I loved the idea of PVC pillar candles using flickering battery tealights, but I didn’t want to spend the money on the pipe or try to cut it myself. I went looking for something easier and found this how-to on Dave Lowe’s blog from 2008 [http://davelowe.blogspot.com/2008/09/08-halloween-20-making-flameless-candle.html]. I love the no-cost approach, but I wanted a cleaner pillar look.
Here’s a video of the first 2 finished:
I’m not crazy about these tealights, so they’ll probably get replaced, but you get the idea. Overall, I’m pleased with the look.
What I did (Probably the hard way):
1. Trim the tubes into different lengths and slice them down one side to open them up.
2. Hot glue in some foam board “shelves” for the tealights to sit on.
3. Reassemble the tubes at the width that will fit the tealights & hot glue them closed.
4. Decopage some newspaper strips around the tubes to hide the seams (I first did them horizontal and then long vertical strips on top). Let dry.
5. I hot glued some glass beads (the kind that go in a vase) to the bottom inside for weight.
6. Hot glue the wax drips (Dave’s post says it best — patience… but there’s really no wrong way). Let dry.
7. Spray paint… I think it would probably work best to start with them upside down on your painting surface and get the paint all around the bottom side of the drips… let dry… then turn them on the right side and paint them again and let dry.
8. I mixed some craft paint to get a color like the spray paint I used and painted then inside of the tube above the foam shelf AND painted the tealights so they match the “candle”.
9. Turn on your tealight and set it inside the pillar.
It’s not high-quality, but looks decent in a dim room. I’ll probably swap out these tealights for some better-flickering ones. But for right now, I haven’t bought a single thing to make them. I had everything on hand already, so they were basically FREE, which is great.