Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beach-themed Candles

So, obviously this post isn't about hymns or worship songs.  You're probably thinking why is she posting this on "Scripture And ...".  Well, the Bible definitely encourages sharing.  1 Timothy 6:18 says "Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good worksto be generous and ready to share".  So I thought I'd share some craft ideas.  These aren't full tutorials, but they were pretty simple projects.  Even I could do them!

Beach Pillar Candles

I made these at a ladies' craft day and I absolutely loved them.  So I made some more at home.  Here is what you need:
  • pillar candles
  • spackling compound (I used  lightweight)
  • sand
  • seashells and/or pebbles
  • newspaper (for work area)

Here's what you do:
  1. Put some newspaper down on your work area.
  2. Use a knife/spatula or something to apply a thick layer (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick) of the spackling compound to the vertical part of the candle (not the bottom or top!).  You can apply a texture to them before the next step if you like.  I swirled mine with a fork.
  3. Press the seashells and stones into place.
  4. Pour the sand over the spackling compound.  Carefully, shake off any excess sand.
  5. Dry overnight.

The great part of this project is that it is very flexible.  Some of the ladies at the craft day did a Christmas theme instead with red and green gems and glitter.  

I've never burned these candles, so I'm not sure what happens with that.  The spackling compound is somewhat flammable (it has to get very very hot first, like cooking oil), which concerned me.  Also, I didn't want any wax to drip down the outside. If you do burn them, please keep an eye on them especially the first time.  I wouldn't recommend burning them for more than an hour at a time.

Sand and Shells Candle Holder

I got the idea for these luminaries online.  I believe it was inspired by this craft: Candle Holder Seashell Craft although mine is much more simplistic.
  • glass candle holder (any shape or size - although I found flat sides worked well with the shells I had)
  • Elmer's glue-all or decoupage glue
  • paintbrush
  • sand
  • seashells
  • clear polyurethane
  • newspaper
  • tealight candle or votive candle

Here's what you do:
  1. Put some newspaper down on your work area.
  2. Experiment with placement of the shells to make sure they will sit properly on the glass.  They will attach better if their edge touches the glass well.  That is why I used mostly square candle holders and scallops.
  3. With a paintbrush, paint glue on the edges of the shell that will touch the glass.  Use enough glue but don't overdo it (how hopeful is that advice?).  The glue will need to dry before you turn the candle holder and apply the next shell.  If you use too much glue, it will take a long time to dry before you can turn it.  I made quite a few of these for gifts so I attached shells assembly line  style so I wasn't just sitting around waiting for the glue to dry. 
  4. When all of the shells are glued on and dry, use a paintbrush to paint glue on one outside vertical side of the glass candle holder.  I left a 1/4 inch space at the bottom (you don't want any sand to scratch a table).  Pour/sprinkle sand over the glue, shaking off any extra.  Repeat with the other sides.  Allow the glue to dry overnight.
  5. Lightly brush off any excess sand again with your finger or a paintbrush.  Then, paint over the sand with the polyurethane.  The polyurethane keeps the sand from falling off when touched.  You can paint over the shells, too.  If you do, they will have a wet glossy look.  Be careful to keep the polyurethane on the outside of the candle holder because it is flammable.  Allow to dry.  
  6. Add a candle and light it.  Enjoy!

Unlike the first candles, I've definitely burned these.  I love the way the light glows through the sand.  I've had no troubles with burning them, but as with all candles burn them responsibly. They remind me of Stone Harbor, NJ.  Where I collected most of the shells.  

I tried to make these projects sound as easy as they were, but I'm a newbie at tutorials.  If you have any questions, please ask them below and I'll do my best to explain.  

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