I am sort of a nerd. Sort of a huge gigantic ultra nerd. But like a really cool, awesome, amazing nerd. I am nerdy for lots of stuff – especially Harry Potter. I have been a #Potterhead for years and finally brought my family around to the amazing-ness of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWHP) this summer with a trip to Universal Studios Orlando. Once they saw the world come to life they were hooked too. Now that we are all nerdy for WWHP we decided to decorate for Halloween using Potter inspired decorations. The first thing on the list was Harry Potter Floating Candles for the family room.

Harry Potter Floating CandlesNot only did these turn out AMAZING but they were the cheapest project that we have done all fall. For 35 Harry Potter Floating Candles it cost us less than $15:

  • $2 for spray paint (we bought twice as much as we needed)
  • $1 for fishing line
  • $3 for hot glue sticks
  • $7 for the tea lights (package of 40)

Harry Potter Floating Candles

Harry Potter Floating CandlesSupplies

  • Paper towel rolls – we saved ours for 3 months
  • LED tea lights (I got mine at Michael’s)
  • Scissors
  • Clear pushpins
  • White poster board or card stock
  • White spray paint
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (you need a lot of glue)
  • Fishing line (.25mm thick) 


  • Cut paper towel rolls into random different lengths. It’s best to keep them more than six inches long, or the candles will look stubby. Do as many as you would like to fill the space that you have. In the pictures I have 19 done and hung. I ended up making 15 more to fill the space for the “look” that I was going for.
  • Spray paint the paper towel rolls with white spray paint. I did 2 light coats leaving some spots with only one coat of paint to give the candles shadows – and they turned out great.
  • Use one of your pushpins to puncture four holes about 3/4th of an inch from the top of the candle (paper towel roll) on each side. The tea light will sit on top of crisscrossed string.
  • Cut lengths of clear fishing line to string through the holes. Cut a range of lengths for your candles, between 9 and 20 inches. You will need 2 pieces of the same length of each candle.


  • Hot glue the paper towel roll standing up on the white poster board/ card stock and cut excess paper around to fit one end (the bottom ends) of the paper towel rolls. Harry Potter Floating Candles
  • Stand the toilet paper roll up vertically and take your hot glue gun and add glue around the top edges of each roll, so it looks as if they are dripping wax. Add more layers of “dripping wax” until you like the look. Set aside to dry for 2–3 minutes. Harry Potter Floating Candles
  • String the lines for the candle to hang. The fishing line should enter one hole, through the tube, and out the hole straight across – 2 strings per candle (crisscrossed inside the tube). Tie the 4 ends of your lines together. Harry Potter Floating Candles
  • Place an LED tea light in the top of the tube so it’s resting on the lines. It should fit snugly and will not need to be glued. Harry Potter Floating Candles
  • Using the pushpins attach the candles to the ceiling.

Harry Potter Floating CandlesNotes:

  1. I found that you might like the look of the candles hanging down further (2 feet from the ceiling) but once turned on the candles look better hanging CLOSE to the ceiling. When they are hung close to the ceiling you get the light flickering off the ceiling and creating more shadows and a better glow if done in a grouping.
  2. More is better. I started with 7 candles, then 11, then 15 then 19. Then I added 15 more as it looks better with more. Know that you might need more than you originally thought.

Where would you hang your Harry Potter Floating Candles?