Halloween How-To: Smoking Cauldron Chandelier with Dry Ice

Learn how to create a smoking cauldron chandelier for the perfect Halloween party decor.

This post was written by Miranda Enzor, one of three Judges for the Penguin Brand Dry Ice® 2018 Frightfully Cool Dry Ice Halloween Contest. She is also the writer, blogger and Halloween lover behind Spooky Little Halloween. This DIY originally appeared on her blog here.

This week kicks off my favorite part of October: Halloween party season!

Sure, some of you go-getters may have already hosted your parties. Others are like me and wait until the final two weekends of October to host your parties.

And if you fall into the latter group, right about now you might be panicking about your party decor. How am I going to decorate? What’s the best way to wow my guests? How can I get it all done?

You’re in luck because today I have a quick and easy Halloween DIY for you: a smoking cauldron chandelier!

So much fun, right? The best part is this idea came together in less than 30 minutes and only requires four items.



As always, we start with gathering our supplies. I had two of these cauldrons already and purchased a third, but if you want to make it easy on yourself you can also buy them in sets. You can also find twine online or at a local store if you don’t have any.

Two of my cauldrons had handles on them, which I popped off so I could use the holes to thread my twine through. The third one didn’t, so I used a hammer and nail to make a hole. You could also use a drill if you run into the same issue.

Starting with the largest cauldron, I threaded the twine through one of the holes and tied 2-3 knots. I didn’t cut a piece of twine to start until I figured out how tall I wanted to make my chandelier.

Then I measured 6-8 inches up to the middle-sized cauldron and tied 2-3 knots to secure it. I repeated this on the small cauldron. You can see above how I tied together the first side.

Once I knew how much twine I needed for side number one, I measured for side number two and cut the twine from the ball. Then, I repeated the same process back down the other side until all three cauldrons were tied together.

When I was done, it looked something like this:

My cauldrons are ready for a little smoke!

But for that, we need a little dry ice…

Dry Ice

Penguin Dry Ice is the brand I buy any time I need dry ice. You can use their store locator at dryiceideas.com to find out where it’s carried near you. When you arrive at the store, look for a cooler like the one on the left. It’s usually located at the front of my grocery stores near the regular ice cooler. Can’t find it? Just ask!

Usually you’ll find a large glove inside the cooler you can use to pull out your dry ice. It comes in 10-pound squares, but often you’ll find smaller pieces in other bags. Stores price it by the pound so you only need to buy what you need.

Safety Tips

And, of course, you’ll want to make sure you follow these safety tips when using dry ice:

  • Never touch it with bare hands. You should always use gloves, tongs or a towel when handling dry ice.
  • Do not swallow or eat dry ice – while not toxic, it is harmful when ingested due to its extreme temperature (-109 degrees).
  • Buy dry ice within a few hours of when you plan to use it. Dry ice sublimates (turns from solid to gas with no liquid stage) and cannot be stored long-term.
  • Do not store your dry ice in the fridge or freezer, as this can accelerate sublimation. Use a Styrofoam cooler or an insulated cooler with the lid cracked.
  • Never store dry ice in an airtight container. When it sublimates, dry ice turns to carbon dioxide and you could risk an airtight container exploding.
  • Use a hammer to break dry ice into smaller pieces, if needed.
  • Dispose of any extra dry ice by placing it outdoors (i.e. a well-ventilated area) away from children or pets. It will disappear in a short amount of time.

Learn more in this guide.

Okay, now that we know all the safety stuff…we can finish our DIY.


We filled each cauldron with a bit of water. Hot water will get you the best smoking effects, and it is recommended you use 5-10 pounds of dry ice with 4-8 gallons of water for every 15 minutes you intend to use this effect.

Then we opened up the Styrofoam cooler I stored mine in after purchasing it and used a hammer to break it down.

Finally, we added dry ice directly to the cauldrons and let the smoking effect begin!

Easy and fun, right? I hung my chandelier outside on a hook used for a bird feeder during the summer, but you could also use a shepherd’s hook or even hang it from a sturdy tree branch.

More Dry Ice Ideas

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