Friday, November 6, 2015

Hogwarts in my house, floating candles and house colours

Halloween has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the Hogwarts fun has to as well. Along with the previous “How to” blogs, where I showed you how I made home-made quills and floating pumpkins… see here and here I’ll be focusing on floating candles and house colours. 

As we all know, and by we I’m assuming you’re at least one tenth of a Harry Potter nut as I am, floating candles are not exclusive to the Harry Potter franchise, but they are integral when recreating Hogwarts castle. They're a real mood-setter, and anyone who has a faintest fandom running through their blood will immediately think of the enchanted ceiling of Hogwarts Great Hall when they see them.
Floating candles, like the floating pumpkins I made earlier, are easy to make and relatively inexpensive. Electronic candles, although they may not be real, have come so far that the flickering yellow hue of one is as close as we can get to a lit candle. I would advise against using real candles as the heat form the flame may melt the fishing wire, even if the candle is inside a small glass jar. 

Items needed are as follows;
As many electronic candles that your budget allows,
Clear tacks
Thin fishing wire

Using a surgical knot, demonstrated here's_knot, tie two lengths of fishing wire under the blub. It’s important not to tie it around the stick of the candle because it will eventually slip or the fishing lines will slide away from each other and your candle will end up sideways. We use two lengths of fishing wire to make sure the candle doesn’t tilt to one side too. After this, use the same Surgeon’s knot to tie the fishing line around the pin of the tack at different lengths, and voilĂ . The last part is easy, pick a spot and stick the tack into the ceiling of the room. The tack will hold the candle as it is light enough. Mine have been hanging in my dining room for over a month and none have come crashing to the floor. 

House colours.

As we know, there are four house colours in Hogwarts: Scarlet and Gold for Gryffindor, Yellow and black for Hufflepuff, Silver and Green for Slytherin, and Blue and Bronze for Ravenclaw. Admittedly, bronze fabric was difficult to find, so I used orange instead. I used a satin type material I found in my local Walmart. A yard of each cost only .99c and the colours were almost spot on. From my craft store, Michaels, I found four thin sticks… I think they’re used for making dollhouse furniture. Each one cost just over a dollar. 

When constructing the house colours, you have two different options. The flags can either be rectangular in shape or triangular. In saying that, they really can be whatever shape your imagination and skill can dream up of… I went with triangular. 

Sewing has never been my strong suit, and others will say that I didn’t hem the edges or neaten my lines. To them I say… yes, you’re right, I didn’t. I simply took my two colours, lay them over one another and did a simple tack stitch from one corner to the opposite corner in a diagonal line. Cutting the excess off left it kite shaped. Using the stick I had bought, I hot-glued my fabric to it and, Bob’s your uncle, one flag with the house colours. 

I’m sure there are those fantastically talented people who would have done a better job adding tassels or embroidered initials into the flags, and I envy those people. But clearly I’m an advocate of the simple and easy. Also you will note in the photo below that the lady cutting the fabric made a boo-boo and one flag is shorter than the other. Don't get too bogged down on details, just roll with it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and will try creating your own Hogwarts too. My next blog will be how to construct the owls, a long and difficult process made all the more simple with my instructions. Stay tuned.  

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