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Harry Potter Inspired Halloween Floating Candles DIY

Writing about spooky szn this year feels a little strange because, well, all of 2020 has topped spooky szn ten times over. Halloween isn’t even really Halloween this year, so decorating for it also felt off. In fact, as I write this, my neighbors are putting up their Christmas decorations and I can’t lie – I’m starting mine tomorrow. 

That said, I’m not one to shy away from a little festive decoration, no matter how small. I decked out my bar cart in all its spooky splendor (see my post about it HERE) and I’ve moved my lifesize posable skeletons into various positions around the house all month long, much to the dismay of my dogs who keep mistaking them for intruders. 

I didn’t invest in any major new décor items this year, to be honest I felt like even retailers just weren’t that into the holiday. However, I did have a major stroke of brilliance while perusing Pottery Barn’s Halloween section. I stumbled upon THIS candle display, and I thought to myself, “I can totally DIY that and it will be 10x better”.

Turns out, I was right! This Harry Potter-inspired floating candle display turned out so much better than PB’s version, and for a fraction of the price (aka the best kind of DIY). If I do say so myself, it turned out pretty magical! It was so low-lift and easy, I’m actually surprised at how much I like it. Now I wish I’d gone all out and decked my entire patio in haunted décor!

Keep scrolling for step-by-step DIY and links!

Harry Potter Halloween Decorations

You will need:

4 Ceiling hooks – THESE hooks come in a pack of 4 for $1 at Home Depot. They also come in other sizes in case you want to use larger dowel rods than I did.

2 Dowel rods – I used THESE 98 cent ones from Home Depot. The 3/8in x 3/8in x 48in fit perfectly into the ceiling hooks.

10 remote control candles – I ordered THESE candles from Amazon. They come in a pack of 5 and I ordered two, you can use as many as you like.

fishing line


Step 1

Start by screwing the hooks into your desired location on your ceiling. You will likely need to drill a tiny pilot hole first, then hand-twist the hooks in the rest of the way for a tight fit. 

The point of these hooks is to hang the dowel rods to which you will tie the candles. Since the candles are supposed to look random, I was not particularly exact with where I placed the hooks. My dowel rods were 48”, and I needed to be able to slide each end through a hook, so I spaced two hooks about 45” apart and roughly centered them with my table below.

I even surprised myself at how little thought I put into the hook placement, but again this was supposed to be a quick and easy project and the final product is intended to be imperfect looking. So, on we go. 

Step 2

Suspend the dowel rod between the two hooks. I actually used two dowel rods and 4 hooks parallel to each other so that I could hang the candles at two different depths and they wouldn’t all be in a straight line. 

I initially planned to tie the candles to the dowel rods and then hang them on the hooks, but I quickly learned it was easier to tie the candles after they were hung. 

Step 3

Cut 10 lengths of fishing line at varying lengths. You can cut them all at once or one at a time so you can adjust the length of the next ones as you go. 

Tie one end of the line to the dowel rod, then tie the other end to a candle. Initially, I planned to tie it to the “flame” part, but in the candles I purchased the flame actually comes out of the base and houses the batteries. I had to improvise and tie the line around the candle stick itself (I tied it as close to the top as I could), which caused the candles to lean a bit and not hang straight. I actually love how it turned out because I think it added to the whole floating bewitched candle vibe. 

Repeat this step until all your candles are placed randomly on your dowel rods. I made lots of spacing and length adjustments throughout so don’t be afraid to move things around as you go. 

Step 4

Set your timer and enjoy!

*Optional – before step 1, spray paint your dowel rods and hooks white so they blend better with your ceiling! 

Harry Potter Halloween Floating Candles

I love how this turned out! Since I put the display on our patio, which is the only place we’re entertaining these days, we actually got to enjoy it and dazzle a few of our friends and family. It’s one of those projects that looks way cooler and harder than it is, so it’s an awesome crowd pleaser and I know kids would love it as well!

I know I’ll repeat (and expand upon) this idea next year – I already have a spooky skeletal tablescape idea to go beneath it! Be sure to pin and save this for next year’s inspo!

Happy Halloween! As always, thank you for reading and sharing! XOXO

By Paces West

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