Saturday, December 15, 2007

Altered Pillar Candles

So you're a DIYer, like me, but you're in a crunch for a gift. Unfortunately, you can't just go buy something and give it straight off the shelf because your fans (friends and loved ones) are so enchanted by your crafty prowess that even attempting to do so is not only likely to disrupt the space-time continuum itself, but your friends may implode. I know imploded friends sound way easier to clean up than exploded friends, but take it from me, it's merely a whole new set of issues to deal with. Plus, friends are a limited resource. So what's a conjure girl or guy to do? Alter something, of-course!
Everyone loves candles, but regular pillar candles are like naughty little blank canvases just waiting for some artistic discipline. This is one way you can show them the love they deserve.

Project Materials
  • 2 pillar candles (these were pumpkin spice scented ... mmmmmmm)
  • orange ultrafine glitter
  • white matte craft glue that dries clear (like Mod Podge in matte)
  • gold skeleton leaves
  • small maple leaves
  • sponge brush
  • small dish for mixing glue with glitter

NOTE ONE: You should be able to find skeleton leaves and various pressed leaves and flowers in the scrapbook section of your local arts and crafts store.

NOTE TWO: Raise your hands if you want to breathe lead fumes. Nobody? Didn't think so. Please buy candles without lead in the wicks. As far as burning decoupaged candles is concerned, please see the safety note at the end of this post.

Glue leaves on candles randomly using a sponge brush. Do this by sponging on a layer of glue, placing your leaf where you'd like it, and covering the leaf with another layer of glue being sure to go off the edges of the leaf and onto the candle. You may need to hold the leaves in place until the glue grabs onto them, so only do one or two at a time.

When all the leaves are glued where you'd like them, pour enough glue to coat both candles into a small dish. Add some orange ultrafine glitter and mix with your sponge brush. Completely coat both candles with the glue mixture, being sure to cover the leaves. It'll look milky and sadly unsparkly until the glue dries.

Do not pour any remaining glue down you drain! Hopefully, you've estimated well and don't have any extra. If not, try to use it on another project. If all else fails, pour the remaining glue into a vessel destined for the trash, like a dirty sandwich baggie or something along those lines. Allow your candles to dry and shazzam ... cute custom candles!

Once your candles are dry, you can give them as they are or stuff them into a themed gift basket, like the Pumpkin Spice gift basket shown below. This gift basket was given to a dear friend of mine at the Autumn Equinox in honor of her spinning ritual. Or, you can keep 'em for yourself and let everyone think you paid too much for them in one of those hoity-toity gift shops.

A safety note on burning decoupaged candles from the Mod Podge website (please share this info with anyone you may give decoupaged candles to): Candles with decoupaged designs are decorative and should not be burned. Your designs can be destroyed if the candle is burned. In addition, while both Mod Podge and Royal Coat are not flammable, items used with these glues may be.

However, there is a trick if you want to "burn" your decorated candle. Burn the decorated candle until a small well is formed -- a well about the size of a votive candle. Place a small piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of the well. Then place the votive candle in the well and burn it. Replace the votive candle as needed.

And if I need to tell you not to leave burning candles unattended, you probably shouldn't be playing with fire anyway.

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