How to Make Magical Halloween Floating Candles

Halloween floating candles

The leaves are starting to change colors, we’ve started prepping our costumes for our annual trick or treat night and there’s a crisp chill in the air. This can only mean one thing: Halloween is coming! Last week, we showed you how to make easy, DIY Halloween Mason jar lanterns. Today, we’re showing you how to make another Halloween craft to light up your home. Create a whimsical focal point for your window, porch or mantel with these Halloween floating candles.

They’ll have all your trick-or-treaters asking for a page from your spell book. Luckily, there’s no real wizardry involved in the making of this levitating décor. Any regular human can fashion them with just a few recyclable materials and supplies. Scroll down to learn how to create this enchanted Halloween DIY!

How to Make Halloween Floating Candles

First, gather a few paper towel tubes and trim them to varying lengths using scissors. Keep each tube somewhere between 6 and 12 inches tall. Next, paint the outsides completely gray. We used acrylic paint for a nice, even coat that dries in less than five minutes. It’s a good idea to start warming up your glue gun while the paint is drying.

Halloween floating candles

After the paint on your tubes is dry, use a hot glue gun to apply dripping candle wax. Apply the hot glue on the rim of each tube, and then slowly move down each side to create dripping wax. Make the drips varying lengths to look like real candle wax.

Halloween floating candles

After the hot glue is dry, pour white acrylic paint into a small container. We used a disposable coffee cup and filled it about halfway full. You want enough paint to cover a little bit past the ends of your hot glue wax drips. Dip the tube end into your white paint, and roll it so that every side is covered.

Halloween floating candles

Then, set the tube right-side-up and lightly tap it on a covered surface, causing the paint to drip down before it dries. Because this method gives you such a thick coat of paint, you’ll want to allow a couple hours for drying.

Halloween floating candles

Next, it’s time to add your candles. Depending on your paper towel tube, the candles may fit snugly without needing any additional support. However, if your tubes are too wide and the candles fall through (like ours did), you can use this trick to keep them in place:

Apply hot glue gun inside each tube (about one inch deep) to create a ring all the way around. When it dries, you will have a glue ledge for your candles to sit on. That way, the flame shows but the candle base sits atop the glue ring, just inside the tube. Plus, with this method you can easily remove the candles and re-use them for a Thanksgiving craft next month!

Last, use a pushpin to create a hole in each side of the tube. Then, string fishing line through the two holes, and hot glue the string ends together.

Halloween floating candles

If you have a smooth ceiling (not “popcorn” ceilings), you can use tape to hang your candles. You can also hang strips of black tulle from your ceiling with pushpins, and then use Christmas ornament hooks to hang candles from the tulle.

And there you have it! Now, sit back and sip on a Halloween cocktail while enjoying your Halloween floating candles display.

Halloween Floating Candle Instructions


  • Empty paper towel rolls
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Pushpin
  • White and gray paint
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush or sponge
  • Fishing line
  • Flameless tea lights
  • Small, disposable container
Halloween floating candles


  1. First, trim your paper towel tubes to the length that you want them. Then, paint them entirely gray on the outside.
  2. After the paint has dried, apply hot glue to the top edge of the paper towel tube and create drips around the entire rim. Allow the glue to dry completely.
  3. Pour white paint into a small container until it is about halfway full. Then, dip the glue end of your paper towel tube into the paint container. Once you have a smooth, even coating of paint on your hot glue wax drips, allow the paint to drip downward and dry.
  4. If your tubes are too wide for your candles, apply a ring of hot glue inside the tube, about one inch deep, and allow it to dry. Then, place your tea candles on the dried ledge of hot glue.
  5. Use a pushpin to create two holes near the top of the paper towel tube. String fishing line through the holes, leaving ample length for your candle to hang from the ceiling. Then, hot glue the fishing line ends together.
  6. Last, hang your candles using tape or ornament hooks and tulle.

Let’s See Your Halloween Crafts

Are you DIY-ing this Halloween? We’d love to see your creations. Use the social media sharing icons below to show us what you’re working on!

This post was inspired by the Harry Potter Wish List.

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