Light up the holiday season with these paper roll candles! Repurpose an empty toilet paper roll and transform it into a super cool piece of DIY decor using only hot glue and paint.
These homemade faux candles are SO EASY to make, and they’re really inexpensive too, using recycled materials and supplies from the dollar store. We also love the haunted mansion vibes these candles give off! Use them as a fall decoration for the mantel, or add them to a Halloween party centerpiece!
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How to Make a Toilet Paper Roll Candle
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.
Step 2: Add glue to the paper roll
- Make a note of how far down your flameless tealight will sit inside the paper roll.
- Use the hot glue gun to make a line at this point inside the paper roll. This creates a ledge for the candle to sit on.
- Begin making glue drips along the outside of the paper roll. Start at the very top of the roll and let it drip down.
- Continue creating glue drips as you make your way around the roll.
- Once the first layer of glue is dry, add a second layer overtop. This creates more dimension on the outside of the candle and allows you to fill in any gaps.
- Let this glue drip down, and then let it dry completely.
Step 3: Paint the paper roll candle
- Once the glue is dry, add paint to the side of the paper roll and spread it across with a paint brush.Cover as much of the candle as you can, then allow to dry.
- Add a second coat of paint. Pay special attention as you paint over the glue, angling your brush to ensure full coverage.
- Paint inside the top of the paper roll, about 1-1/2 inches down.Allow to dry, and add a third coat of paint if necessary.
- Once the paint is dry, turn on a battery operated tealight candle and insert it into the candle base.
- Your paper roll candle is complete!
- The more glue put on one spot, the more it will drip. High temperature glue guns will create thinner and longer drips, while low temperature glue guns will give thicker “wax” drips.
- If you want to make a long lasting DIY candle, use PVC pipe for the candle base, instead of a paper roll.
What type of paint is best for making these paper roll candles?
We used acrylic paint, which worked well. It’s inexpensive and easy to find, but it did require at least 2 coats, meaning it took a while to dry. Chalk paint is another great option to create a matte look on the candles.
You can also use spray paint to cover your toilet paper roll candles. Spray paint gives great coverage and it’s easy to use, since you don’t have to brush the paint on. It can be a bit messy, though, and you have to use it outside or in an well-ventilated area.
Can I make different sizes of paper roll candles?
Yes, you can make different heights of toilet paper roll candles simply by cutting the paper rolls shorter before adding the glue. You can also make taller candles by using paper towel rolls or wrapping paper tubes.
Cut your paper rolls to size and place them together in a group to see what heights look best together.
What if my tealight won’t stay in place inside the toilet roll candles?
We were able to use hot glue to create a little “shelf” inside the paper roll for the flameless tealight to sit on. But if this doesn’t work for you, there are a couple of options.
First, stuff the inside of the paper roll with crumpled up paper and glue it into place. This allows the tealight to sit on top of the paper. Or, you can use duct tape to create a little “hammock” inside the roll for the candle to sit on.
Double sided tape around the tealight will also help keep it in place. This works well if you have tealights with a remote, but not if you have to switch the tea light candle on and off on the bottom.
How can I make floating toilet paper roll candles?
To make floating candles, tape or glue fishing line inside the paper rolls at the top. You can also use a needle to poke the fishing line through the paper roll.
To ensure your candle hangs straight, tape or glue a rock (or something else heavy) inside the bottom of the candle. This will create a counter-balance so the candle doesn’t flip or tilt.
Then tie or tape the fishing line up high so that the candle appears to be floating in mid-air. Spooky!
Can I make different colours of paper roll candles?
You can definitely paint your candles another colour besides white. Black candles look extra eerie for Halloween, while red or green candles look festive for Christmas!
Make sure to paint the top of the tealights to match the candle colour — but don’t paint the flame part. You can also put a circle of felt or paper on top of the candle, around the “flame”, to help it blend in to the rest of the paper roll candle.
These paper roll candles are such a fun and easy toilet paper roll craft! Real candles are pretty, but they can create a safety concern, especially around pets and children. These DIY candles are a safe alternative to real candles, and they look amazing, filling the room with their flickering glow.
Here’s even more paper roll craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!