I will be the first person to say that I am not very crafty. I used to be, and I still want to be, but it’s not always easy for me to do the crafts I want to do. I simply don’t have the time between my family, work and my blog. I also don’t have the physical space needed to do a lot of different crafts. On those occasions I do a craft it’s usually something quick and easy.
I am addicted to Pinterest. I “pin” crafts all the time on that site – both for my own personal use and for work (I work with kindergartners).
I’m a HUGE fan of decorating for the holidays and seasons, so many of my craft pins are related to them.
One evening while browsing on Pinterest I saw a craft where you can make candles out of paper towel (or toilet paper) cardboard rolls. I wish I had the original site/photo that I saw the project on. I suppose if you look up “paper towel candles” or “floating candle craft” on Pinterest you might find similar ones.
I have a lot of paper towel and toilet paper tubes collected to use on crafts with the kids I work with. I already had the main piece I needed for the “candles.” Here are the rest of the supplies.
- Paper towel/Toilet paper cardboard rolls
- Hot glue gun (I used Westcott Mini Hot Glue Gun (High Temp Model) and Wescott Hot Glue Pen)
- Hot glue gun sticks (I used Westcott because they work with my glue gun/pen)
- Paint (I chose white and a glitter paint to add some sparkle)
- Finishing line or clear string (only if you plan on handing the candles)
- Long needle (only if you plan on hanging the candles)
- Scissors (Westcott has great non-stick scissors which are ideal for this project)
- Small battery operated candles (I got mine from the Dollar Store – 2/$1)
Make sure your cardboard roll is clean. Pull off any loose paper towel/toilet paper.
Using the scissors, cut one side of the roll with a bit of a “wavy” pattern to it. When candles melt they don’t always melt evenly, so you want to give your fake candle as realistic of an appearance as you can. I neglected to do this part at first. I decided to do it after I had painted them.
You can also cut the tubes to different sizes.
Using your selected paint, paint the entire tube. You might need to do 2-3 coats depending on the paint you used.
I found it easier to stand the tube upright. I put the tubes over prescription bottles so they would stand up right when I was painting them and when they are drying. Spice jars might work too.
Paint an inch or two on the INSIDE of the tube on both end too. You don’t want any of the original cardboard color to show.
Allow the tubes to dry completely.
Plug in your hot glue gun and make sure you have plenty of glue sticks on hand (this craft requires several glue sticks). I’m glad my Wescott Mini Hot Glue Gun heats up quickly. I was anxious to see how my candles would look.
I opted for my Westcott Mini Glue Gun High Temperature Model because I wanted the glue to be a “liquidy” as possible. It can reach up to 400 degrees! This model Wescott Glue Gun is great for;
- Floral arrangements
- Heavy fabrics
I realize that cardboard is not on this list. I was a bit worried the glue might be too hot, but it wasn’t. It worked out perfectly for my needs.
Westcott also has a low temperature model which is great for crafting;
Once the hot glue was ready I took one of my painted tubes and squeezed some hot glue on the INSIDE of the tube about an inch or so down. This glue will act as a “ledge” that your battery operated candle will sit on when in use. You cannot glue the battery operated candle to the tube or you won’t be able to turn it on/off. You need to be able to remove it from the tube. By making this “ledge” the candle has something to sit on so it won’t fall through the tube.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just squeeze some glue around the sides (even back and forth if you want). It’s just a way of keeping the battery operated candle from sliding through the tube.
Once that glue hardens (it did so quickly) you are ready to add glue to the outside. Using your hot glue gun, squeeze glue all the way around the end of the tube you made the inner ledge. You want the glue to look like it’s dripping – just like hot wax does on real candles. You can keep adding glue until you get your desired look. I ended up going back over a few of them with my Westcott Hot Glue Pen because it gives you precision accuracy, so I was able to add just the right amount of glue in the places I felt like I needed a bit more.
This little Hot Glue Pen from Wescott is ideal for any crafting project you might have. It’s also great for quick repairs around your home. The Wescott Hot Glue Pen features;
- Non-Stick tip for easy clean-up
- Nozzle changes from blue to red, indicating when the pen is hot and ready for use
- Top-mounted finger trigger allows for controlled glue dispensing
It can also be used on;
After you have achieved the look you are going for, let the glue dry completely. After it’s dried you can go back over it with some more paint (I used both white paint and a clear glitter paint).
Allow the tubes to dry completely.
If you want to hang your candles up to give them a “floating candle” appearance (great for Halloween), thread clear string or fishing line into a long needle (a quilting needle would work).
Using a long needle, pop a hole in one side of the candle (just below where you made that inner “ledge” out of hot glue) and pass the needle all the way through to the other side, keeping the needle as straight as possible (another words have the needle go straight across – not at an angle). If you don’t go straight across your candle will tip when you hang it up (unless you are not going to hang it up). Decide how much string you want and then cut and tie off the end.
If you prefer to make a centerpiece simply use your hot glue gun to adhere the candles to whatever platform you want to use.
Here are some photo and a brief video of my finished candles.
I intentionally took the video in the dark so that you can see the lighted candles.
This project was so much fun and oh-s0-easy to make. I plan on making this again but as a centerpiece for Christmas. I was going to make 3-4 candles of varying height and glue them together and surround them with some greenery and small ornaments. If/When I make that I’ll update this post with a photo or two.
People assume that hot glue guns are only to adhere a few things together. As you can see there are plenty of other fun things to do with hot glue. Just check out Pinterest. You’d be surprised at how many fun projects you can do. I have seen jewelry, wallets and bowls made out of hot glue.
Even hot glue dispensers have evolved over the years. The Westcott brand of hot glue guns and pen feature non-stick tips for easy clean up, a nozzle that changes from blue to red so you know when the pen/gun is ready for use, and a finger friendly trigger for dispensing the glue.
If you would like to learn more about Wescott products visit WestcottCreativators.com or WestcottBrand.com/products.html. You can also find some wonderful, creative ideas on the brand’s site or by visiting WestcottBrand.com/craft-projects.html.
The brand can also be found on social media. All of their links are found on their website (bottom right).
Do you use hot glue guns for crafting? Have you ever tried a hot glue pen?
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve made with hot glue? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I have partnered with Westcott to bring you this information. I received free products to do this project as well as compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.