I love the look of vintage candles so I thought I could make a giant version for my holiday decorations this year. These are made from PVC pipes and duct tape! These DIY giant Christmas candles are super easy to make and look so festive on a front porch. I’m excited to show how to make these!
Thank you to Ryobi for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own
how to make diy giant outdoor christmas candles
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
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- PVC Pipe 3″x10′
- Spray Paint- Candy Pink, Real Orange, Lemongrass, Green Apple, Ocean Mist, and French Lilac
- Jumbo Christmas Light Bulbs (what I used). These Giant Christmas Bulbs are better, but I couldn’t find them in stock. BUT I just found these Holiday Giant Bulbs in stock with one day shipping! They only come in blue or green, but I bet you could paint them yellow.
- White Duct Tape
This is a bit of a pricier project. I spent $100 on the lights, $35 on the PVC Pipe, and $8 on the duct tape. I used spray paint I had on hand (or that would have been $28). For this project, I spent a total of $143 to make 6 jumbo lights.
If you use some of the alternate options I linked above for lights, it’d save a lot of money!
step 1- measure
To get a good cut on these, you need a good line. To get that, we measured from the end and marked the pipe every few inches. Then we joined the lines to make one continuous line.
step 2- cut
Next, we used a jig saw to cut the line on the PVC Pipe. We rotated the pipe as we cut through. Note, jig saw blades are usually for metal or wood. We used a metal blade and that worked great to get through the plastic pipe.
Another saw would also work for this- like a miter saw or circular saw. Since we’re in our Florida house for only a month, we brought a select variety of tools. A jig saw can cut so many things and is compact, so we felt like that was the best one to bring with us.
At this time, I also cut the wires off my jumbo Christmas lights. I didn’t like how mine had to have wires between each light. So mine don’t actually turn on- they’re just decorative. If you by some of the alternative light options I linked above, they turn on with batteries.
step 3- wax drippings
And now, create wax drippings with a hot glue gun. This is an optional step, but I think using a hot glue gun to make it look like wax has dripped off the candle looks cute are realistic!
To create the look of wax, I put drips in different lengths and connected them with a ring of hot glue at the top. This takes up a lot of hot glue, so be prepared with 1-2 glue sticks per candle.
For the hot glue gun, I’m using one from Ryobi. They have two sizes- a full size and a compact hot glue gun. For this project, I decided to use the full size. It has the battery in the base and uses bigger glue sticks. I LOVE that there’s no cord! It heats up to a mid or high heat and has different tips. It’s the fanciest and nicest hot glue gun that I’ve ever used. Plus it’s affordable too!
step 4- spray paint
After the hot glue has dried, make sure to pull off any extra strings of hot glue. Those will stand out when painted, so it’s best to take a minute to make sure those are off.
Now it’s time to paint! I opted for spray paint for most of my candle bases. I applied two thin coats. The hot glue takes the paint nicely and looks just like wax when painted!
Note, two of my candles weren’t totally on flat ground and fell over during the painting process. Once side got covered in grass and didn’t look great. That became my back. Save yourself some trouble and make sure they are on a flat surface when painting.
For most places, spray painting outside isn’t an option in the winter. Instead, you can add chalk, craft, or latex paint to the PVC Pipe to paint. If you paint by hand, I’d suggest priming first and then adding the paint so it doesn’t scratch off.
I ended up mixing a coral color of chalk paint with a few colors I had on hand for the orange since I didn’t love the spray paint I originally selected for this project.
step 5- duct tape
Finally, add a swirl of duct tape to each of the candle bases. I started at the top (by the wax drip) and worked my way down making sure to smooth the tape as I went. At the bottom, I cut the tape off on an angle.
On the top where the tape started doesn’t look great since it’s hard to start it by the wax drips. So I just made that the back of the candle. If there were any issues with the paint, I started the tape there.
And here is how the vintage inspired DIY giant Christmas candles turned out! I think they’re really cute and festive!
I arranged them in rainbow order on my porch. They could be painted in any color and look adorable.
Because these are make from PVC Pipe and duct tape, they should weather outside very nicely. I think they look really sweet on my front porch!
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