This year Paul had the idea to be a candle for Halloween. Though it is well known in our family that Mom is a good seamstress and crafter, Paul really didn’t know how she could take his idea and run with it.

Project Steps

Collect all the supplies.

Most of this we found at the dollar stores. The foam tube is a brilliant find as it will become the foundation for this build. If you can’t find one like it, Styrofoam will work.

What we used: Foam party tube, two headbands, plastic file folder, two sheets of craft foam, two sheets of transparent craft paper, glue and staples.

Tools: Snap-blade craft knife, glue gun, stapler.

We did not use the glow stick, I just bought it in case the tea lights were not bright enough.

What an awesome find!

This is why the foam tube was so brilliant (pun might be intended), it came with its own flashy lights ready to use. Since our project only requires the yellow and red lights, we clipped the extras.

Now to shape the tube.

So that the tube can bend, it needed some extra material removed. It was also a bit long for our design. A snap-blade razor knife works really well for this type of trimming.

Now to light it up.

The foam will hold the lights in place. Once everything is adjusted it can be glued in place.

We could have just added more lights to the flash circuit found in the foam tube, but I wanted the more stable glow pattern from the tea lights to be the main lights and the flash lights to just add some extra fun.

The flash LED light string was put back into the foam tube before everything was glued down.

The frame is all together.

This is the foam frame with lights attached to the headband. The pencil was used to keep it level while the glue dried.

This turned out to be very top-heavy so a second smaller headband was hacked, formed to fit with a heat gun and glued in place. Once finished, this was very stable even on the active head of an eleven-year-old.

Notice the teeth on the second headband. This helps to keep the construction from falling forward or back.

Now to make it look good.

After removing the edge and innards of a plastic file folder, the main design for the candle flame is hand drawn onto the plastic. An Internet search revealed absolutely no patterns that could be used, so hand drawing was the only option. I’ll be making a PDF with a pattern, so anyone wanting to use this idea will not have to hand draw it again.

The hard plastic was then used as a template for the rest of the large pieces. There is a front and back piece of the hard plastic and of the craft foam.

Cutting out the center.

The file folder had plastic sleeves which made a nice template for the inner cuts. Just the craft foam is cut to reveal the clear yellow of the file folder.

Almost done!

Subduing the light.

The clear yellow folder was just a little too clear, so some thin parchment is added to the inside. Since the lights are all LEDs we are not concerned about heat.

Steps not shown:

The two clear plastic pieces are stapled together at only three places; the two sides and the very top.

The foam is hot-glued onto the folder plastic.

Optional marker highlighting was added to the edge of the foam “inner flame.”

In the second picture a common twelve-inch drafting scale is shown to give an idea of size.

And now we present…

The finished piece. Even at eleven he had to watch doors and low branches, ducking when needed, but it never did fall off.

The foam frame fits into the pocket made by the two plastic sheets. This just sits on the frame so that it is removable. Then the lights can be turned on and off as needed.

We have a video slideshow of this on YouTube:…


This project was a bunch of fun! Paul had a great time on Halloween with his very unique costume. No worries about seeing in the dark with this on his head!