Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simple Christmas Candle Holders

Tonight we are making striped Christmas candle holders. Actually, the "Christmas" part is optional: choose different paint colors and you'll have something you can use all year round.
Extra bonus: this project is simple enough to share with an elementary school aged child!

Here's our finished product - and seriously, it looks Much nicer in real life, especially when lit in a dark room.

* 2-3 bottles of Plaid brand Gallery Glass paint in colors of your choice. (Or other brands if you can get your hands on 'em!)
* Plain votive candle holders with flat (not faceted) sides. Your choice of "shot glass" or "brandy snifter" shaped.
* Wax paper to protect your table surface
* Sharp craft knife.

I purchased all my supplies at either Joann's or Michael's, although the glass paint has gone a little out of style recently and may not be widely available. It should run less than $3/tube.
The candle holders should be between $0.50 and $1
If you haven't worked with glass paint before, this is a great starter project. A couple years back I posted a brief tutorial and tip sheet on using the stuff if you want more help or ideas:

1. Place waxed paper on your work surface. (Do not substitute newspaper: you need something that the paint will peel away from easily.)
2. Turn your candle holder upside down
3. Using the first paint color, squeeze a small amount at the top of the candle holder, and watch it run down the sides. Continue squeezing lines around the circumference of the holder every half inch or so. When you've made it all the way around, go back and add paint *at the top* to any lines that didn't drip as far as you'd like. I like a mix of different line lengths myself.
4. Repeat step 3 with your additional color(s).
5. Allow piece to dry at least overnight, in a safe place well sheltered from children and curious cats.
6. When thoroughly dry, carefully peel the candle holder from the waxed paper and turn right-side up. Use a sharp craft knife to (again, carefully!) cut off the "blobs" of paint that collected at the rim of the glass.
7. Add a candle and you have an instant gift for friends or family!

Hint: when packaging for storage or gifting, wrap the candle holder in waxed paper first, not tissue or newsprint. Ordinary paper will stick to the paint even when completely dry, especially if left in contact for a long period, and could ruin your piece.

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