This Christmas, I did something I have never done before. I embarked on a mission to create homemade Christmas presents from scratch. If, like me, you enjoy doing creative things but lack the patience to ever produce anything above sub-standard, you will understand my apprehension.
However, I’d had an idea stuck in my head for a while – something so gloriously simple, even I might be able to pull it off: decorated tea light holders.
At first, I planned to attempt painting jars in a Moroccan tea light style. However, the prospect of actually having to paint twelve jars freehand and have them looking marginally appealing by the end of it – all in time for Christmas – planted some doubts. (The idea does look fab though, if you have a little more time.)
I then came across a much simpler idea: Icicle Jars. Credit goes to the original instructable post for the design, but I have laid out some more detailed steps of my own below, if you fancy giving it a go!
How to Make Your Own Icicle Candle Holder
These Icicle Candle Holders are perfect to make for a bit of lazy day fun (especially while it’s so frosty outside) and look pretty cosy on a cold winter’s night. Great for presents or as a little treat just for you. Would look just as good at a summery BBQ.
What you will need:
- Any type of jar, so long as you can plop a lit candle into it.
- Matt Mod Podge (You can buy this from most good craft shops.)
- Clear or white Glitter
- Clean sponge
- A saucer or tub to pour your glue into (I found this easier than sticking the sponge in the pot)
- Scissors or wire cutters
- Tweezers (or something to bend wire with)
- Candle of choice
- Charm(s) and a small jump ring to attach them to the wire (optional – and again, available in most good craft shops)
- Some twine or ribbon to decorate the top and/or cover the wire (optional)
Before you start!
If you are using a jar from around the house, you may need to remove the label. Soak the jar in hot, soapy water and scrub the label off. If soaking hasn’t done the job, try filling the jar with water and popping it in the microwave until the water bubbles. Once the water is hot enough, carefully remove the jar from the microwave – be careful of the hot water inside! You should now be able to scrub off the glue residue with a sponge.
Dampen a clean sponge slightly, and apply the matt Mod Podge to half of your jar using a dappling technique. It is important to only do half at this point, so that the Mod Podge doesn’t dry too quickly.
Sprinkle your glitter evenly over the wet Mod Podge. I found it best just to use my fingers to sprinkle a thick coat over the jar, removing any excess by blowing on it.
Repeat the same steps over the other half of the jar.
Allow the jar to dry completely. This should take around 20 minutes, depending on how thickly you have spread the Mod Podge.
Add another layer of just the Mod Podge to seal the jar. Don’t add any glitter this time! Allow the jar to dry completely again. If you don’t want to add a charm, then you are done! If not, read on to Step 6.
If you are adding a charm, measure out enough wire to wrap around the neck of the jar, with enough extra length (a few inches) to attach your chosen charm .
Hook a small jump ring onto your charm (you may need to use tweezers to close it) and slide the charm to the middle of the wire. Now, twist the section of wire your charm is attached to into a small loop.
Holding the top of the loop tight, twist the wire some more, until the loop is at the length you would like.
Next, fix the wire around the neck of the jar, twisting it securely. If the wire is too long, snip off a bit of the length, then tuck the remaining twists in behind. Tweezers are useful at this point!
Wrap your twine or ribbon over the neck of the jar. If you have added a charm, try and cover the wire with your chosen material. Twine can be pulled quite tightly, so make sure you use the length of it to its maximum potential. Tie in a bow or a discrete knot.
You have finished! Now all that’s left to do is pop a candle in your new Icicle Candle Holder and enjoy. Brrrr.
Note: Candles with white wax are best. If coloured wax spills in your icicle jar it is clearly visible and can be tricky to remove.