Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DIY Holiday Luminaries

I am not ashamed to admit that I love the Christmas season. I love the spiritual side of it - the advent readings, the carols, the Jesse Tree, the candlelight Christmas Eve Services. And I love the aesthetic side- the decorating, the twinkle lights, the smells of baking, the parties. All of it, really.

My son shares in my deep love for this. Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, we get down all the boxes, carefully take all our knickknacks down from around the house and replace them with holiday decorations, trim the tree, wrap the banisters and set up the advent wreath, manger scene and Jesse Tree. He has already asked me several times if we can just do it early.

Nope, I'm a stickler. Thanksgiving first, my boy.

In anticipation of that day, however, there is one area of my house I've never felt looked truly finished when decorated- our mantle. I had a little idea rolling around in my mind this fall involving mason jars, glitter, letters and candles and my son was completely on board with making a fun holiday project a few weeks in advance.He loved that it felt like decorating early and I loved that they would be ready for when that actual day comes.

So, without further ado, here is what we did.


3 Large Mason Jars
3 Small Wooden Letters - we chose "J", "O" and "Y". You could obviously adjust and do a longer word with more mason jars.
Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Glitter - we used a white/silver snow-like glitter.
Votive Candles or Tea Lights
Paint or Spray paint- we chose royal blue

First, we covered the mason jar with a layer of mod podge using a foam brush. You don't have to wait for it to get tacky before moving on to the second step, like you do with some projects.

Second, we sprinkled glitter all over the jar.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all your jars are glittery.

Third, while the jars were drying, we spray-painted the letters with a royal blue. I also painted the jar tops but didn't end up liking the way they looked on the finished product. We chose spray paint because (a) we already had it in the house and (b) it dries quickly. I did also paint the tops of the jars but ended up not liking the way they looked.

Fourth, we cut some silver and white ribbon and tied it around the tops of the dried mason jars. We added a decorative silver bead at the top to cover where we tied it and left one piece hanging down the middle of the jar. Make sure it's long enough to glue to the back of a letter.

Fifth, once the letters were dry, we got out the hot glue gun and glued the piece of ribbon to the back of each letter. Hot glue dries so quickly you can just hold it there for about 30 seconds and then gently turn it around so it lays against the jar.

Sixth, we raided our candle stash and found three small votive candles and gently placed them inside.

We lit the candles, turned down the lights and were delighted with the results!

I think they'll spice up the mantle nicely.

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