I love the way a candle brings the spirit and magic of the universe into my personal space.

Giving this gift to others brings me pleasure as well. This holiday I wanted to share with a few of my new friends in Portland. So I’ve decided that each would get a hand decorated glass light – each unique and as a way of acknowledging these gifts of friendship that have come into my life.

I’m working with a make shift space in my room – now with the addition of a piece of plexiglass I picked up recently from SCRAP here in Portland. Among other functions, SCRAP is a reuse store for artists to pick up various donated supplies and recycle them through purchase back into production. The plexiglass sheet (pictured with wrap still attached) is a good and hard surface that affords me a plane for 2D and 3D projects.


ABOVE: A jar for a tea light, prayer candle, and commercial votive holder.

This project uses three glass containers to resurface via decoupaged cut-out papers. To decoupage, I use a mix of craft glue and water to seal in, plus non-diluted glue when needed. Both act as the finishes and adhesive.


ABOVE: Early stages of gluing on various shapes and applying them around the glass surfaces. I wrap in horizontal bands as well as to layer specific shapes, and subtract areas via cut-outs to layer over later on. Think about converging lines and complementary and related colors for your project. I work with experimentation and my intuition as an artist.

BONUS: There’s an advantage to setting up a project to work on three objects at once. As one area/object dries, you can move onto the next one. It’s a sort of assembly line. Not to mention – there is only one clean-up for the whole project.

Decoupaging the paper in sections and inverting the glass objects to get at areas from another perspective is helpful.

These paper selections are intentionally not opaque, so often I hold up the object to a light source to check for illumination qualities along the process.  Regarding layers, the more paper layers, the less transparent in the end, therefore the less light coming through via the flame.


The square will need to fit into a very specific decor. Instead of a clear decoupage coating, adding pigment via acrylic paint gives the finish a stained look and  re-tones the colors, in this case to more earthy hues.


ABOVE: Close-up of surface design on the square before the ‘stain’ finish.


ABOVE: Close-up of the jar motif. Like that texture!


The trio completed.


VOILA! The jar illuminated with a tea light.

SIDE NOTE: In working with make-shift spaces, as I did this on the floor of my room, I accidentally scooted onto my X-Acto knife and my thigh caught a bit of the knife! OUCH. All the more reason to be mindful and keep tools and media on the surface space you are working with and not the floor! Have fun and be mindful!






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