I know that there are some of you who would prefer to use real candles on your feather tree and wouldn't mind dousing it with a bucket of water should it catch on fire! However, I think I'll just do things my own way and relax; knowing that I can be sure the tree won't need such attention should I decide to take a nap or exit for a quick trip to the kitchen for cookies. Besides, my mother-in-law paid far too much money for this little feathered beauty for me to take chances with it!
- old steel coat hangers with paper tube bottoms
- cotton balls
- masking tape
- wooden tooth picks or wooden skewers
- white school glue
- Christmas feather tree candle holders, clip on type
- Krylon Glowz, glow-in-th-dark white spray paint or another brand if you find it lasts longer
- Exacto knife or single edged razor blade (You may need one of these to cut the cardboard tube.)
- Gather the supplies. You may need to substitute alternative paper tubing if you do not have the old type of hangers that I used. If cannot find the appropriate size, simple use toilet paper tubes. Cut these length wise, curl them until they are the proper diameter to fit snug inside the candle holders and tape the edges together with masking tape.
- Remove the tubes and cut them varying lengths to mimic real candles. I choose to make some of my candles shorter than others in order to give them the appearance of use.
- Cover the exterior of your cardboard candle with a layer of masking tape. Leave to top end of your tube uncovered so that you will be able to insert a fake wick later.
- Now cover the masked cardboard candle with white glue and carefully wrap each candle with two lagers of cotton batting. Add extra glue in between the applied layers.
- Roll out long "snake like" pieces of cotton batting to create the twist of the candle. Apply more glue to the candle in a serpentine twist pattern, like you would see on a candy cane. Spin the these snake like pieces up the sides following the spiral glue trail. Let the candle dry upright inside the clip candle holders. Apply a generous fourth coat of white glue to the faux candles and let them dry.
- Next you will need to twist tiny cotton batting flames onto the ends of your wooden tooth picks. These can be abstract in appearance as they are to look like tiny flames from a distance. I twisted two separate layers of cotton batting on the ends of each wick.
- Spray paint your wicks separately from the candles. You will need to coat them with Glowz every year perhaps. Keeping the wicks separate from the actual candles will allow you to replace the wicks over time should you need to.
- After following the specific guidelines given for the glow-in-the-dark paint, let these wicks dry and insert one into the top of each candlestick that is clamped onto your tree.
|Left, old steel coat hangers with paper tube bottoms. Right, Christmas feather tree candle holders, clip on type.|
|Left, here you can see I've put my pretend flaming wick into the hollow candle. Right, is a hollow, cotton batting candle without a wick.|
|more pictures of the completed cotton batting candles that I made for my feather tree this year.|
I know some of you think I have lost my mind with the scale of these candles, rest assured, I just took the pictures from downward angles in order to get closeups of the textures and shapes. The candles are not too large for the tree. These were measured against the real ones!
Just right is a photo taken of the same set of candles without weird angles. Looks different doesn't it? You thought I'd lost it making all of these ornaments didn't you? Rest assured, I just thought this picture on the right was a bit boring. This little tree will be beautiful come Christmas, don't worry.
More Cotton Batting Christmas Displays and Ornaments For You to Explore:
- Ice Skate Ornament
- Cute critters from Russia!
- Traditional, new wrapped figures
- Animated cotton figures: bunny, bear, snowman and fox
- Excellent handcrafted ornaments made with a variety of clay and cotton.
- Some lovely cotton figures newly made in this photo
Some of you may prefer to age your own versions of these candles. Just fill a spray bottle with some very strong brewed coffee and spritz the lot until you achieve the color that you like. I prefer to let my versions age naturally.