Introduction: Floating Candles

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.

Comments

author
srivastav (author)2014-11-04

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

author
lorrainet (author)2009-10-30

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.

author
maven (author)lorrainet2011-10-11

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

author
tellner (author)2011-10-11

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

author
greentea (author)2009-10-30

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.

author
hanelyp (author)greentea2010-11-11

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

author
rhino21 (author)2010-01-24

you could use fishing line!

author
sharlston (author)rhino212010-05-02

monofilament would burn

author
Jezter Long (author)2009-11-02

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!

author
revelae (author)2009-11-01

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.

author
jeffconnelly (author)2009-10-31

What was that about Roman Candles?
lol

author
bdunni88 (author)2009-10-30

 fishing line would work too

author
jhvh.one (author)bdunni882009-10-30

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

author
Goodhart (author)2009-10-30
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)
 
author
bdunni88 (author)Goodhart2009-10-30

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

author
zimmemic25 (author)2008-11-07

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

author
Ian01 (author)zimmemic252009-10-30

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

author
nate121 (author)zimmemic252009-05-12

simple solution put a bowl of water below the candle

author

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

author
Mikeymo (author)2009-10-30

A safe alternative is to use the battery operated candles.

author
ItsTheHobbs (author)2009-10-30

 Sweet! I like the candle holder the best. 

author
runfromnuke (author)2009-10-29

OH!  I just had an awesome idea for this!

Why not make a clear acrylic candle holder with no base specifically for this project?  What I mean to say is, sculpt a candle-holder out of something clear (like acrylic) and then let the stem taper off into nothing.  After it dries, paint the top part and let the paint fade off before it gets to the end of the stem.

It's just and idea, but I think it would look flippin' sweet!  I might have to try it sometime.

author
mad_scientist (author)2009-10-29

 Maybe you could just hang it from the very bottom of the candle and then add a weight to the bottom of the candle to solve the balance issues. That way, no matter how low the candle burns, the weight will keep it orientated correctly.

author

 * oriented, not orientated. My bad.

author
kaze805 (author)2008-10-31

How long does it burn before the center of gravity changes and the candles start tipping over?

author
NathanMc (author)kaze8052008-10-31

The candle won't flip over. The center of gravity will change but the heavy end of the candle will become the bottom end because the wax melts and goes toward the bottom of the candle. In order for it to flip over the portion of the candle that is above the supporting wire would have to become heavier than that below the wire, and that's not possible. It is possible for the candle to become unbalanced and no longer hang perfectly vertical (at a slight angle) but it won't flip over.

author
MJTH (author)NathanMc2008-11-01

Depending on what type of candle the candle could flip over. The flames could act as a properlor, pushing it back the other way.

author
the_better_nacho (author)MJTH2009-05-12

negative ghostrider. no matter what candle, it will not tip over. most candles nowadays have the 'self-burning' wax that evaporates as it heats up and there is no dripping of the wax (unless you tip it over). even candles that have normal wax that will drip, the weight will not rise on the candle and keep going lower, making the candle more and more stable until it gets to the wire.. then becoming a wax bomb, but at least the flame goes out.

author
fungus amungus (author)kaze8052008-11-07

The center of gravity keeps moving down as the candle burns. This means that the candle will get more stable as time passes. Just don't let it go too far or else the wire will pull up through the top and hot wax goes everywhere.

author
NathanMc (author)kaze8052008-10-31

You can ignore that reply. I'm slightly dyslexic so I read flipping instead of tipping.

author
bowmaster (author)2008-11-14

I would use to wires. One near the middle and the other near the bottom.

author
hidethecake (author)2008-11-14

I like this and I might try it, but doesn't it pour molten wax all over the ground?

author
guitarman63mm (author)2008-11-07

Seems like you could just take a threaded rod, drill a hole in the wall, thread it in that hole, and put the other side into the middle of the candle's base. Then there's none of that string glare or center of gravity stuff.

author

Then you're stuck to the wall. The goal is to have it floating in the middle of a room. Like over a dining table.

author

Ah! Point taken. I thought this was immediately up against a wall, I skimmed the 'ible, should have read it more thoroughly. My apologies.

author
lorrwill (author)2008-11-02

Your recommendation about being brave and stupid made me lol!

author
fuzvulf (author)2008-11-01

Good instructable. The problem with the shiny spots can be taken care of with a little flat black barbeque paint. I also have seen one where they used a stainless steel leader wire. The stainless steel leader wire is inserted down the center of the candle long way. It is mildly visible at first but after a few minutes the soot from the candle burning turns it black and hence, invisible against most backgrounds where these would be appropriate. Keep up the great work. Fuzzy

author
finfan7 (author)2008-11-01

I read this instructable and then a couple hours later I got an idea. What if you used mildly hard candles, ran the wire straight down in one side of the candle back up in the other and then put a bit of tension on the wire to keep it low enough to help diminish shine. that way there would be less shine and it would slowly lower as the candle burned.

author
laci37 (author)2008-11-01

With a second string crossing the first you can stablize the candle even more

author
strumbot (author)2008-11-01

you could try the black coated guitar strings they might reduce the glare.

author
tristan993 (author)2008-10-31

i like your recommendations

author
guitarmansmitty (author)2008-10-31

I really like this one but I'm wondering the same thing as Kaze. 4/5.

author
rpb (author)2008-10-31

I wonder whether painting the wire with a matt black paint might make it much less visible in the dark...

author
Astinsan (author)2008-10-31

I would put a fail safe in by severing the wick at a point where the candle could burn through. Also You don't necessarily need a flame to simulate a burning wick. At the HomeDepot in the seasonal holiday area they have 1 pack, 2 pack, 6pack led miniature candles. They look so much like flame its amazing. They are not to expensive.. maybe 8$USD or so. Well worth it (safety)

author
vortix (author)2008-10-30

Great instructable!! Perfect lightning for a romantic dinner and some....

HEEEEEEELP SOMEBODY CALL THE FIREMEN, MY LIVING ROOM IS ON FIRE!!!!!!

author
Chicken2209 (author)2008-10-30

NOO!<br/>i use Ernie balls 10s!!!<br/>now I'm going to have to buy 2 more packs of strings just for this =( (jk)<br/>

author
mbudde (author)2008-10-30

I'm most definetly doing this.

author
DIYDragon (author)2008-10-30

I love this! I think I'm feeling brave and stupid. ; )

author
gmjhowe (author)2008-10-30

Great work fungus! I did have a better/harder idea when reading this. Firstly you set about making your own candle, now, if you stick with guitar string (which wont melt) attach one end to a washer, then, wrap the wick around the wire upwards. Now, use this to dip a candle, then you can just hang it.

author
fungus amungus (author)gmjhowe2008-10-30

That was our first experiment. With a cheap small candle you can pull the wick out, wrap the wire around it, and thread both back up the middle. The problem is that the wire is right inside the flame and even with a tiny bit of weight it broke after a minute. With a heavier gauge wire it didn't break, but then there was an issue with the wire distributing heat down into the candle and creating a deep and narrow well of melted wax.

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