Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Craft Challenge 2011 - Day 17

Ok I know I am late, as technically its now the 18th here, but I have a good excuse. Today (the 17th) was my darling hubbie's birthday, so I've been in birthday mode all day instead of Christmas Craft Challenge mode. Although we didn't do anything special, no big party - thank goodness as it has rained all day - we've still had family over most of the day as well as phone calls to and from my parents and sister.
As long as I can remember we've always had a candle(s) on the table on Christmas Day. I can't remember why or when this tradition started but I have vague recollections of it being my fault after I insisted on my mother buying a HUGE Santa Claus shaped candle because I thought it was just the bee's knees. It was the first "shaped" candle I had ever seen... so given this fact, I was probably around 8 - 10 at the time... so a few years ago. He was a good'un that Santa Candle as I know we lit him every year for at least three or four years and apart from loosing his hat to the power of the flame, he served as well.
Anyway... so in keeping with tradition I've made some candles for Christmas Day. We've got 22 - 24 for Christmas Day so it's probably going to be three or four tables end to end in the big garage. (Our small garage is my Craft Studio aka the Dungeon.) 
I've made two candles to keep with our Santa theme. One is a really simple decoration... the other is even more simpler. And then two more to complement - these were the problem children tonight and why I'm late posting. More on that later in the post.

Santa Candles:

Simple Version

  • Start with a white church candle, whatever diameter & height you like. I would have liked mine to be slightly taller, but I couldn't get a matching pair the same diameter & height, so got the closest I could without spending a small fortune.
  • Measure the height of the candle & the diameter, then cut a piece of red cardstock that exact height but 3/4" - 1" longer than the diameter of the candle (so you have plenty of wrap around the candle).
  • Adhere some strong double sided adhesive along one of the short ends. I used Wondertape as it seems to have a much stronger hold than ordinary double sided adhesive. As I've found out in the past you do need an extra bit of grip when trying to keep cardstock to stay in place around a curved object.
  • Roll the cardstock around the candle and adhere closed.
  • Cut a strip of black paper 1" wide and the same length that you cut your red cardstock. Remember it needs to go around the entire diameter of the candle with a bit spare to adhere one end securely over the other end. I used Teresa Collins "Timeless Black Flocked Paper" which has this amazing velvet feel. It is so perfect for Santa's belt not only because of the feel but also the colour... it is sure a pure looking black. 
  • Cut a 1 1/2" square from silver mirror paper. I used Teresa Collins "On the Edge Reflective Paper". It lives up to its name to be sure. It's so reflective you can see your image in it when you look at the page. I then ran the square through my Cuttlebug and cut a 1" square in the middle to create a buckle. It did take a bit of eyeballing to line up the die but as you will see in a later post I had a few to do, so I soon became a dab hand at it. You can always measure and draw lines, then cut the centre out with a craft knife if you don't have a die cutter or the right sized die.
  • Adhere the buckle onto Santa's belt.
Simpler Version
  • Buy a red candle then follow the above from the belt on. It still looks just as effective as the Simple Version - only Santa has a red hat instead of a white head.
Candy Cane Candles:
  • Start with straight sided white candles. These are 5cm diameter & 15cm tall.
  • Cut acetate to size - same height as candle, length slightly longer than the diameter of the candle. (I did try sticking the adhesive directly onto the candle but neither double sided tape of even Wondertape would stick - grrrr, oh well, we live and learn)
  • Adhere double sided tape of various widths on a diagonal across the width of the acetate. I did all the full length stripes first as it was easier to use the lines on my cutting mat to make sure I was laying the double sided adhesive and Wondertape on straight.
  • Adhere a strip of Wondertape along one of the side edges then roll the acetate around the candle and adhere in place. (This was about where I found out that neither candle was actually straight... but no one will ever know the truth!!!)
  • Finishing adhering stripes that cover the seam in the acetate.
  • Remove the backing paper from the adhesive stripes and cover with glitter. Be sure to do this task over drip paper or a glitter tray to catch the excess so you can reuse it. I used glitter trays so was able to roll the candles around in the glitter to help it adhere.
  • NOTE: This is the messy bit of the craft. Be warned - no matter how much you try to wrangle your glitter to keep it in place, its still going to end up everywhere!!!
  • Once you are happy with the coverage of the glitter, use a firm brush to remove any excess glitter. (If you thought the above was messy... this step is even worse!!)
  • Return the excess glitter to the bottle. I have found a mini funnel is perfect for this task even when using a glitter tray to catch the excess.
Here are all the finished candles. I think they all look great.

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