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!

DSC_0007

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!

DSC_0010 DSC_0011

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.

DSC_0016 DSC_0017

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.

DSC_0018

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

DSC_0008

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.

DSC_0022

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!

DSC_0024

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.

DSC_0026

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

DSC_0027

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? 🙂

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.

DSC_0534 2

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

DSC_0534

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.

DSC_0536 2

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

DSC_0538

DSC_0539

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

DSC_0541 2

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.

DSC_0530

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

DSC_0533

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.

DSC_0535

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.

DSC_0537

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.

DSC_0541

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.

DSC_0540

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

DSC_0531

Thin pieces of twine with rusty stars and hearts:

DSC_0532

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

DSC_0534

And a thin twine bow:

DSC_0536

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! 😀

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. 🙂

DSC_0074

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.

DSC_0028

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!

DSC_0050

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.

DSC_0030

DSC_0034

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.

DSC_0035

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!

DSC_0038

DSC_0040

DSC_0051

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! 🙂

DSC_0056

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.

DSC_0045

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!

DSC_0054

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

DSC_0060

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

DSC_0057

Here are a few more!

DSC_0062

DSC_0064

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.

DSC_0065

DSC_0066

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!

DSC_0071

DSC_0072

DSC_0073

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! 🙂

Mini Jar Candle Wedding Favors

After a loooong miserable winter, I think it’s safe to say that Spring has finally sprung! Just as I knew it would, the nicer weather has motivated me to get back into the crafting groove and also do some “pickin” at the local thrift stores. Lately, my big project has been mass producing these country jar candles as wedding favors ~ 120 to be exact! You may remember them from one of my very first posts, and they are still just as fun, easy, and inexpensive to make. They are somewhat time-consuming (when doing a large quantity like this) but each jar only costs $1 at Wally World, making for a very economical set of favors!

DSC_0420

I like to use these particular jar candles because they come with an “Easy Peel” label, which allows you to very easily take off the label for crafting. They also smell really great and come in a variety of colors.

DSC_0421

For mass production, I found its easiest to tear all your homespun strips ahead of time. Mine were about 1″ wide and I just tore them, to get that raggedy primitive look. For those who don’t have fabric on hand, I usually get mine by the yard at Joann Fabrics.

DSC_0423

I then use a glue gun to apply the homespun strips. Just a little dab will do ya!

DSC_0425

DSC_0427

I don’t worry about having perfectly clean seams where the fabric comes together, because I plan on wrapping them with twine which camouflages the spots that were glued.

DSC_0428

I then pre-cut a bunch of pieces of twine and wrapped them around the candles a few times and tied them in little knots on the back. I glued on rusty stars and hearts on the front of each candle using E6000 glue. I do not like to use hot glue for the rusty pieces because I find they very easily pop off – hot glue doesn’t stick well to the rusty tin. It also melts as the candle heats up!

icm_fullxfull.35522141_10nwbx0dglo0owk4ssgg

This person also wanted the candles wrapped and tagged for her special day. I laid out the text in Microsoft Word, and used my regular ink jet printer to print them out on sheets of brown kraft paper (from A.C.Moore’s). I used a tag shaped punch, but you could also just cut them out into squares or tags and hole punch them!

icm_fullxfull.35514438_efrj8swlg80k4kc4g0ko

Here is the finished product! The baggies are actually candy/baking treat bags.  They are a perfect thin cellophane. I these favors will be just perfect with her country themed wedding!

icm_fullxfull.35514436_5deuiu2v0qgwkc4s88co

I have to share my latest thrift store score because I got some AWESOME items! It just goes to show you that you have to stay persistent and keep going back, even if you seem to have no luck.  After many trips finding nothing at all, I got all these great items that, after a little cleaning up, are some real treasures! Some repro enamelware, tea pots, a crock, and a very cool, vintage looking “Bird Watcher” sign! All will go to my booth at the Carriage Place!

DSC_0001

I got this other amazing group of antique medical items off of Craigslist. I can’t even tell you the incredible freakin low price I paid for this lot because you will literally die!!! I plan on keeping some items for my “oddities” collection, and selling the rest via Etsy and my co-op. They are all from a pharmacy in northern NY. All of the funnels, beakers and bottles are glass, and the mortars & pestles are cast iron and brass. Simply amazing.

DSC_0002

Have a GREAT Easter and happy pickin’ & craftin’!

2012 Craft Show Photos

Well, another show has come and gone. The show was a huge success and a lot of projects I’ve shared here sold out, including the melted snowmen ornaments, both the big and little homespun candy canes, the large spray painted jingle bells, the pins, and the night lights with silicone bulbs! It was a ton of fun and I thought I’d share some pics! 🙂

I also wanted to stop say thank you to all of my new followers who have commented and “pinned” some of my ideas here. It’s such an honor to have so many people who enjoy reading my posts. It all started as a little crafty area to document my projects, but it has blossomed into something bigger than I could have imagined. Thank you!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Have and awesome weekend and Happy Crafting!

Dollar Store Candles Turned Cute Country Decor

On to the latest project – jazzing up some dollar store candles. I ordered this burlap jute webbing with many projects in mind, and I did put some of it up for sale in my Etsy store. I simply cut it to size and hot glued it in place. It is very thick, yet cuts easily. I experimented with candles and plain glass votive holders. I’m loving the tall candles – which can be found at any Dollar Tree.

Using a little bit of twine, I tied on some vintage-looking keys.

I kinda like the look of the burlap covering the entire glass holder. These would be cute for votives or even a small vase / plant / herb holder. I currently am using this one as my tooth-brush holder. Hehe.

Another variation on this project was using some torn homespun fabric. Again – just hot glued it.

Isn’t it cute? You could use any color fabric depending on the time of year of holiday you are decorating for!

There are so many ways you can take these projects and run. I’m thinking of doing a texture fierro coating on the outside, or a cinnamon / mod podge coating to get rid of the stark white of the tall Dollar Tree candles. Hmmm…so much to do, so little time!

If you make these, send me a pic! I’d love to show some variations of the project and see other peoples ideas. Hope everyone has a wonderful week and enjoys this awesome Fall weather! 🙂

Perfecting the Art of Grubby Candles

To my surprise, my little grubby candles were a huge hit at my co-op and I have been putting off making a new batch because of what a giant MESS the whole process is. It’s fun, but it nearly gives Greg a heart attack every time I make candles and wax gets splattered all over our kitchen and is a royal pain in the @$$ to clean up. Anyway, I did make a new batch and I think they came out even better than the last.

I know I already posted a tutorial on these but I figured more pictures couldn’t hurt. I have also been not-so-crafty lately, so I felt obligated to document this recent craft endeavor. 🙂

I started by melting some big candles from Wally World…I like to use these ones because of the color and strong, yummy scents. You can also use any left over wax you have lying around.

The votives I like to use are these:

These off-white votives come 16 to a pack and are significantly cheaper than the scented ones, that’s why I use them. Plus you’ll be packing on scented wax – so you’ll still have a yummy smelling final product.

Again I used my ghetto double boiler that I use solely for candle/tart making…

Then pour some of the melted wax into a disposable tin container. I get these 3 to a pack at the Dollar Tree. Let the wax stiffen up a bit so it’s more of a gooey texture, as opposed to runny (only takes about a minute). Basically when it’s JUST cool enough to work with. Set the votive down in the middle and “pack on” the wax, like you’re packing a mini snowball. I usually wear gloves….it’s WAY messy.

Then set aside on wax paper, or in my case foil…I was outta the wax paper. Anything to keep the wax from getting all over your table.

This is what they look like after they dry…

And then a final dip in wax “seals” it up and gives it a cleaner look, while still being deliciously “grubby!”

Some came out more chunky than others. I much prefer the one on the left.

Awww, how cute!

Finally, I packaged them up since they will be for sale in my booth. I use candy-making “treat bags” from the baking aisle at the craft store. They come in a variety of sizes while being very cost-effective (100 bags for like $2-$3??). Finished off with a little homespun tie…my favorite “country” accent.

*One thing I forgot to do before packaging was dust them with cinnamon. D’oh! I love that look. This is an easy way to add even more of a country feel.

I will display them in this shallow wooden box. The perfect height for my itty bitty chunky candles. I am pricing them $1 a piece, which is probably a little low for the work involved. I try really hard to price things reasonable and at a price that the average joe can afford. I want people to enjoy them, because I know these types of candles can be so expensive in the big country stores!!!

I DID try making these types of chunky candles with the BIG candles seen in the first, top picture. It was a major craft FAIL. LOL. I have to work on those before I dare take any pics!!!

Off to an estate sale and two thrift stores this weekend on the other side of town that I normally don’t get to go to. Let the treasure hunting commence! Have a great weekend my crafty peeps! 🙂

Previous Older Entries