Floating Candles

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Introduction: Floating Candles

About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.

Float some candles in the air for a spooky and magical feel.

Be careful and safe with this one, OK? These should not be left unattended.

Step 1: Find Your Candle's Center of Gravity

The key here is to find the center of gravity of your candle so that you know where you can hang it from. Here I'm holding the candle between two fingers to see if it settles correctly You can also try balancing it on a finger. Now make a mark just slightly above this point.

I'm doing this test on a new candle, but I'd recommend letting the candle burn until the flame "settles" inside the candle before doing this. The candle will be burning a little slower here and give you a bit more burn time in the end.

Step 2: Drill It!

Using your smallest bit, drill through the candle at this point. Make sure you're going straight across it.

Step 3: Thread the Wire Through

I'm using a guitar string here. It's thin and strong. It's also very shiny as you'll see later. You can either try finding a strong thread to do this as well or try painting the wire so that it has a matte finish for a better effect.

Step 4: Hang It and Light It!

Attach the wires to the ceiling somehow and make sure the candles are completely done moving before you light them up.

Here you can see the reflection off of the wires. Even with this so visible the effect is quite nice.

Keep an eye on the candles and be sure to blow them out before the flame gets too close to the wires and they pull through the soft wax. That's a mess that nobody wants to clean up.

Oh, and again, be careful if you try this. In fact, I recommend that you don't. However, if you're feeling brave and stupid, then go for it.

Step 5: The Hanging Candle Holder!

Oh, but wait, there's more!

I also tried this variation with a heavy candle holder. Without the wax keeping the wires on opposite sides you'll need three wires for this one.

Using the same types of wire, loop them around the top of the candle holder and connect to three points on the ceiling.



Thanks to randofo for the help with the messy trial and error.

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    56 Comments

    Excellent Tutorial..

    Only pain is HOT wax falling on your hair. so i used electric candles - See "Electric candles preparation (DIY)" for this. Best part is, we can control brightness :D

    I had a similar idea years ago based on the Hogwarts floating candles from Harry Potter but I made them out of construction paper and hung them on fishing wire! They look great in black lights - you can't see the wire, the white paper glows and they have become one of my most popular Halloween House decorations. Best part - no FIRE! Great to have around a house full of kids.

    1 reply

    Best idea I've seen yet, and with the candle flicker LEDs that are out now...this could be quite fun.

    You could use a black Sharpie to cut down on the reflectivity of the wire

    Just a thought but with a long needle ( I've seen ones up to 9inch.) and a somewhat soft candle wouldn't it be feasible to heat the point push it through the candle from crown to base then up the other side trailing the wire. This way it wont simple pull out and the bit of wire on the bottom could be covered with wax drippings from another candle with relative ease.

    This is a good instuctable but its just a thought I had while reading it. I'm going to play around with doing this now.

    1 reply

    I had a similar thought, using a heated wire to melt a hole through the candle instead of drilling.

    monofilament would burn

    Just a Tip, If you do make this and the candle falls and wax gets on your carpet.  Just grab paper lowels fold 4 sheets and put it on the wax, go over the wax with a hot iron.  The wax will get obsorbed by the paper towls, just make sure to change them often, if the carpet starts to get too hot the wax will seep down intead of up!

    idea: you could use a frosted glass oil lamp shaped like a candle and adapt a hanging method. that way you dont have to worry about the "candle" falling on the ground and getting wax everywhere.

    What was that about Roman Candles?
    lol

    i'd be wary of using monofilament...it tends to melt when near a candle flame

    Could you possibly use a less glossy, maybe even colored black "thread or string" that would hold them up and be less visible (other then that, this is a great idea)
     
    1 reply

     I'd guess that falling a few feet would put the candle out.

    what do i do if the candle burns to the "center of gravity"? call the firefighters?

    3 replies

     As it burns, its center of gravity gets lower. No reason to worry about it turning over.

    simple solution put a bowl of water below the candle

    The candle will burn past the wire, drop off of it, and spread wax on the ground long before that will happen.

    A safe alternative is to use the battery operated candles.