Floating Candles! CHEAP Yet Magical!





Introduction: Floating Candles! CHEAP Yet Magical!

About: Designer of things, Maker of weirdness and Baker of the macabre.

I don't know about you, but one of my all-time favorite scenes from the Harry Potter series, is the one in the Grand Hall with the floating candles. It's so simple, and yet so breath-taking! I wanted to re-create that look for a party I held, so let me show you how a mere muggle made something magical ;)

Step 1: You Will Need

This project is a bit time consuming, BUT

very inexpensive, and super worth it! Here's what you'll need:

  • White battery tea lights (sometimes dollar stores will carry them, but you can also get them cheap around Halloween) I spent 25 cents or less on each one.
  • White poster board/white card stock as many as you wish, cut to 8X10 inches. (I made 50)
  • Clear fishing line
  • White ceiling eye hooks
  • Hot glue gun/hot glue sticks
  • White craft paint/paint brush
  • Scissors

Step 2: Make Your Candle Bodies

You can use toilet paper and paper towel rolls as well, but it can take a long time to collect them, and places like Etsy sell them for WAY TOO MUCH! So, just make them, added bonus you don't have to paint them :)

  • I used poster board cut to 8X10 pieces, but card stock would work as well.
  • Cut your pieces
  • Roll cut pieces length wise and hot glue shut

Step 3: Tops and Bottoms!

  • Cut small circles and rectangles
  • Glue the circles to the bottom of your candles
  • Fit the rectangles into the top of the the candles and secure with hot glue (this will serve as a holder for the tea lights)

Step 4: Drip Drip Drop!

Now the fun part! Create wax drips on your candles with hot glue! You can add just a few little drops, or make it a melty mess! So fun!

Then when the drips have cooled paint them with white craft paint, and let dry.

Step 5: Create Ceiling Structure

You could hang each candle from the ceiling individually, BUT an easier way to hang them is to create a structure with fishing line on the ceiling, and then hang the candles from that.

  • pick points on the ceiling that are opposite from each other (whatever distance you choose)
  • Place eye hooks on these points
  • String fishing line from one hook to the other
  • Now you can hang candles from the line, instead of individual hooks

Step 6: String Them Up!

  • Add fishing line to your candles.
  • If you want them to hand upright, tie them on opposite sides, then on one strand in the middle of those 2 strands
  • Hang candles from structure

Step 7: Light - Em Up!

Turn Tea lights on, and place them in each candle.

* Tea light batteries can last anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. Be aware of how long they last, so you know when to turn them on for your event.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Magical Creation!

Muggles have some magic up our sleeves ( we just need time... and fishing line)

If you liked this Instructable please vote for it for the Wizarding Challenge!

Thank you for reading!

Wizarding Contest

Runner Up in the
Wizarding Contest



  • Stick It! Contest

    Stick It! Contest
  • BBQ Showdown Challenge

    BBQ Showdown Challenge
  • Backpack Challenge

    Backpack Challenge

48 Discussions

Nice! They look so realistic! (as far as floating candles can look realistic, of course ;)

1 reply

This is a fantastic effect and so easy. Two Harry Potter themed birthdays coming up in the family, this is sire to be made :)

1 reply

This is very good idea. I am only curious how do you light on and off all candles during the day? I think they are separate and it's a bit tricky to turn all the lights on and off every time.

1 reply

You can purchase remote controlled tea lights, but yes, I turned them on and off one by one on my ladder.

You could use paraffin wax on the tubes to give them the look of real candles rather then glue bit more delicate unless the tunes where filed with a hard foam. But using real eax would be purely cosmetic. In the first movie they did use real candles for the scene hung on wires but dye to safety concerns in later movies replaced them with cgi. Also i think they had to use wires on top abs bottom but 3 string over 2 harnessing would keep your candles floating straight.

1 reply

Instead of fishing line, pull a thread out of an old nylon stocking - very difficult to see.

2 replies

IIRC, it's fairly strong.
Used it for a magic trick as a kid (45 years ago)

No prob. I like this and it's a safe alternative to candles. You so totally rock!

Hi GREAT idea!!!! Thank you for sharing :) I have one suggestion. Instead of using screw in eye hooks in your ceiling that will leave marks why not use Command Hooks? They come in various styles and sizes. I have two hanging wooden dragon and bird sculptures from Indonesia and I hung them from my ceiling with the tiny clear Command hooks. Haven't dropped and if I want to move them I can take the hooks down by pulling on the sticky tape and no marks no holes :)

command hooks - Google Search

1 reply

Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes! That was the one bummer afterward was filling in little holes, you are a genius!


1 year ago

Maybe these will keep the Nargles away too.

1 reply