How to make an Olympic-Style Torch

Originally posted on my Facebook page, I wanted to share my super-dooper  torch with you, so you can get in some practice before the relay starts! This is How to make an Olympic-Style Torch.


Did anyone else look at the London 2012 Olympic Torch and think that it looks like a giant cheese grater?

a cheese grater

Just me then!


My second thought- as it’s how my brain appears to work at the moment- was how-can-I-make-one?

how to make an Olympic Torch

Mere moments later I knew I would need to scour the shops for sequin mesh. A bi-product of sequin production, it is the perfect texture for making the cheese-grater element of the torch. And how thrilling to find that my local Rymans (disclaimer: I was not paid in any way for this post) stock it in their craft section. Hurrah for Theo Paphitis!!


Other things you need to make this masterpiece are:

  • Kitchen roll tube
  • Toilet roll tube
  •  Lots of tin foil
  • Yellow and orange paper or card
  • Glue and sellotape

The first thing you will need to do is turn your kitchen roll tube into a triangle by shaping it roughly in your hands and then permanently creasing the length of it by squeezing.

shape tube into triangle

Once you have done that, you need to scrunch the toilet roll into a smaller round, then wedge it into the longer triangular-shaped tube and fasten the two together with sellotape. (This is because the torch starts off round, I presume for holding comfort, then becomes triangular. Incidentally the triangle represents the three times that London has hosted the Games.)

Olympic Torch from loo roll

Once you are happy, cover the entire thing in foil, covering over the open round end completely. You may need to wrap several smaller layers across the join of the two tubes to get a smooth shape. Stick all ends down as foil tears easily.

cover in foil

Next is the messy bit: the sequin mesh requires a reasonable amount of glue, but because of the holes it will actually act like a cheese grater. I used a glue stick and ended up with glue all over my fingers. Anyway, wrap your pre-glued sequin mesh around your torch a couple of times. You can do this length or width-ways. My sequin mesh was shorter than the length of my torch, but I decided not to cover the whole torch in the stuff to make it easier to play with. (The torch is perforated it’s entire length with 8000 holes, representing the 8000 people who will bear the torch on the relay to the Official Stadium in Stratford.)

stick sequin mesh to your Olympic torch

Once you are done, leave it to dry. You need to cut out two rough flame shapes from the yellow and orange paper or card. These need to be no wider at the base than the inside of the top of your torch. Cut a slit in the middle of the base of one of your flame which goes almost half-way up the paper. Cut a slit in the other flame that starts at the tip and goes down the flame to the halfway point.

cut paper for your Olympic Flame

Slide the two flames together, slit-to-slit, and you should have a 3-D flame. Secure this inside the top of the torch with sticky tape. (Obviously the real torches have Propane-Butane Gas burners in- which wouldn’t work so well in my paper-masterpiece. This flame definitely won’t blow out though!)

easy home made Olympic Torch

Now the actual torch is golden, and made from two skins of punched aluminium alloy. My model is based on the aluminum element of the process, but you could make one with gold paper and sequin mesh.

Torch facts found here:

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