Adding a Primitive Fall Look to Boring Ol’ Candles

Sometimes things that I think are really cute, will sit in my booth for years, and won’t sell. For example, I bought some small candles years ago, that came in awesome faux white enamel tubs and had a real farmhouse look to them. Though they’re old, they still smell awesome and I am not giving up on them! I have since made them over a few times, and I am hoping my new Fall spin on them will help them move off the shelves. Here’s the new country look and the how-to! DSC_0028 Originally I tried to sell them as is, for like $3 a piece. Good deal, so I thought, but no one wanted them! :( Then as Christmas time came around, I packed them up in plastic bags, tied them with homespun, and added a cute rustic tag, for gift giving. I sold a few, but still have about 6 left. Here’s the “before.” DSC_0001 My first step in making them over was to “primify” them. I put the broiler on and CAREFULLY watched them for about 1 minute while the tops softened up and smoothed out. After years of sitting around, the wax gets little scratches and nicks, so this process makes them look brand new again. I then shook on some ground cinnamon and let them cool. It gives them a rustic, dusty look, and of course smells great too! Please don’t burn your house down doing this. Don’t leave them unattended and please, be careful people!!! DSC_0002 My first thought was to tie the burlap over the top and tie off with some twine. I guess I was envisioning more of a cheesecloth look, where you could see and smell the candle better. This just looked dumb. LOL. It also covered my cute, newly dusted candle tops that look so perfectly primitive!

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Take two. I used a plate as a guide to trace out circles of burlap that would fold up around the tubs, from the bottom.  This idea would look great on small jar candles (such as those in short, fat mason jars), so don’t worry if you love the look but can’t find these exact candles! Any jar candle would work!

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Put a ring of hot glue on the bottom of the jar candle and place on burlap. Then, using tiny dabs of hot glue, fold up the edges and create a taco-shell look. This will make it easier to tie on the twine.

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Tie it around once or twice and add more dabs of hot glue to hold up your burlap. I also trimmed and frayed the edges of my burlap during this part.

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For a little accent, I took a sprig of pip berries I had lying around and pulled off two sprigs for each candle.

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I curled up the ends of the sprigs by wrapping them around a little paint brush handle. Then I tied them on using the excess twine and finished it off with a little bow.

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I think I will throw in a free mason jar tag with each candle since they’d made nice Fall gifts. I got these mason jar tags at Target…8 for $1! I love them!

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They have a cool “scarecrow” feel with the frayed burlap. They’d be nice for any primitive home decor but will be especially nice for Fall time I think.

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My helper Fred takes a little snooze while I clean up. What a bum!

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Like I said, this look would be easy to create on regular jar candles as well. The cinnamon dusting is a super easy way to make something look “prim” too! What are your thoughts on the finished project? Anything you’d do differently? :)

Mason Jar Bird Feeder

If you’re anything like me, you have a Pinterest board full of craft projects that you want to try but never seem to get around to! One of them is this adorable mason jar bird feeder. Last weekend, I spotted this little metal chicken feeder base for only $4 at Tractor Supply. This is literally the easiest, quickest project ever. You need virtually no crafty skills to make this and it came out so cute! All you need is the chicken feeder (any country supply store) a mason jar (I had on hand) and some twine or wire to hang it up.

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The mason jar screws right into the feeder. I think any standard jar will fit. I happened to pick up these little galvanized metal stars at Target in the $1 bin recently, and they matched the feeder base perfectly. You could decorate it however you want ~ that is the beauty of simple projects like this.

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The only semi-challenge was devising a way to hang it up. I’m not about to start breaking out diamond drill bits and try to drill a hole in the glass. I have seen wire wrapped around the jar for hanging, which seems easy. I decided to use twine ($1 store or Walmart) to create the hanger.

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First, I braided 3 strands of twine to make it a little thicker and more durable. It’s hard to describe how I knotted it, so here’s a little graphic of how I created the twine hanger.

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I hung the little stars wind-chime style from the top of the hanger. I love that the metal stars match the metal feeder base.

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For a 5 minute, $5 project, I love it! What a great craft fair item to make a sell at Spring/Summer shows. You could jazz them all up and sell for at least $12-$15 each. I want to make some for my booth at The Carriage Place; I’ll let you know how they sell!

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Primitive Grubby Jar Candles

After seeing these types of “grubby” jar candles on Pinterest for many years, I finally got around to trying them myself. Though it was a very long process, they came out so cute and perfectly primitive! There are many tutorials out there on grubby jars, but they are all pretty much the same: coffee grounds and white glue. You can do mason jars or any type of jar candle…it’s the perfect accent for any country or rustic home.

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I started with this set of 12 small jar candles from Walmart. They cost around $6, so profitability on these should be pretty good.

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I made up a mixture of about 2/3 coffee grounds to 1/3 cinnamon. Both can be bought at the dollar store for this project. I used matte Mod Podge, but now that it’s all said and done, I would probably use regular white glue because it’s a lot cheaper. I ended up using almost this whole jar on 12 little candles.

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Paint on the glass jars with glue and roll in your coffee/cinnamon mixture.

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Set them aside to dry. It takes a good 24 hours for them to dry thoroughly.

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Once dry, gently tap them on the counter to get off any loose coffee/cinnamon grounds. Then apply another coat of glue to seal it. Be prepared…this part is messy! Don’t worry if more grounds come off because you can always do a second coat.

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Set aside to dry again. Another 24 hours. Ugh…I hate waiting!

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Here they are after they are dried. With just one coat, most of the surface was covered, but there were still a few spots where the glass showed through. I decided to do a second coating of the coffee/cinnamon. Looking back, I think I would just stick with one coat. They’re eventually going to be embellished with homespun fabric or burlap, which will cover up any thin areas. It’s up to you how many coats you do, based on the look you’re going for.

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Another little tip: before you start, put a small piece of paper towel over the wax of your candle. Through the process, the cinnamon and coffee grounds fell onto the wax, and it doesn’t come off easy. The paper towel will keep the wax clean. I am going to have to wipe them off which is going to be a pain in the butt…lesson learned.

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If you do decide to do a second coat, be prepared for even more of a mess. Repeat the process of painting them with glue, rolling in cinnamon, and finishing off with a finally coat of glue/Mod Podge to seal. Again, you have to wait 24 hours between each step. Don’t forget to touch up the top little rim of the jars.

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Here they are after two coats and some embellishing. I think they came out so cute. I am planning on pricing them at about $3.00 per candle at my co-op.

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Here are the some of the ways I decided to decorate them. A thin burlap strip topped with a vintage button:

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Thin pieces of twine with rusty stars and hearts:

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Plain ol’ twine and homespun fabric, wrapped around and knotted:

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And a thin twine bow:

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Have fun if you decide to give them a whirl. They are super easy, but be prepared for a long, messy process! I’d love to try this again with mason jars and maybe some larger jar candles. Have a great week and I hope be back soon! :D

Stamped Wood Magnets

My latest project turned out to be really easy and fun, and I can’t wait to make more! These stamped wood magnets were made entirely out of items I had on hand, but all of the supplies necessary can be picked up at any craft store.

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First I picked out a bunch of stamps, including my dollar store letter stamps (in container) that I planned on stamping out words such as “live, laugh, love” or “simplify.” Spoiler alert – the “word” magnets didn’t come out good. I couldn’t get the spacing right, so I gave up.

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You’ll need basic black ink pads, or whatever color you choose!

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You’ll also need magnets (Walmart), craft glue or E6000, and wooden discs (Michael’s). These are the same discs I like to use for snowman face magnets at Christmas time. These are also the perfect size to make pins, using metal pin backs that are usually found in the jewelry section of the craft store.

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I wanted to make the wood a little more old and worn, so I used a simple paint wash to darken them down a bit. I mixed a little bit of brown acrylic paint with water, so it was really thin.

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Paint the discs and blot off the excess with a paper towel. They only took about a half hour to dry. You can repeat this step a few times to get your desired result.

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The picture does not do them justice…they look darker in person! They could have gone even darker, but I was impatient and wanted to get stampin! hehe :)

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Some stamped designs look better than others. These are some of my favorites!

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Using your craft glue, apply the magnets. I find hot glue doesn’t work as good on these discs. I don’t want them falling apart, so that’s why I went with the regular craft glue. It takes a lot longer to dry, but it’s way stronger.

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And here they are. You could take this project in so many directions!

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I will be back soon; I have some “grubby” candles in the works. They are in the drying phase and I hope to do the next coat and finishing touches early this week! Woohoo! :D

Reclaimed Wood Signs

So after many months of cold miserable winter weather and NO motivation whatsoever, I finally got around to doing a little crafty project this weekend. When inspiration strikes, you gotta run with it! The inspiration came from this old, weathered piece of wood that I found in the woods while walking the dogs. It’s chippy blue paint screamed country/primitive signage, so I broke out the foam stamps and went at it!

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First I had Greg cut them into strips. We have a big saw in the basement, but you can easily pick up a little electric hand saw from Lowes or Home Depot for $30 or so, and have it on hand for projects like this.

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I did a couple posts on foam stamps many moons ago, so here’s a little refresher. First, I laid out the letters of the word I wanted to stamp (the word is actually faced down; these stamps have letters on both sides) to get an idea of the spacing. I wanted to make sure the word would fit before I started.

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The most important thing I have learned when using foam stamps is do not ever dip the stamps directly into the paint. If you do, you’ll have way too much paint on the surface of the stamp. The minute you press down, it will overflow out the sides of the stamp and make uneven, messy letters. The best method I have found is to use a small piece of sponge and just dab on the paint onto the surface of the letter. Give it a couple of practice runs if need be. For this project, I used white acrylic paint.

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Go ahead and stamp out your word. Then, once dry, I applied some saw-tooth hangers on the back of each sign. These types of hangers are easy to use because you simply press them into the wood, but I hammered them down in for good measure.

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My last step was to spray them with a clear acrylic coat so the paint would not continue to chip off. The wood was really old and brittle and the paint was a bit loose, so I wanted to seal it in place.

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Here are the finished products, but I need your opinion. Should I add a coat of antiquing gel to tone down those bright white letters down a bit? I wasn’t sure if I should or not. They have kind of a “beachy” feel.

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I added a little star fish because I felt like it went with the cottage theme and filled up the space on the right that was a bit uneven from the space on the left. FYI those star fish are only $1 at AC Moore’s.

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So here they are. They are going over to my booth at the Carriage Place this week. I’ll probably price them around $7-$8 each. With “found” wood, it’s 99% profit, so no need to mark them up with a high price and let them sit in my booth for months!

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Part of my motivation also stemmed from an awesome estate sale that I went to on Saturday. I got tons and tons of great country/primitive themed items, including some nice antiques. This picture only shows a fraction of what I picked up there. It was half off everything so I literally loaded my car! It’s the first really great sale I’ve been to in a while, so this really got me excited! I love “pickin” season!!!

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Earlier in the week, I also got really lucky and picked up this old wooden butter churn……wait for it……off the side of the road!!! It’s amazing what some people throw away. I cleaned it up and now this cool piece will go to the co-op this week with the rest of the stuff from the sale.

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Well, let me know your thoughts on the signs. They are already really “distressed” looking, which is why I’m not sure on adding the antiquing gel. Have a great week and happy crafting!

Simple Winter Snowman Signs

Here are some very simple winter signs that I made using some wood plaques I picked up at the thrift store a while back. They were half off, making them a dollar each! Even if you’re not great at painting free-hand, these snowmen are really easy!

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First I painted the plaques black using a basic craft acrylic paint. They weren’t covered completely with one coat, but that’s okay because the next step is to distress them with sandpaper.

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Just take a small piece of sandpaper and give them a good once-over.

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I speckled some white paint to make the “snow” effect, using some slightly watered-down white paint and a firm paint brush. I just pulled the bristles back and flicked it over top of the plaques. I then free-handed the words and painted big white circles for the snowman heads. You could also use foam stamps or stencils for the words.

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Next, paint big orange noses, little pink circles for the cheeks, and black dots for the eyes and mouths.

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Once dry, I did one coat of sparkle mod podge. It acts as a sealer but also give them a little sparkle. This step is not necessary though if you’re going to be keeping them inside.

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For hanging, I simply used two small nails to tack down a strip of torn homespun.

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Here they are, all finished. You can’t really appreciate the sparkle in this pic, but they look quite festive in person.

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And here’s a pic of them hanging up in my booth along with some of the Christmas crafts I made in the last few posts!

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Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Winter Jar Scenes

The holiday craft bug has bit me and I just finished up another project; a big batch of winter jar scenes using mason jars and bottle brush trees. I have seen them on Pinterest, so here is my version. :)

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I started by gathering some jars. I used some mason jars I had on hand, and found these ones at Target. I also got a few jars of different shapes, at the Goodwill for super cheap.

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The two small jars on the right are salt & pepper shakers I got from Walmart. I love these cause they are like mini snow globes!

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I used various bottle brush trees; all of which I found at A.C. Moore in either the doll house/miniature section, or the seasonal Christmas section. I also found some cute mini gold reindeer, perfect for this project.

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The ones with the wooden bases were easy to glue in place. I used hot glue and they seem to be holding pretty firm on the glass. Some people who do this project don’t even glue them down. They will simply add their “snow” and then stick the trees down in. I like them glued in place so they don’t keep falling over.

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The ones without wooden bases posed a bit of a challenge. I created a ball of hot glue on the ends to use as a base. Looking back it would have been easier to use some clay or floral foam, but too late now!

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I then added the “snow.” I started out using coarse sea salt and when I ran out, I got Epsom salt. They both work great as snow. The Epsom salt had a peppermint smell too, which is perfect for Christmas crafts! :)

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I used tweezers to place the small deer in the snow and big tongs for the deeper jars. I must say this part was a challenge. I did not glue the deer in place because they’d be almost completely covered with the snow. I did push them down in pretty good, and because they are light weight, I am hoping they won’t move around too much.

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I picked up this wad of tin garland at the thrift store last year and stashed it away because I knew I could cut them apart and use them to accent winter crafts. I used the snowflakes to tie around the tops of the jars to give them a little extra country Christmas look!

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Here is one of the completed jars with the snowflake tied around the neck of the jar. I love how they came out!

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For the smaller jars, I left out the deer and just did a little tree scene, and accented it with a raffia bow.

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Here are a few more!

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For these larger jars, I thought I’d make them into candle holders. I put a small glass tea light holder right into the mouth of the jar. You can get these small glass tea light holders at the Dollar Tree.

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And remember these from last year?? I had some smaller trees left over and decided to use them up on these cute car ornaments! I got the cars last year after Christmas at Walmart. I am selling them for about $5.50-$6 each. Honestly, I will probably break even on the car ornaments, but I don’t care because they were really fun to make and a fun item to sell around the holidays!

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I’m selling the winter jar scenes are ranging from $4-$8 at my co-op, so we’ll see how they go. Hope everyone has a Happy Turkey Day! :)

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