Canning jar candles are very easy to make, make great gifts, and are only limited by your imagination!
To start all you need are some old wide mouth canning jars, wire ribbon, potpourri, votive candles, small glass votive candle holders, and craft glue or a hot glue gun.
If you don't have any old canning jars, you can find some very inexpensively at thrift stores and yard sales. Wire ribbon can be a little expensive. Look for it at yard sales and at craft store clearance sales. The after-Christmas sales a great time to stock up. One roll of ribbon will make several canning jar candles. Potpourri you can make yourself or buy on sale. Votive candles are inexpensive at stores like Target or Walmart, and you can also find glass votive candle holders very inexpensively at Walmart. You want one that will set in the rim of the canning jar.
You can fill the canning jar with whatever you wish. Potpourri is one of the easiest fillers. I bought a nice autumn-scented potpourri and added some orange slices I'd dried in my food dehydrator. You can also add dried cranberries, apple slices, or cinnamon sticks.
After you fill the jar, you set the candle holder inside the mouth of the jar. The top of the candle holder should be even with the top of the jar.
You might have a little trial and error before you find just the right candle holder. Place the candle in the holder and then use the ribbon to tie a big bow around the neck of the jar. That's it! (You might want to use a little craft glue or your glue gun to tack the ribbon in place).
You can glue some dried fruit, flowers, or other decorations on the bow for a more decorative look. You can also put other things in the jar besides potpourri. I've seen one half filled with white sugar with a short white taper candle set down in the sugar. Very pretty! And that one doesn't require the candle holder.
At Christmas you can purchase small ornaments and place them in the jar instead of the potpourri.
Any small figurine would do--in the spring you could use little bunnies. Maybe fill a jar with marbles or layers of colored sand. Even pennies! Use your imagination. These candles make great gifts and are also fun to make for yourself. If you get tired of one just empty it out and start again!
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, gardening, organizing tips, home decorating, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
Copyright Rachel Paxton 2001
photo credit: swatcop