what they actually look like, but white would be best)
Clear string/fishing wire
Pin vice (seriously, this is worth the $10-$12 investment)
Push Pins
Scissors

Directions:

1. Take all of the tea lights you plan to use, and using the pin vice, drill a very tiny hole at the center near the top of the plastic flame.

Floating Candle DIY by WhiskandThread.com

FOR EASY MODE:
2. Use the paintbrush and paint the toilet paper rolls white. Set them aside to dry.

3. Once the paint is dry, take your hot glue gun and glue around the tea light and insert it inside the top of the toilet paper roll. You may have to press it against one side a bit, depending on the sizes of the roll and tea light.

Floating Candle DIY - by whiskandthread.com

At this point, this is the super easy end! Just attach your string to however long you want the candle to hang, and with the pin, attach to the ceiling. If you want some more detail or more challenge, continue reading!

MEDIUM MODE:
4. Once everything is dry, get out your fancy glue gun again. This time glue “drips” from the top to look like wax is melting down the side of the candle.

Floating Candle DIY - by whiskandthread.com

5. I decided to paint over the glue once it was dry. My thought was that the wax needed to also be white like the candle. This is totally optional. You could also go a super creepy route and paint the “wax drips” red or black. Go crazy! You do you!

And now we’re done with medium mode! Go ahead and get that string and cut the length that you want and hang it with a pin to your ceiling. It wasn’t that much more work, but when you’re doing a couple dozen of these things, it can get tedious. There is one other option to make your Harry Potter Great Hall look complete. I did not do this, but there are other tutorials that have, and they look amazing.

BEAST MODE:
This requires more supplies. If you’re working with a small hallway, this is more manageable. To make your floating candles look like the night sky in the Great Hall, you’ll need some black or navy blue material (or realistic starry night sky material if you can find it) that is large enough to cover the entire ceiling area where your candles are going. You can try your hand with some fabric paints to make some splatters and dots of various sizes to look like stars (or go super awesome and paint away a galaxy). If you’re not into painting, you can just hang the plain fabric on your ceiling before pinning all the floating candles. This will give your hallway ceiling a bit more depth and will create a better illusion of candles floating in the sky.

Some notes:
– Why didn’t I attach the string to the sides of the tube instead of using the vice pin and drilling through the tea light? Well, I tried that at first. It will work in a pinch; however, it can cause some balance issues because the candle becomes top heavy with the tea light. When I used the paper towel rolls (which are significantly longer) they almost toppled over with the strings on the side. So I decided to try the pin vice and it definitely looked better and balanced well.
– Having trouble turning lights on? Try using a long butter knife. This is something I didn’t anticipate the first round – how the heck to turn the lights on after all the crafting is done. If you find the tea lights that have a button that you push to turn on, you’re gold. I didn’t, though. The switch ones are much trickier and can be really frustrating. I didn’t use many paper towel rolls because of this – I tried to stick to shorter toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls that were cut down a bit.

Let me know how this goes! If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email. Post pictures and definitely share if you go beast mode on this!

Happy crafting!

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My cousin did that awesome/crazy thing and decided to have a kid. I have yet to embark on that journey, but I have been involved in many baby showers. Naturally, when I found out my only cousin was pregnant, I offered to throw the baby shower. It turned out incredibly cute thanks to some amazing help from her friends. One of the party favors (and also part of a game) involved bow ties. So here we are: Bow Tie Tutorial Extravaganza!

Okay… it’s not THAT crazy of a tutorial, but they do look really cute on The Pug. So here we go…

As it turns out, bow ties are not that difficult to make. Unless you need 40+ of them for a baby shower, in which case you need at least a bottle or two of wine and a few nights to yourself. I decided to go with felt instead of a cotton material because it seemed cheaper and a bit sturdier. That being said, I think you could probably use just about any material for this project.

Things you will need:
– Felt or material
– Scissors
– Hot glue gun
– Measuring tape
– Marker
– Clothes pin (optional but quite helpful)
– Bar pin or rubber band (not shown in photo below)
– Glass of wine and patience (also not shown in photo below…)

supplies

Directions:
1. Measure out and cut one strip of felt/fabric. I recommend 2.5″x 8.5″. Because I used felt sheets, it was much easier to measure out. (Technically you don’t have to have a marker, but I used it to mark every 2.5″ on the felt sheet of felt since I was doing a lot of these at once.)

measure1

2. Use the hot glue gun and glue the ends together so it makes a loop.

felt loop2

3. Give it a minute to cool down, and then start pinching it together to give it a bow tie look. This is hard to explain and even hard to show since I didn’t have a photo assistance. Basically, I started by folding it in half, longways (so the fold is perpendicular to the seam that you just glued) with the seam on the inside of the fold.

img_20150301_171603_16686800761_o

 

Then I folded back the top flap towards me with the edge meeting that original middle fold/crease. Then turn over and fold the bottom the same way. Basically you’re making a fan fold, and it should look like a bow tie when you’re pinching it.

pinch felt harder
4. Now for a lot of gluing. First, glue inside that first main center fold:

whertoglue felt

5. Hold it there until it’s completely dry or use that clothes pin and pin it shut while you work on others or drink your wine. Then turn it over… it’ll look something like this:

back side

6. Now glue the top and bottom flaps to that center fold. Basically put glue here and here:

27826375161_edef09f348_k

7. Pinch it closed after you’ve put glue there and hang on to it for about 20 seconds while it dries. Then you’ll notice there’s still some flap hanging out….

more gluing felt

8. Great. So just keep on gluing! You can add another drop inside those and pinch it again until it dries. And then you should be good! Now back to material. Cut another strip — about 0.5″x 2.0″ or so. This is to go around the center of the bow. You can make it wider or thinner if you like, depending on how you want the bow to look. I put it around the center of the bow and glued it in the back and cut off any excess length.

final

9. Now if you have a pin, simply glue it to the back. Or if you want to use it on a dog or cat collar, use a ponytail holder and glue it to the back instead of a pin and you’er good to go! If you use the pony tail holder make sure it’s vertical, not horizontal so it’ll go on the collar and still be the right direction.

This is actually a fairly easy project but not the easiest to explain. Please let me know if anything doesn’t make sense or if you have a better/easier way of doing this! 😀

Cheers!

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