Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The greatest accomplishment candle covers!

Okay, that may have been ramping it up a bit but really, I think this is pretty awesome.

So one of my biggest pet peeves in the world is ugly candle covers.  Either paper, plastic or glass...if they don't look right they just ruin a light fixture.  

So I bought a chandelier for our sunroom off of ebay for the cheapy-cheaps.  In the picture the candle covers looked all drippy and pretty so I thought it would work out well.  
When it arrived the chandelier was beautiful and heavy and vintage-looking, but the candle covers were awful.  They looked like cut sections of PVC pipe, they were huge, stark white and the ugliest cheap plastic in the world.  Anyway I contacted the company and they kindly sent me some different plastic covers with "drips" on them but they were still ugly and not the right size anyway.

What's a girl to do?  Turn to the internet!  I found many GORGEOUS candle covers from excellent businesses out there made of beeswax or resin, all handmade and yummy.  These tended to run $5-$15 apiece though...too much for me!

So I turned to my friend Deidre, I had considered every diy approach I could think of, from melting wax candles and dipping the covers in it to glycerin soap (yeah I was desperate) to finding an easy-to-work-with resin online.  Then Deidre mentioned hot the cuff as if it was the most obvious solution ever, clearly unaware she had just rocked my world!  Sheer genius, but would it work?

Indeed-e-o it does :)

This is how my covers looked when I started (and please forgive picture quality, I was sick with an awful fever when I did these and since I haven't mastered the art of having three hands yet I did the best I could with two).
Soooooo unattractive.

So I got out my trusty hot glue gun and went to town.  I let it heat up until it was ready and then began covering the entire tube with "lines" of glue butting up to each other.  What happens is that while the glue is still hot it "melds" the lines together to form a slightly imperfect coating of translucent glue.

This sounds like it would absolutely take ages but it only took me ten minutes each!
You can see how much texture and thickness it adds to the candle sleeve.

After you have the whole thing covered initially, let it sit a few minutes to cool just enough to handle it again, then if you want them, make the "drips."
I made mine a little on the subtle side and kept them mostly at the top, but you can add as many as you want, or make them much longer, like the candle has been burning down for hours.  
Don't be concerned if it's sloppy or you "mess it up," that's just how candles look anyway!

Now every time I look at my chandelier it makes me so happy!
The covers glow just like a real candle does and the wax is beautifully translucent.  They look just like the real thing whether it's turned on or off!

If you want to try a slightly different look, find yourself some opaque hot glue (you can find it in colors or just white).  There was none at any of our local shops but I did find some on Etsy, I just wasn't patient enough to wait for it :).  Or after you've done the glue part you could spray or hand paint over it.  You'll take away the translucence but you'll get the look of an antique candle cover if that's what you're going for.

I hope some of you give this a try, it could not have been any easier and the result is 1,000X more beautiful than before.  Even better, it's virtually free...cause that's the way I roll.


  1. I'm famous! So proud :) Your chandelier looks amazing btw!!

  2. Chrystin,

    Wow - Thanks for all the pics! I think I'm gonna try this myself. My chandelier candle covers are really old though - got staining all over them. Do you think I'd need to use new covers?

    They seem to be just cardboard with a yellowish (maybe they were once white) paper on them.


  3. How cool is that! I truly hate my glue gun but it has it's purposes. May try that after we paint our old shiny brass into a dark bronze or black. Thanks.

  4. I'm so glad some of you are going to try this, I think it has to be one of the best bang for the buck projects you can do.

    VV I would definitely keep the covers you have! I think the staining and yellowing would be beautiful under the glue, it would probably show up as a kind of glowing amber! Please send me pics if you try it!

  5. Buttonchief, I just recognized your name from Joan's blog comments...I'm so glad to have you here! ps. isn't she amazing?!

  6. hey, stop talking about me;) xo!

    aren't you a clever girl with a clever friend!! I have seen this done (on some blog?) with Elmers, but the hot glue makes a lot of sense! The translucent quality gives it a "just melted" look.
    love the chandelier!!


  7. I love this idea! When the hubbie and I move next month, I will be replacing the ugly-buggly "boob light" over the dining room table with a chandelier, and I WILL be using this for the candle covers. Awesome!

  8. Really cool... is the hot glue coating heat-reactive when you burn the lightbulbs? My bulbs get quite hot and I'm afraid the coating would remelt or at least soften. Did you consider or try silicone caulk? I know it's not the easiest stuff to work with.

  9. Wow, looks perfect! I will definitely use this trick! would u mind sharing your source for the chandelier? even if its just the brand, Im in love with yours. I have been looking forever for my daughters room but most are just beyond budget! If you get a chance, I would be ecstatic! Cheers!

  10. Lindsay, try for the light fixture, they are extremely reasonable and I'm very impressed with the weight and quality!
    Christyn :)

  11. This is stunning. I was looking for something fun and a bit funky for my chandelier. I love this, and can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!