DIY Flameless Christmas Tree Candles. SO Beautiful.

 These DIY Christmas Tree candles look astonishingly beautiful, are FUN to make and are 100% safe to use.  That’s like a Christmas craft trifecta!  Here’s how to make these flameless tree lights.

Flameless candles on Christmas tree branches decorated with dried orange slices.

Skip right to the tutorial.

 

Every year I come up with one great Christmas DIY.  Not 10 or 12 … one. Of course I post a lot more than that, but we all know only one of them is actually any good.

One year the DIY that bubbled forth in my brain was the elegant bookcase presents, an idea that I randomly made up completely in my head, on my own, while looking at them at my friend’s house.  The year before that it was the insanely popular Christmas dessert, The Snow Globe a la Mode as featured on Country Living.      

 

This Christmas DIY is possibly my favourite to date because it hits all four Christmas craft criteria;  easy, fun, affordable and impressive.

 

The DIY Christmas Tree Candles.

Balsam fir Christmas tree lit with flameless candles in English country inspired room.

 

 

 

I know.  They’re beautiful and classic and old fashioned feeling.  And they’re easy.  And fun.  And affordable.  The whole affordable thing is what prompted me to figure out this DIY.  I’ve always loved the look of candles on Christmas trees because in my heart of hearts I’m an English Victorian lady (with a hunting dog named Muddles) and an entire staff to douse my tree whence it goes up in flames.  Candles on a tree just look so nice.

Of course you can’t have real candles on a tree because good candles are expensive …  and on fire. 

Here’s how to make Victorian looking Christmas candles for your tree.

(Printable version of the tutorial at the end of this post)

DIY Christmas tree candles

Materials

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE MATERIALS

Will make 48 candles.

  • 1/2″ rigid plastic pipe, 5′ length x 3
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • String of C6 clear LED lights (I used a total of 400 lights on a 7′ tree)
  • White, cream, orange, dark orange latex paint (just the cheap craft paint from the dollar store)
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear silicone
  • Metal can
  • Floral wire
  • 48 Alligator clips

TOTAL COST: Approximately $15 for pipe, $5 for silicone, $5 for the paints, $5 for alligator clips.  The rest you probably have. So the high end total is $30 for 48 candles.

Steps

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE STEPS

  1. Cut the plastic pipe into 3 ¼” lengths.  (this length may differ a bit based on your particular string of lights as you’ll see a bit later on) You can use a circular saw or a hacksaw to cut your plastic pipe.

Piece of small PVC pipe cut to 3.25" in front of twinkle light background.
 

2. Squeeze hot glue onto one end of the pipes to mimic dripping candle wax.  This is your sheath.

PVC pipe with hot glue to imitate dripping candle wax.

 

3. Paint the sheath with a mixture of white and cream paint which will resemble wax.

TIP:  Spray with a low sheen clear coat to make it resemble wax even more.

PVC pipe with hot glue candle wax "drips" on it, painted white to look just like cnadle.

 

4. Remove 48 bulbs from your string of lights. (number of bulbs you do is optional but I used 48 candles for my tree)  Paint each bulb with light orange paint and let dry.  Once dry, paint the tips with dark orange.

TIP:  For some reason you cannot buy a string of orange C6 LED lights at this time. Green? Yes. Blue?  Yes.  But not orange.  That’s why you have to paint the clear bulbs.  If in the future orange is available you can buy those and avoid having to paint the bulbs. Possibly keep your eyes open around Halloween.

Applying orange paint to tip of led Christmas bulbs to give candlelight glow.

 

5.  Cut a pop can in half and fill it with clear silicone.

Squeezing silicone into a tin pop can.

 

6. Wrap a piece of floral wire around the base of each painted bulb and dip them in the silicone.

Dipping orange painted LED Christmas bulb into silicone to crate the look of a real candle flame.

 

7. Hang the bulbs to dry overnight.

TIP: Make sure your bulbs are hanging straight down so the tips will be straight and not bent when they’re dry.

4 LED Christmas bulbs hanging from a wire to let silicone "flame" dry overnight.

8. Glue an alligator clip vertically at the base of the sheaths.  I used Loctite’s Super Glue but a couple of years later some of the alligator clips started to fall off when the glue became brittle, so I’d now recommend the world’s best glue E6000.

Tip:  You can buy a 12 pack of alligator clips at Michaels.  You can get twice as many (24) for the same price on Amazon. 

DIY candelabra sheaths with imitation wax drips and alligator clips attached.

 

9. Gather your string of C6 lights.

Set of C6 clear LED lights.

 

10. Grasp the lighting wire in your fingers until it’s bent like this.

TIP:  The measurement from the tip of the socket to the base where my fingers are pinching is how long your plastic pipe pieces should be cut.  This may vary with different brands of LED lights.

Squeezing set of C6 LED light wire together to slip candle sheat onto.

 

11. Insert your sheath over top.  It will fit tight enough that the sheath won’t fall off.  Make sure there aren’t any loose bits or sharp edges inside the sheath from cutting it because that can cut the wire as you push it through and you do NOT want to do that.

DIY candle sheath slipped over LED light wire to make flamless candles.

 

12. Insert your silicone bulb and there you have it.  They’re done.

DIY flameless Christmas Tree candle made with silicone and PVC pipe.

12. To light your tree, clip your sheaths all around your tree where they look good. Space them out evenly but don’t worry about getting them to stand straight at this point.  Finally string your lights around your tree, inserting the cord and candle bulbs in the pre-placed sheaths as you go.  Again. Don’t worry about them being straight yet.  They’ll be all slanted and askew and you’ll think this is a total fail.  You will call your sister to tell her THIS is why you don’t do anything off of stupid Pinterest.  Relax.  Have patience.

Decorating Christmas tree with crafted flameless tree candles.

Once the tree is lit and all the bulbs and sheaths are placed, starting from the top down, straighten all the candles.  They’ll move and shift as you go, so just keep straightening them.  Don’t expect perfect if you’re working with a real Christmas tree. Perfection is easier on a fake tree but it also isn’t as authentic looking.

DIY Christmas Tree Candles.

DIY Christmas Tree Candles.

Yield: 48 Candles
Active Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 15 hours
Difficulty: Easy(ish)
Estimated Cost: $30

Make a set of DIY Christmas tree candles from a regular string of lights, some plastic pile and a tube of silicone.

Materials

  • 1/2" rigid plastic pipe, 5' length x 3
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • String of C6 clear LED lights (I used a total of 400 lights on a 7' tree)
  • White, cream, orange, dark orange latex paint (just the cheap craft paint from the dollar store)
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear silicone
  • Metal can
  • Floral wire
  • 48 Alligator clips

Instructions

    1. Cut the plastic pipe to 3 1/4" lengths.  (this length may differ a bit based on your particular string of lights as you’ll see a bit later on) You can use a circular saw or a hacksaw to cut your plastic pipe. (See step 10 to figure out how long your pieces of pipe should be.)
    2. Squeeze hot glue onto one end of the pipes to mimic dripping candle wax.  This is your sheath.
    3. Paint the sheath with a mixture of white and cream paint which will resemble wax.
    4. Remove 48 bulbs from your string of lights. (number of bulbs you do is optional but I used 48 candles for my tree)  Paint each bulb with light orange paint and let dry.  Once dry, paint the tips with dark orange.
    5. Cut a pop can in half and fill it with clear silicone.
    6. Wrap a piece of floral wire around the base of each painted bulb and dip them in the silicone.
    7. Hang the bulbs to dry overnight.
    8. Glue an alligator clip vertically at the base of the sheaths.  I used Loctite’s Super Glue.
    9. Gather your string of C6 lights.
    10. Grasp the lighting wire in your fingers until it’s bent like this. The measurement from the tip of the socket to the base where my fingers are pinching is how long your plastic pipe pieces should be cut.  This may vary with different brands of LED lights.
    11. Insert your silicone bulb and there you have it.  They’re done.
    12. Put your lights on the tree, clipping the candles where they fit and look good.
    13. Insert the bulbs.
    14. All the candles will be wonky, so straighten them from the top of the tree down.

Notes

After painting the candle sheaths you can spray them with a low sheen clear coat to make it resemble wax even more.

For some reason you cannot buy a string of orange C6 LED lights at this time. Green? Yes. Blue?  Yes.  But not orange.  That’s why you have to get clear bulbs and paint them. If in the future orange is available you can buy those and avoid having to paint the bulbs. Possibly keep your eyes open around Halloween.

Make sure your bulbs are hanging straight down so the tips will be straight and not bent when they’re dry

I got my alligator clips on Amazon. 

Recommended Products

I'm an Amazon affiliate some I get a few cents when you buy something I've linked to.

Plug the lights in and watch your tree and everyone’s faces beholding this thing of beauty light up.

 

Fully lit Christmas tree with DIY flameless tree candles in English inspired cottage.

More or a shopper than a DIYer?  You can get these similar ones on Amazon.
 

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

DIY flameless Christmas tree candles for the Christmas Crafting trifecta! Easy, affordable and impressive. Plus they\'re weirdly fun to make! Learn how #christmas #christmastree #christmascraft

113 Comments

  1. Cindy Groce says:

    Hey chica! Just to get a perspective of you using 48 candles…how tall of a tree do you have? I •love• this!

  2. Carole says:

    Great, great idea and tutorial.

    However…. I really would like to do individual, battery-operated candles, about the size of a AAA battery. Any ideas how to accomplish that? I have thought about painting and attaching alligator clips to those little cylinder flashlights (usually on a keychain) but am not excited about how the light would look. I am decorating for a Christmas home tour (on12/7) and would really like to put candles on a real, small three-foot Douglas fir. The trees are so airy at that size I really don’t want cords to show.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carole! My worry with battery operated candles is they’d be too heavy for those tree branches and weigh them over. If you want the wire to be less noticeable then instead of the LED lights I recommend you get those tiny lights on copper wire. Like these https://amzn.to/2qPcgdG For that small of a tree you’ll need smaller, lighter pipe for the candlesticks and you’ll need to somehow still use the plastic tip of an LED light that you can paint as a flame. It would have to be glued on top of the pipe. Sorry for the random instructions, but hopefully you know what I’m saying, lol. ~ karen!

      • Carole says:

        Yeah, battery weight is a concern I was ignoring but I had for sure. I did see on Amazon you can buy the parts to make single AAA battery flashlights, but right now that is a bridge too far for me. I am however holding on to your inspiration and hoping something arises out of the depths of my brain between now and December 7th. If it does, I will surely let you know. Thanks again for the great idea.

  3. Sandy says:

    This idea is even more brilliant than the Christmas lights under the chicken waterer. Lol. This is now my new favorite! Thanks for sharing, Karen.

  4. Vikki says:

    You’re right—it is Beautiful!!! This idea is pure genius–thank you.

  5. Tarra says:

    Any xmas craft involving roach clips has my upvote

  6. Theresa Daugherty says:

    Now I’m trying to figure out how to make them bigger so I can put ty hem on my porch.

  7. Terry says:

    😂🤣😂🤣 that’s too funny. Your kids sound like my grandsons

  8. Lynn says:

    Karen you made beautiful candles, just had to say I love your DIY. They look fantastic on your tree. I will not be able to do them this year but I have a sister in law that will just love to do them .
    You are going to make her so happy.

  9. Su says:

    Brilliant! Muddles would be so proud ❤️

  10. Sara says:

    Amazing!! Beautiful, Messy, fun. Great job. You do excellent work. Makes me want to go to Canada.

  11. Christina Houston says:

    Snow Globe a La Mode NOW, um yes, this is for work, yes….

  12. Marti_J says:

    K, I am blown away. Really, really great idea! And one that I, the laziest decorator in the universe, am likely to do. Er, next year. (No car at the moment. Long story. Glad you didn’t ask.) But I promise, next year, I’m all in.

    I have to plan a baby shower in early January. The “mother to be” is older, no games, no frou-frou cake. Probably cheese nibbles (not CHEEZ NIPS) and the salad with cranberries, goat cheese and salad. Ideas for serving the cheese to nibble on, please? Have you done that already? Are there cheeseball recipes that actually are good… anywhere?

  13. PMK says:

    Once again, Karen, you have demonstrated your brilliance. I stumbled upon these a couple of years ago when I was searching for something else. They are called Halloween lights. They will definitely be cheaper in the off season https://www.holidayleds.com/citrine-orange-strawberry-led-christmas-light-20607r-b.aspx

  14. Awesome tutorial Karen! I shared this one on our Pinterest board =)

    Cheers!

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