Oct 22

Inspire Me Monday: My Creative Experiment

It seems like I am always trying to figure out how to create something . . . . so when the girls ask me, “Can I help, Mama?” I don’t always know what to say. Of course, I want them to help me, because part of the joy in creating is being able to share all this fun with my kids! But in the beginning, I don’t even know what I am doing, so it is a bit tricky to tell them how to help me.

When I discovered the beautiful autumn leaf candles made from canning jars (that I shared with you last week), I decided that we were going to try to make a few of our own. So, since all the millions of leaves that have fallen in our yard are not as colorful as the ones I picked up this past weekend in our daughter’s yard in Michigan, I collected a bunch from her yard and brought them home to see what we could come up with.

After trying several different techniques, which I will document and include in a tutorial for next week after I finish a complete set of these beautiful candles for our mantle, I discovered that the easiest way to get those silly leaves to stick to the glass jar was to use my trusty ol’ glue gun. We did several other little embellishments such as spraying the leaves with a clear lacquer and sprinkling them with gold glitter,  and I am planning to embellish each jar with a few other things such as my favorite . . . . vintage buttons!

For the first one, I also tied a burlap wired ribbon around the opening, well away from the flame of the candle. I inserted a peach colored tea light candle and set it up on my mantle, and I think it looks beautiful! What do you think? I’ll post pictures of the complete set next week, along with a short tutorial in case you want to make a few for your mantle or as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner table.

PS I’m thinking that this will be a project that we will have to do every year because the leaves, even though I sprayed them thoroughly with the clear lacquer, will probably get dry and brittle and not hold up well if I try to store them until next year. We’ll see! Let me know if you have any other ideas that would make this project even more spectacular!




Please join us today for this week’s Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy. I would love to see what inspires you!


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  1. Nancy at Ollie McKays Boutique Blog

    Love this ~ What a neat idea for a fun gift! Thanks for sharing! P.S. Love the music here on your blog too!

    1. Nina

      Hi Nancy – so glad you found your way to my little corner of the blogosphere ;o) I hope you enjoy the music every time you stop by, which I hope will be often! Thanks for your kind words, Nina

  2. Cecilia Marie Pulliam

    It is beautiful, Nina! As a small suggestion, floral supply stores carry a glitter spray. It is gorgeous on flowers, greenery and leaves etc. It is easier to use than traditional glitter and leaves the everything, including ribbon, shimmering. (I used to own a flower shop). Your candles would be a beautiful addition to a home.

    1. Nina

      Hi Ceci – thanks for the suggestion. That’s why I have to experiment, because I have no clue what I’m doing ;o) I tried the decoupage route first, but couldn’t get the leaves even to stick to the glass, so then I decided to try regular glue . . . . still wouldn’t stay in place. Finally, in desperation, I decided to use the hot glue gun and at least the leaves stuck to the glass.

      I love the idea of the glitter spray, because it would make the shimmer so much more consistent. I’ll give that a try on the rest of the candles I make this autumn. So glad you stopped by, my friend! Nina

  3. Create With Joy

    What a beautiful gift idea Nina! You always come up with the most fabulous of ideas!

    Thanks for sharing this at Inspire Me Monday. I can’t wait to see what you come up with this week!


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