Night Sky

There are few things that spring to mind when you mention Harry Potter, one of them being the Floating Candles and the Enchanted Ceiling. Imagine sitting in the great hall and seeing the candles suspended in mid air with the night sky as a backdrop, really can it get any better for a Harry Potter fan.

This is one of the first things that I still remember after seeing the first movie over 11 years ago, thats how strong a image it was for me and needless to say for the other millions of Harry Potter fans.

So this is the same experience I want our guest to have and leave with.

So the question is.

How can you really have a Harry potter party and not have the floating candles and the night sky? I was fortunate enough to have a pergola with high ceiling, so this would be perfect for the night sky.

We took accurate measurements of the ceiling. My pergola is in a shape of a L so it measured 6mx 6m. We started looking around the op shops for queen size bed sheets that we could sew together and cut them to the right shape. Once we had collected enough sheets France’s sewed them to the right shape for each side of the pergola.

The next step was mine, I hung them up over a wire I had erected over two posts and gave them a few coats of flat black acrylic paint.

It was a lot easier to spray it than to try to brush it. A sheet is not like canvas and soaks up paint very quick this is why I sprayed it. When  both  sides were dried I took them and placed them in a L shape on my driveway as this is how they would be put up.

I went to our local Bunnings, a hardware store to get some sample paint pots for the clouds and stars, this is buy far the cheapest way to do this as you get a lot of paint, cheaply. My first attempt was to try and paint a nebular scene. I started with some white for a misty cloudy effect and added different colors to create some depth, with the stars I simply dipped my fingers in the paint and flicked them over the sheets.

The sky looked ok on the driveway with the light hitting it, but when we put it up and just had the normal house light on, it was not right and it definitely didn’t have the look I wanted.

I decided that I needed to paint it while it was fixed in place so we stretched the sheets in place and tied them off nice and tight under the pergola  then sprayed the whole sheets black again and started all over again, I decided to keep it simple and just add some clouds with the stars, this worked perfectly.

Electronic Candles and Bases

We managed to find cheap electronic candles that would flicker, these would be perfect to suspend under the night sky, the only problem was that they were stubby and short like a tea light.  I wanted them to be longer, so a empty toilet role holder fitted perfectly and was the right length.
I wanted the candles to look like they were dripping candle wax, so I took a small piece of foam and drew a shape of some dripping wax, I then cut them into thin pieces with my hot wire jigsaw.

When I had enough cut out for all the candles, I glued the cut foam to one end with spray adhesive and also cut some foam and plugged the bottoms, then it was just a matter of painting them. To get them to hang straight, we drilled a small hole in the top of the plastic flame and tied different lengths of fine fishing line.

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