DIY Thread LED Tealight Cover

I was messing around with different materials trying to dress up a little LED tealight, and this is one of the versions I ended up liking (plus it's dirt cheap since it's just thread!). I love me some textures. This maybe useful for those with wedding venues that don't allow real flames.

Finding these* at the dollar store is what started this mess...

1) Get your hands on some thin cardboard that you'll be recycling anyway, I used the back of a pasta box.
2) Find some wrapping plastic (try to use something you'll toss anyway!)
3. Cut cardboard to desired height, the width should be AT LEAST a little more than the circumference of the tealight (it can be bigger if you want).

4. Roll the cardboard and tape the edge.
5. Make sure your cardboard roll can at least fit the tealight inside.
6. Cut and wrap the plastic over the cardboard roll, then tape it down.

7. Wrap thread (thicker thread recommended) around the roll loosely, it should be tight enough to stay in place but loose enough to slide off with a little help. Make sure the edges are relatively close to perpendicular to your roll (otherwise it'll be tilted). You can use more thread for a thicker cover or to make it taller if you'd like. I did here what I think is close to the minimum to let the most light shine through.

8. Saturate with a fabric stiffener (available at craft stores or fabric stores) and follow instructions on the bottle for drying.
9. Mine said I could microwave it for super speed drying, so I did for 30 seconds. Freaked me out a little to see the liquid bubbling on the thread, but it turned out fine.
10. Check and make sure it's close to dry.
11. Carefully crumble and pull out the cardboard without damaging the shape of the thread.
12. Carefully remove the plastic without damaging the shape of the thread.
13. Now stick the LED tealight in it and there ya go!

You can make different size and shapes. It probably works with yarn and ribbons just as well. And of course you can use whatever color thread...
... and configure it however you want!

* Batteries were included, and they last for many hours. It even flickers to imitate a real flame. Can't beat that for fiddy-cent a pop. Though I gotta say that they're a tad dim. If you want to do a bunch of these, you should buy one and make sure it's bright enough for you first.

Happy Crafting!


  1. This is WAY cool! I think you've just inspired me to do a special roundup of fun Earth Hour activities. These would be so much fun to make fr that event! Thanks so much for the great idea, I'll be linking.

  2. Those are beautiful! Thanks for sharing sucha terrific idea.

  3. Fantastic idea. I live in India, and there's a wedding in the family coming up. I'm thinking of this idea for centre pieces :) Thanks so much!


  4. do you think this would work with real tea lights?

  5. @ simply_hibiscus: i wouldn't recommend putting this near a real flame. i haven't tested but i doubt the stiffener is any kind of flame retardant even though it didn't say 'flammable' on the label. you could cover a glass container with thread to get a similar effect, though you should make sure the thread doesn't reach above the container where the flame may still reach.

  6. SO CREATIVE! I love them! ~Morgan

  7. Wow! you are so creative. I really like the tea light cover. I will sure try it, thanks for sharing it :)

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