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Posts Tagged ‘candles’

DIY jar and jute candleholders

Get out those skeins of macrame cord you’ve been saving since the 1970s and pull out those empty glass jars from underneath your kitchen sink. It’s time to upcycle them into retro-chic candle holders! I made these candle holders in just one morning. Their relaxed vibe makes for great centerpieces (outdoor or indoor) or thoughtful gifts. For a morning coffee gathering or a brunch, put a base layer of coffee beans in the jars and let the candles help release the aroma of freshly-roasted coffee!

Materials:
Glass jars (for a more interesting arrangement, choose jars of different heights)
Jute, twine, or macrame cord
Hot glue gun
Assorted lace trim
Bamboo skewers
Tealights
Nonflammable base material such as rice, beans, coffee beans, sand, etc.
Scissors

General Directions:
1. Remove labels from jars. If some adhesive remains, use a solvent such as Goo Gone to remove it.
2. Wash and try jars thoroughly.
3. Heat up your glue gun.
4. Place a little bit of glue on the twine and press it down on the glass jar using a bamboo skewer or your fingers. Using a bamboo skewer prevents burning your fingers on the hot glue. Putting the glue on the twine versus directly on the glass prevents globs of glue from showing up on the glass or getting all over the glass.
5. Because you’re not using a lot of glue, it will set quickly, so work fast. It helps to have a design in mind before you start.
6. Rub off stray glue “threads,” fill jars with base material, and insert tealights.
7. Tie a bow or wrap twine several times around the top of the jar for a more finished look.

Heart Jar:
Laying down a little glue at a time, create a heart-shape perimeter with the twine. Gradually, coil the twine around and around inside the heart-shape, putting down small spots of glue on the back side of the twine as you go. I coiled small circles in between the hearts to balance the design.

Lace Jar:
Starting at the “back” of the jar, I tacked one end of lace to the jar, wrapped it around the jar cutting off the right length, and glued it down on top of where I started. Twine was then centered on the ribbon in between the lace and glued down on the back of the jar. Lace jars in of themselves are pretty, but I felt twine had to be incorporated into the lace design to create a cohesive design grouping.

Loopy Jar:
I started at the bottom of the jar and just looped the jute in a free-form pattern around the jar. When making the loops, it is easier to glue the contact points of a loop before tacking it to the jar.

Love Jar:
This was created in a similar fashion as the loopy jar, except I spelled out the word “love” on the front and back of the jar.

candle holders made from glass jars and jute

Enjoy your candle holders!

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Some things are too pretty to throw out. Cracked or chipped teacups fall into that category for me. Recycling or reusing them in different ways seems to be the best compromise and for years I have looked for ways to do this. After much thought and research, I have compiled this list of ways to reuse mismatched cups and slightly damaged teacups:

1. Teacups as Planters
Pack crocus corms tightly with point side up in water over a bed of tiny pebbles. Or drill a drainage hole into the bottom of a teacup and pop in an herb plant. Plant three or more of these and line them up along your sunny kitchen window.

2. Teacups as Storage Caddies
A teacup set in your guest bathroom makes a cute container for small guest soaps.

Teacups can also be used in a bathroom to store small items such as nail clippers and hairpins or used in your bedroom as jewelry sorters for earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

What about using an old tea cup at your desk for storing paper clips, rubber bands, stamps, etc.?

3. Teacups as Pincushions
I’ve seen old teacups converted into pincushions with attached saucers used for holding buttons, bobbins, etc. Just make a compact ball of stuffing, cover it with fabric and hot glue it to the inside of the tea cup.

4. Teacups as Candy Dishes
Collect and group an assortment of teacups. Place different colored candy in each cup. This would be especially sweet for a springtime luncheon.

4. Teacups as Candle Holders
Put votive candles into an array of teacups for an instant candle-scape indoors or out. Varying the heights of each teacup and saucer set would add visual interest.

5. Teacups as Candles

I haven’t made these myself yet, but I plan to. Basically, a wick is attached to the bottom of the cup, wax is melted in the microwave and then poured into a tea cup. Complete instructions for this project can be found here: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2008/11/diy-project-kates-teacup-candles.html

6. Teacups as Bird Feeders

Check out this website for ways to convert teacups into bird feeders for your garden.

7. Teacups as Decorative Items

Broken pits of teacups can be used in mosaics and in jewelry designs.
Teacups have been converted into bangles, wind chimes, and chandeliers. Look at these clever ideas.

Now that you know what to do with those misfit teacups, don’t forget that tea leaves can be recycled, too. Throw loose tea leaves into your compost pile. Composting tea bags is a little trickier, depending on the type of tea bag fabric used. Used tea bags can also be placed in the bottom of plant containers, especially in hanging plants, to help retain moisture. And remember the old beauty tip of using them as eye compresses. Warm or cold, teabags can help to relax tired eyes. Lastly, donate dried, empty teabags to native artists who use them to create original artwork that they sell to raise money for themselves and their communities. Check out this company in Africa that makes art and useful items out of tea bags. Good for our planet and good for our souls.

Note: I created the photo mosaic teacup card at the top of this post for my Auntie Ella who is a lover of hearts and of tea, but more importantly, is a very special person to me.

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