- Arts and Design»
- Crafts & Handiwork
5 More Creative Ideas for Jar Candle Gifts
If you haven't already, you can check out how to make jar candles at home. This will give you a starter for making your own Soya candles to use in your other crafts, if you like!
Do You Enjoy Giving Amazing Hand-Made Gifts?
Many people appreciate receiving hand-made gifts for various occasions. If you're someone who enjoys crafting hand-made gifts as a way of lowering your expenses during the various holiday seasons (and birthdays!) you've probably already discovered jar crafts.
Jars are an excellent way to get started making fun gifts for everybody on your gift list for every occasion. If you haven't yet been introduced to the concept of this type of crafting, you may be in for a real treat. The jars necessary for these projects are generally inexpensive, as are the crafts that go into them, and you should be able to produce high-quality gifts for a fraction of what you'd pay at a store.
Alternatively, if you can craft in volume, you may be able to use these jar crafts to sell at a bazaar.
This guide pertains specifically to jar crafts which involve candles.
1 Pint Wide-Mouthed Canning Jars
This is a good brand of mason jar at a very good price. Amazon is a great place to buy these jars because they're less expensive than what you'll find in the craft stores. Here you can buy a set of twelve 1-pint canning jars. These are the size you generally use for jams.
Where to Get Started with Candles and Jars?
First and foremost, you're going to want to get your jars. If you're a big fan of jar crafts, it's recommended to have a good supply of mason jars in various sizes available for your projects. Mason jars are also known as "canning jars" and they come in a number of sizes, from pint to gallon and beyond.
You'll probably want to have pink and quart sized mason jars available for your crafting needs, because these are the sizes that you'll be using most often and they are the most effective in the projects you'll find suggested on this page. Links to purchase these on Amazon have been provided to the right and below (to the right for pint and below for quart).
Note that mason jars are textured. This is part of their rustic appeal. If you don't like the texture, choose a different container for your project, but make sure that it has a lip or threads where the lid would be screwed on. Having something with a lid is ideal!
1 Quart Wide-Mouthed Mason Jars
Ball is the brand of Mason jar you want to be purchasing. The price is very good on these jars: Expect to pay about double this at a retail store. Purchasing on Amazon now will save you money and you'll be getting the same product. This is a set of twelve 1-quart mason jars.
Do you enjoy jar crafts?
Tips for Using Mason Jars
If you're going to start using Mason Jars in various craft projects, there are some things you should know to get you started with them. They are an amazing project base that can be used in many flexible ways, but you also have some challenges to consider. Here are some tips to get you started using them effectively.
- Clean them well. Make sure that your jars are clean and as much as possible dust-free. Often, in the packing process, the jars will become coated in dust. If you're purchasing your jars second hand, you will want to be particularly careful about this.
- Make sure they're dry before crafting. In most cases, you're going to be filling your jars with something: Make sure they're dry before putting anything inside. Additionally, if you're going to be applying Mod Podge (or glue) to the outside of the jar, you'll get better results if the jar is fully dry.
- Use the texture to your advantage: Don't fight it! The common Mason jar has a texture on it, either with the logo of the company that produced it or sometimes just a general texture. Use this instead of fighting against it. Let the texture give your gift character. If you don't like it, choose a brand that comes plain.
If You Want to Make Your Own Votive Candles
If you'd like to make your own votive candles -- so that you can color or scent them your way instead of the way the manufacturer dictates -- this complete votive kit will do the trick! Try to ignore the rating: It's pulled down by vitriol.
- How to Make Votives
Learn how to make votive candles with this step-by-step tutorial. (This is an external link.)
Once You Have Your Jars, You Need Candles
You can either make your own candles at home or purchase your candles from a store or the internet. You can use a number of different types of candles with jar crafts, but you won't want to use something that is already in a container. Votives, tealights and pillars are the most highly recommended types of candles, but tapers also have their place in jar crafts.
If you want to make your own votive candles, a kit is suggested to the right in order to help you to do this. The link to instructions on how to do the project are also provided in a link on the right. Votives are relatively easy to make (though perhaps not as easy as container candles) and should be a good project even for beginning candle-makers.
Just remember that making your own is time-consuming because of waiting for the wax to cool -- twice. If, for that reason, you'd prefer to purchase your candles, try bear in mind that your votives will either come unscented or perhaps in a color/scent combination you don't like. These are often seasonally scented candles, which may be unappealing to some people.
Making your own is always the better option!
If you prefer to purchase your votive candles, this is a very good set as it provides you with a good-sized votive candle with a lengthy burn time. The longer the burn time, the better. Highly rated! Buy them now on Amazon.
Project 1: Votive Candle Jar Lanterns (Plain)
Mason jars make for an amazing little jar candle craft because it's as simple as dropping a votive candle into a jar and then lighting the candle with a long lighter (such as the one listed for purchase on Amazon below).
This is easy enough for anyone to do, as long as they're old enough or trustworthy enough not to burn themselves on the lighter or the candle.
Best results are achieved, however, by twisting two pieces of wire together and then molding them around the lip of the jar so that you have a base for a handle. Then you'll twist another two pieces of wire together to form the handle and crimp this to the handle base with a pair of pliers.
These can then be hung from trees or wires for party lanterns. They make amazing gifts, particularly for people who enjoy atmosphere. Very simple and very pretty.
Mod Podge is a decoupage product which will give you a matte finish on your project. You have choices in your product, but this is will result in a matte surface on your jars. Don't choose the gloss if you plan on doing a frosted jar! For the project below, you may choose either gloss or matte finish.
Project 2: Frosted Jar Candle Lanterns
As an alternative to the project above, you can frost your jars using Mod Podge (which can be purchased to the right) or with a mixture of glue and water. When you paint your jar with this solution, the jar will come out frosted and give off a more muted glow than the brightness of a plain jar candle. The handle is configured in the same way listed above, but you get a completely different effect.
Jar Candle Lantern Tip
With or without the handles, a mixture of the two projects above and the one below make a great gift, particularly when combined with custom-made votive candles. Mix it up with two of one kind and one each of the other two for a nice centerpiece!
Supplies for Decoupage Jar Lantern
- Pint Canning Jar (with ring)
- Colored Tissue Paper
- Mod Podge
There is no right or wrong with this project. Give the children the materials and let them have at it. This should be a lot of fun for them!
Project 3: Decoupage Jar Candle Lanterns
This easy project is one for the kids!
You'll find your list of necessary supplies listed to the right to make it easy for you to get everything that you need to put together adorable little candle jar lanterns for gifts. Have the kids do this to make great gifts for Grandma and Grandpa.
Pint jars are recommended for this since they are more child sized.
Choose your supplies to reflect the occasion, and make sure to use at least three different colors of tissue paper. If you're working on a project for Valentine's Day, pink, red and white are good; or for St. Patrick's Day, Green, Yellow and Black; Easter likes pastel colors; Green and Red for Christmas.
Rate This Project
- Clean your jars thoroughly and leave them to dry. Nothing will stick properly if your jars aren't clean and dry.
- Tear the tissue paper into small pieces, no more than an inch square. Make them as messy as you like -- there's no right or wrong in this!
- Coat your jars with Mod Podge (or with glue) using the sponge from the materials above.
- Stick the pieces of tissue paper to the Mod Podge or glue on your jar. Work with the texture of the jar and ease the pieces of tissue over it. The kids might not be able to do this as well, but it doesn't matter. They'll still be cute!
- When all of the tissue has stuck to the surface of your jar and everything has dried, coat the tissue paper in another layer of Mod Podge. You may choose to use either the matte or the gloss for this part of the project. Gloss is recommended.
- Drop in a votive candle and light!
These are half-gallon mason jars, which are very suitable for the job of making a jar of stars for your child or children.
This is a good project to make as a gift for a child who is scared of the dark.
Project 5: Star Jar
For this project you may wish to use a larger Mason Jar at a 2-quart or Gallon size. While it will work just as well with a regular 1-quart or even a pint jar, this project is best served with a larger size of jar.
There are two ways to do this: You may choose to either just the lid of the jar (make sure to retain all your lids for later use!) or you can wrap a piece of construction paper (in any color, since you'll be using this in the dark) around the outside of your jar.
Both methods are recommended.
Project 5, Method 1: Use the Lid
Keep the lids for all your mason jars. They may come in handy later on when doing jar crafts!
Take the lid off of your mason jar and find a surface to work on. You won't want to do this project on your kitchen counters or your dining table. This requires punching holes in your metal lid with a nail or an awl, so you'll want to make sure you won't damage any of your surfaces!
- Using an awl or a nail, punch holes in the surface of your lid, with the top facing up. A hand awl should be sufficient for this job and won't require a hammer. If you use a nail, you may need a hammer or a brick to tap the point through the metal of your lid.
- Paint the outside of your mason jar with a dark paint so that the light from the candle won't show through it. Black is ideal for this, of course.
- Drop a battery-operated electric candle into the jar and put the lid on.
Note: Do not use a burning candle with this project. The jar will burst. Use a synthetic candle flame instead.
Use these instead of burning candles in jars that have a lid. Putting a lid on a jar containing flame will cause the jar to burst and will be a danger to any child using the jar.
Project 5, Method 2: Use Construction Paper
This project is easy and a bit safer than the previous method. You'll still want to use a synthetic tea light candle instead of a lit votive with this project, however.
- Take two sheets of black construction paper and fit them to your jar. Glue the two pieces to one another on one side where they'll meet, but not on the other (yet).
- Punch small holes in your construction paper using an awl or a nail as in the previous project. Be gentle, this is paper, not metal!
- Wrap the construction paper around the jar and glue the remaining seam shut. This will be the back of your jar since it won't produce stars.
- Drop in an LED tea light candle (or three) and put into a darkened room. The jar will produce stars on the walls and ceiling.
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti