Ducks 'n a Row: When Life Gives You Aphids, Make Candle Holders!

04 June 2012

When Life Gives You Aphids, Make Candle Holders!

by Michelle Burns of My Life in Podunk

First, thanks so much to Sinea for letting me guest post today!  I am extremely excited to be here and sharing just a bit of my crazy world with you from!

This post was originally going to be about my tomatoes.   I am growing container tomatoes for the first time this year, and they are coming along great, but they have recently developed a bad case of aphids.  I decided to research on the internet all of the various natural ways of getting rid of them, and report on what worked and what didn’t work.  I can report to you that NOTHING WORKED!  I don’t think that my failure is exactly blog worthy…funny, but not an entire blog.
For anyone who is a gardener (that would not be me) you might be able to get these things to work, but all I accomplished with – drowned them with water (check, didn’t work) spray them with water and soap mixture (check, didn’t work) smush them with your fingers (check, worked, but I have just too many leaves and aphids for this to be practical) sprinkle them liberally with garlic powder (check, didn’t work, but I may have garlic flavored tomatoes) spray them with a mixture of water and garlic infused oil (check, didn’t work) double the amount of oil in the water and oil mixture (check, didn’t work) and finally, spray with a mixture of water, double strength garlic infused oil and soap (check, didn’t work) – all I accomplished was a bumper crop of aphids!  What finally did work with the stuff labeled to kill aphids at Lowes.  I’m such a lousy gardener! 

So, in place of my worthless gardening advice, I give you an adorable candle holder!

DD#1 is getting married in August, and her theme is "shabby chic".  Lots of burlap, lace, newspaper and jars.  She is pinning things she likes on Pinterest, and then I am trying to re-create them in a budget friendly, doesn’t look like a pre-schooler made them sort of way.  Challenging , yet fun.  She made her invitations, which turned out just amazing, but with finishing up this semester in college and a lively 8 month old running around, some of the crafting is up to me.

One thing she pinned was Mason jar candle holders.  They are all over Pinterest and the internet, but I added a twist to them, I hope you will have fun creating them too.  

To start with, I am using baby food jars (8 month old = plenty of baby food jars!).  Remove the label and get the glue/sticky stuff off.  I used fingernail polish remover.  Wash them really well and dry completely.  Then you will need: baby food jar, Armour Etch (I found mine at Hobby Lobby …if you sign up for their weekly email, it comes with a 40% off coupon!) a small paint brush or something to apply etch with and flexible vinyl.  The flexible vinyl can be the stuff they sell for a Cricut or similar machine or can be just vinyl shelf liner, either works just fine.
First, decide what design you want on the candle holder.  I’m putting the couple’s last name and a heart on mine.  Trace the design onto your vinyl and cut out.  You can use regular scissors if you don’t have a Cricut.  I am lucky, and my friend had a Cricut that she lets me use occasionally if I bring brownies!  

Center your design on your glass jar.

Then apply the Armour Etch LIBERALLY over the design (or in the design if you removed the letters and applied the background on your jar)
The Armour Etch directions say to leave it on for 5 minutes.  I generally leave it on for 10 minutes, but while I was doing this little project, my mom called and talked for about 20 minutes… so the etch stayed on this jar for 20 minutes!  No harm done… I have even forgotten about it, so the stuff is pretty forgiving.

After the 10 minutes are up, rinse the etch completely off with water.  I used cold water, you might want to read the etch instructions J
Then peel off the design – depending on how careful you are, you might be able to re-use your design.  I’m not usually that careful!  Then wash the jar with warm soapy water, removing ALL the etch completely. 

Dry off the etched area, and BEHOLD, YOUR MASTERPIECE!  Ok, maybe a little dramatic, but seriously, the first time I did this I was totally amazed it worked, and looked so good. 

Then I added a little decoration to the rim with some jute twine.  You could also use some fabric scraps or ribbon.  Just make the ends short enough it doesn’t somehow come into contact with the flame… voice of experience talking here!  And finally drop in a tea candle and light it up.  

Simple, cheap, and looks great.  Only 99 more left to make!!
Hope you enjoy this crafty idea.  For more craft idea, cooking, and some of the crazy things that happen in Podunk, come visit my blog!

Thanks so much, Michelle. They look so pretty! Friends, do be sure to stop by her blog and even become a follower both of her site as well as on Pinterest!...Sinea

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