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I Made Van Oaks Props PVC Candles!

While my skill levels have defintely increased at my Halloween workshop, electrical projects are always a bit out of reach. The second there's talk of amps and watts and thing-a-ma-roos, my eyes glaze over and I'm sure that I will set the house on fire. When in doubt, haunters like me turn to Van Oaks Props. This incredibly talented artist freely distributes hundreds of detailed tutorials via his YouTube channel. He even gives you a list of materials with links to order. And if you join his Patreon, he offers additional insights and discounts on one-on-one consultations for your projects.

On my wishlist for years has been flickering candles that are plug-and-play with no batteries or remotes. As Mr. Van Oaks states, a PVC candle is a right of passage for home haunters, and his technique to build these candles is foolproof. Take a look at the original video and please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to the Van Oaks Props channel.


A couple notes about the PVC. I could not find any of the 3" thinner walled PVC he mentions in the video (often called sewer pipe). So instead I ordered 2 1/2" dust collection pipe tubing and was able to get 15 candles of various sizes from 3 - 36" pipes.

I spray painted the clear pipe with my favorite art spray paint in "Bone" color: MTN Water Based. It's safe to use in closed spaces, sticks to everything including stryofoam, perfectly matte, and richly hued. Unlike other sprays, this will not flake off and resistant to the elements. I went for mutiple coats towards the bottom and lighter on top for a more transluncent effect. I also mottled the first coat with a paper towel to give the candle texture. Van Oak Props tricks for the hot glue drips are a GAME CHANGER. I used these white glue sticks.


I also wanted to create a set of platforms for the candles to hide the wires, keep the candles from blowing over (we have intense winds), and wire them all on one plug. This would also make them easier to set out and I will be stapling marigold flowers between the scattered candles. I created simple wood bases with blocks sized perfectly for the pipe. It holds them snuggly but can still be removed to service the bulbs down the line.


The LED wires go through a hole in the middle and routed discreetly through the bottom where I created a series of channels to safely hold the wires in place. I used 18 gauge wire and adhesive-lined heat-shrink tubing to make secure connections. Wires were all secured to the base to ensure nothing would wiggle loose. Popsicle sticks hot glued in the holes keep LEDs in the center. And I topped the pipe with rounds of the diffusion foam mentioned in the Van Oaks video.

I am really happy how this turned out after years of wanting the perfect set of flickering candles. I am planning to use these in a covered porch so not sure how water-proof they are, but the wiring seems fairly safe.

A huge thank you Van Oaks Props for the fantastic tutorials and his on-going dedication to haunters like me.

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