Tag Archives: sea-inspired decor

Bamboo Candles with Soy Wax and Essential Oils

We have a very tropical backyard that is bordered with lots of bamboo. Lots. Since it is so plentiful and grows so quickly, I’m always looking for clever and creative things to create and do with it. A while ago my husband Bill made me bamboo planters by cutting the bamboo sticks, filling them with soil and planting succulents.

This past weekend I came up with yet another fun idea– bamboo candles. I love everything about this project. It brings the beauty and simplicity of nature indoors using sustainable materials and when the candles melt down, you can refill them.

Image of candles made from bamboo

Here’s what you need to create your own bamboo candles.

  • Bamboo sticks. If you don’t have them growing in your yard, you can purchase online or at a garden store. Or you can message me and I will send you some!
  • Wax. I like soy. It burns clean and is safer for the environment.
  • Candle dyes. I like white candles, but if you want some color you can purchase at craft stores or online.
  • Candle wicks. I prefer the kind that have metal bottoms and I always get the sticky tabs that help hold them in place.
  • Candles scents. I like essential oils for their natural, less “perfumy” scent.
  • Plastic wrap and rubber bands.

You will also need a large Pyrex measuring cup to melt the wax in a double boiler or in the microwave.

Here’s what you do:

You will need to cut the bamboo into various lengths. Use a hand saw or table saw. My husband did this for me. You can cut the sticks at the knots so there will be a “floor” at the bottom of your candle. However, if this is not possible, you can create a false, removable bottom with plastic wrap. Yes, it works and will not melt, even with hot wax. Just be sure to completely cover the bottom of the candle and secure tightly with a rubber band as close the edge of the bottom as possible. Then proceed to melt the wax in the Pyrex glass measuring cup. I prefer the microwave. Start in 1 minute intervals until the wax is completely melted.

While wax is melting, place wick with sticky bottom in the center of the bottom of the candle. Once the wax is melted, you can add color, if desired, and a few drops of essential oil scent. Lemongrass, citronella and plumeria are good choices that go well with the bamboo tropical theme and as an added bonus they also help keep bugs away. Stir your mixture with a metal or wooden spoon or a chopstick you might have lying around from your last order of Chinese food. Pour wax mixture into the bamboo container and wait for it to dry. Allow at least four hours before you remove the plastic wrap. Don’t worry if there is a little over spill that pools at the bottom of your candle. That happens if you don’t secure the wrap close enough to the edge. It will harden and you can scrape off later. Soy wax is very soft and spills clean up easily. Once the candle is completely hardened you can trim the wick to the length you prefer.

For more creative ideas on what to do with bamboo, follow me on Pinterest. Or send me some of yours with some photos and I will feature them here.

 

 

Sea Glass Sea Shell Soap and Lotion Dispensers

image of sea glass colored soap and lotion dispensers decorated with seashells and beads

I’ve been decorating glassware with pressed flowers and marine botanicals for years and I was looking for new ideas and was inspired when I discovered this really cool “sea glass” craft spray paint from Krylon. It comes in many colors, but I like the sea foam, cornflower and aqua the best because they are the most “beachy” to me. I like the soft, sea glass like pastel hues of the colors. They remind me of mermaid tails. I decided to experiment first by spray painting some clear class jars to see how it looked and I loved the effect. It took a little bit of practice. I learned through trial and error to shake the can well and spray at a distance of about 12-18 inches, that way the paint mists onto the glass without leaving dripping marks. I also did a few coats until I got the desired effect. (Note: Be sure to use in well ventilated area and wear silicone gloves to protect your hands.)

image of plain glass jars sprayed with sea glass spray paint in blue and aqua colors

Once I was satisfied with my test pieces, I moved on to some clear glass soap and lotion dispensers I had on hand. I purchased them wholesale from GlassNow, but you can buy individual ones here.

image of clear glass soap and lotion dispensers

The really fun part was next– decorating them! Keeping with the sea-inspired beach theme, I choose from my collection of seashells, sea stars, sand dollars, driftwood, seaweed. For a colorful accents, I embellished with assorted beads in complementary colors.

image of assorted seashells and beads

I used a hot glue gun to adhere the larger items and craft glue for the seed beads. I love the way they turned out! The beads really add a subtle sparkly effect that reminds me of walking alongside the ocean and seeing a splay of colored pebbles and tiny bubbles of water from sand crabs.

This is only the beginning for me.  These first few items are available on Etsy with plans for many more to come!

Sea-Inspired Tin Container Candles

Before I toss anything into the recycle bin,  I first try to find another use for it.  I call it creative repurposing of materials. Anything old can be new again with a little imagination. I got inspired last week when I was about to toss out some tin cans when I it occurred to me that they would make great containers candles. What a cool, beachy idea, don’t you think? Reuse, recycle, repurpose with a nautical theme. Here’s what you need to do it yourself.

Materials

Metal pot –With handle for melting the wax. An old pot works just as well or you can use a glass measuring cup and melt the wax in your microwave.

Tin containers. I chose ones used for sardines, tuna and tea. They have interesting, artistic labels too.

Soy wax-– This my favorite. It melts the easiest and burns the clean and clear so you can see items like seashells and rocks that I like to place at the bottom of my candles. They are nice surprises!

Candle wicks with stickers — A must to hold the wick in place while pouring the wax.

Scented essential oils– I like lavender and lemon verbena. If you are going to use the candles outdoors, you might want to consider citronella, grapefruit and lemongrass.

Candle dyes– (Optional) I chose to not use color because I like the opaque whiteness of the soy wax and I didn’t want the color to compete with the design on the labels of the tins.

How to Make

Thoroughly wash the containers. To remove residual fish odors, drizzle the insides with lemon juice and let sit in the sun for a few days. That should do the trick.

Place wick, with sticky bottom, at the center of the tin. If you are using more than one wick per candle, make sure they are evenly placed.

Melt wax according to package directions and then add a few drops of essential oil. You don’t need a lot of scent. When the candle burns, it will be stronger than you think.

Pour melted wax into the tin and let sit until harden. If you like,  you can toss a few seashells or beach pebbles into the mix for the added surprise.

These make excellent gifts year round, but I love to put them in Christmas stockings. Be sure to keep some for yourself!

If you try this project send me some photos and I will post them here.

 

 

Sea-Inspired Glass Bottles Decorated with Seashells

 

colored glass bottles decorated with seashells

Colored glass soap dispensers decorated with seashells.

SeaweedArt has something new!!! I’m so excited about these wonderful sea-inspired, “beachy” bottled  created from found objects- seashells, sea stars, sand dollars and seaweed. Available now on Etsy. These are unique, one-a-kind gifts.

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