After three years of churning out obsessive Halloween parties, I fancied myself a bit of a halloween expert. That is, until I went online and discovered that I'm not an expert at all, other people are and I suck. Seriously, there are some incredible creations out there, and I will be the first to admit that I just do not have the patience nor talent to replicate them. One thing is for sure, I most definitely do NOT scroll through Pinterest and cry myself to sleep every night, calling for Pan to come cuddle with me. That would just be sad, so I only do that on Thursdays.
However, this DIY is one that I have seen a few different takes on, and actually looks doable, based on my criteria for laziness. Every good haunter knows that candles make or break a place, and after our unfortunate first year in which we lit 2 tables and myself on fire, we stick to mostly electric candles, which typically look ugly as sin:
The DIY ones are from PVC pipes, which unfortunately did not fit my criteria because I would have to put effort into cutting the pipes, and that just ain't happenin. So I found a tutorial for ones that use paper towel rolls and TP rolls, which definitely fit my criteria for free, plus I got the added bonus of getting to dig through the trash (why do I like doing this? Because I feel like a hobo, and sometimes it's very freeing to act like a hobo, until you get hungry). Win win!
Here is what I started with:
I would list everything, but I don't wanna.
Basically, I taped the bottom of the roll, stuck some pebbles in it to weigh it down (just about a half inch or so), then jammed it full of scrap paper.
Then comes the fun part of hot gluing the s%$* out of it. It's not actually fun, but it helps if you tell yourself it is. My one recommendation -- tie your hair back. For the love of God, I should know this by now, but I didn't and I glued my hair together. Oh, and don't put your hands on the roll. I know you want to, but just don't, because you will get an instant second degree burn and scare the s%$* out of your cat with your hollering.
Also, ripping the top part up a bit helps it look more authentic.
Then comes the painting. Everyone said to use spray paint, but like an a-hole, I decided to not listen because I don't have any spray paint. So, here is what happened:
What? This is so ugly. Not to mention the ridiculous looking seams running up the rolls.
So yeah, it turns out that if I had read the directions I would have known cover the rolls up with paper mache or something before I did this, but I don't like to read directions. So then, instead of redoing the project like a normal person, I decided to run out to the hardware store and get these fancy fluorescent bulb covers that one other DIYer had recommended. Yes, this involved actual effort and money, but I was pretty miffed at the TP tubes for jacking up my project so I needed to make them feel inferior.
It was only a couple of bucks, and created about 11 various sized candles.
Cutting was kind of a bitch, and I didn't really think through the part that my cuts weren't perfect, shockingly, so I had to even out quite a few of them.
Follow the same process, tape, pebbles, paper. I want the tealight to be all the way inside so you don't see that uggo fake flame tip, just the flickering light.
Glue it, paint it, and roll it in dirt. Les voila!
My candles, which actually look really crappy when you compare them to the ones at the top.
Some tips -- pick off the small strands of glue before you paint it, because no matter how many times you try to convince yourself, they do not look good. Also, don't get glue in the tube because then you can't fit the candle in. Overall, I'm still feeling some pretty low self esteem because the pictures I see online look AMAZING and mine look kind of, eh, but either way they will look way better than the crappy plastic ones, and they are cheaper to boot. On the plus side, I have decided to mostly forgive the candles made of TP and paper towel rolls, and will paint them black and stick them in the far corner of the graveyard. Where they belong, ingrates.