This week my children will all be seeing their various teachers – dance, piano, Religious Education – for the last time before Christmas. We still have time to make some quick and easy gifts for them. What we have planned are candles in recycled glass jars.
You will need an 8 ounce glass jar with lid, tissue paper squares, Modge Podge or white glue, a sponge brush, candle beads and a wick with a little metal disk at the end. All of these items, except the jars, can be found at any craft store. I could no longer find the candle beads at my local Michaels and if you can’t either, then you can find them online. If you’re pressed for time, you can make one of the variations I’ll mention at the end.
First, protect your work surface! I bought cheap plastic place mats a long time ago and they work rather well for crafting. If you’re fast enough, you can even wipe acrylic paint off of them, but I don’t worry about it.
Pour a little Modge Podge onto a paper plate. You can use regular white glue, too, but water it down a little bit.
With the sponge brush, paint a vertical band onto your glass jar.
Continue to paint a band of glue, then cover it with tissue paper. Avoid covering the threads of the jar where the lid twists on. When the whole jar is covered, carefully paint the entire outside with more glue. Cover any holes with more tissue. Make sure all the tissue papers are stuck down to the glass and each tissue is covered with glue. Allow to dry.
Using a piece of paper as a funnel, fill the jar with wax beads, keeping the wick straight and in the center. Stop filling the jar when the beads reach the threads of the mouth. Trim the wick to about 1/2 inch above the wax beads. Replace the lid on the jar.
When the candle is lit, the wax beads will slowly melt, forming a solid candle when it cools. When the candle has been completely used up, the recipient can put a votive candle into the jar and continue to enjoy the gift! In fact, if you cannot find wax beads, you can put a small candle into the jar instead. Just be sure that the candle is shorter than the jar.
Instead of using recycled jars and making candles, you can also buy an inexpensive glass vase and cover it with tissue paper instead. Here is the vase my children made for me last Mother’s Day.
So there you have it, easy, quick and inexpensive but with great results!