Thursday, February 12, 2015

The World's Easiest Candle Holder

Yesterday felt a bit dreary and stuffy in my office. It was a grey and tired day, and I was sleepy, but determined to slog through my tasks with a bit of cheer. In a burst of inspiration, I reached for my favorite candle, one with a rich, sweet, rosy scent and a colorful, funky jar. Soon I was feeling so luxuriously comfortable and ready to get to work.

I picked the candle up on clearance, with a gift card, so it was a great buy. However, I wasn't crazy about its stock image of roses, or the neon yellow CLEARANCE sticker irremovably plastered onto the jar. I decided to get the candle anyway, and fix it up to a more attractive state.

Fixing it up was one of the easiest craft projects I've done. Here's how to do it!

First, do a little hunting to find the most visually striking pieces of ready-to-be-recycled paper you have. I chose a wide strip of newsprint and a page from a knitting catalog. It's important to choose a page of newspaper that was mostly text, and all black and white, so that it will appear as a subtle pattern; a graphic, not distracting text. (I find that the Catholic Worker is best for newspaper craft projects.) For the strip of magazine, I was attracted the colorful swatches of yarn in the knitting catalog, and the simple, geometric way they were presented. In other words, what started as an article or a product display worked, for the purposes of my candle, as straightforward patterns. 

Cut the newspaper to be as wide as the thickest part of my candle was high, and cut all the way along the page, so you can be sure the strip will be long enough to wrap around the candle. Since the second piece of paper will cover the bottom edge of the newsprint, it doesn't matter if you cut awkwardly through a column on the bottom edge. Place the neat edge of the paper at the top, affix the first end of the paper to the candle, and wrap the paper around.  Trim the excess length, being sure to leave half an inch of overlap, and attach the second end to the paper. I used Zots Glue Dots, but you could also use rubber cement, a very tidily-applied loop of Scotch tape, or a judicious dab of craft glue. 

Next, cut the magazine paper to fit around the candle. This time, instead of half an inch overlap, you'll want about two inches. Fold the top and bottom edges under so that you have two clean edges, and so that the final width of the magazine paper is half the width of the news print. 

Place the magazine paper over the newsprint. Use a glue dot, tape, or dab of glue to affix the first end to the newsprint before you wrap it around the candle. Finally, twist the end of the paper about two inches back from the end. You can twist it once or twice to get the look you want. Then affix the end with another glue dot, loop of tape, or dab of glue.

Now light your candle and enjoy!

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