Battery-Operated Tea Light Ghouls Tutorial

By Jonathan Fong ; Updated August 23, 2018

Beware of the sinister light that comes from these creatures of darkness. Made with battery-operated tea lights that are painted and decorated, the artificial flames become the ghouls' noses, glowing and flickering in the night — the better to haunt you with, my dears.

Painting the Tea Lights

Fold a small piece of duct tape with the adhesive side facing out, and adhere it to the bottom of a battery-operated tea light. This duct tape serves as a plinth to raise the tea light, making it easier to spray paint. The sticky tape also keeps the tea light from moving around as the spray paint is applied.

Place the tea light on some newspapers. Apply one or two coats of spray paint all around the tea light, including the artificial flame section, and allow the paint to dry. Red, orange and green are good colors for ghouls, but you can use your imagination. If you want some creatures to have white faces, then you can leave the tea lights unpainted.

Making a Horned Devil

With a tea light spray painted red, paint eyes and a mouth using oil-based markers. Orient the tea light so the curved flame is pointing down; this way the ghoul will have a hook nose. Oil-based markers are ideal for drawing on the tea light because the colors — even white — are opaque and permanent. When drawing the face, keep in mind that what makes the ghoul especially scary is evil, upturned eyebrows.

Cut two horns out of black construction paper with scissors. Make the horns big for maximum ghoulishness.

Glue the horns to the back of the tea light with a hot glue gun. Be sure not to cover the on/off switch.

Making a Witch

A green face makes a particularly wicked witch. After spray painting a tea light green, draw the eyes and mouth with oil-based markers. Remember to have the tip of the nose pointing downward. For the witch face, make the eyes big and bulging with red eyeballs, and place a black mole on the nose.

Out of black construction paper, cut a three-inch tall triangle and a rectangle that is about 3/4 inches by four inches. These pieces will make up the hat. For the witch's hair, cut two trapezoids out of red construction paper that are about one inch by three inches, and cut two-inch slits lengthwise up the trapezoids.

Using a hot glue gun, attach the two pieces of red hair to the top of the head. Scrunch up the slits a little bit to make the hair messy.

Hot glue the black strip of paper onto the top of the head, making creases about an inch from either side to form the brim of the hat.

Hot glue the triangle to the back of the head. Crease the triangle an inch from the top to give the hat some dimension.

Making the Pumpkin Head

Of course, orange is the perfect color to spray paint the pumpkin head. Paint jack-o-lantern features on the orange tea light with a black oil-based marker, and don't forget the angry eyebrows.

Tear thin four-inch strips of brown construction paper by hand, and cut a 1/4 inch by two inch rectangle out of green construction paper. These will be for the pumpkin's straw-like hair and stem.

Fold the brown strips in half at an angle so they look like upside down "v" shapes. Fold the green strip of construction paper into a triangle with a half-inch base, hot gluing the two pieces at the tip together.

Hot glue the hair pieces to the top of the pumpkin head, splaying out the strips so that the hair looks disheveled. Then attach the green stem to the top of the head with hot glue.

Making the Vampire

Because vampires have such pale skin from never seeing the light of day, we'll use a white, unpainted tea light for our blood sucker. With oil-based markers, draw the vampire's face. The most distinguishing features to include are the widow's peak and the fangs with red blood dripping from them.

For the vampire's formal attire, cut a black trapezoid that is shoulder width in comparison to the size of his face. This will be the tuxedo jacket. Also, cut a white triangle for his shirt that is smaller than the trapezoid, and a black bow tie.

Hot glue the bow tie, white shirt and black jacket pieces together. Then hot glue the tea light to the top of the tuxedo so the head just touches the white shirt and bow tie.

Displaying the Tea Lights

If you want to display the tea light ghouls by hanging them, hot glue some string to the back, making a hanging loop.

The tea light ghouls can also sit on a table as a fun tableau.

And when they light up, that's when the Halloween (fun) fright fest begins.

About the Author

Jonathan Fong is the author of three books: "Walls that Wow," "Flowers that Wow," and "Parties that Wow." He currently hosts the web series "Style With A Smile."