Stars and Stripes Candle Holder

Last weekend I went to our local Dollar Tree to pick up some 4th of July napkins and some of those altar candles (you know the ones) that are such a great deal.  Unfortunately they didn't have any at our local Dollar Tree, so I was left with a conundrum: go to other Dollar Trees looking for them or wing it.  I chose to wing it. So I came home with one of these and a package of stars and stripes napkins.

I grabbed my Mod Podge, a foam brush, a scissors, and a paper plate (not pictured--I used it to keep glue from getting on the table) and got to work.  My napkins had a repeating design on each of its four quadrants, so I cut the napkin into four pieces and then pulled the two-ply layer off of the back of the printed part of the napkin.  Once pulled apart, you are left with something close to the consistency of tissue paper.

Based on the height of my candle holder, I trimmed a bit off of the top of the napkin and crumpled it up a little so that the inevitable wrinkling that happens when you glue it on looked intentional.

Then I spread some of the Mod Podge onto the candle holder with my foam brush and carefully applied the napkin.  I was careful to wrinkle/pleat the paper at the top of the vase so that it would bend around the curved surface and still appear neat at the top.  I left the bottom unglued until I was finished going around the entire candle holder with napkin paper.

After I had applied the first square, I cut the top off a second square and overlapped it slightly and glued it carefully onto the candle holder and continued around the sides.  One important thing to remember when working with napkins or tissue paper and Mod Podge: as soon as your fingers get wet or sticky, take a break.  The paper is fragile when it's wet and if your fingers are sticky, you'll tear holes in it.  So let it dry a bit and clean off your fingers while you're working to avoid holes. I have a horrible time with this rule as I'm impatient and don't want to take breaks, I just want to get it finished. So if you do end up with little rips or tears, just apply a second piece of tissue paper or napkin over the top of the hole and let it dry.

After I was done covering the sides with my napkins, I set it on it's top and glued all of the excess paper onto the bottom.  I then let the whole thing dry for about an hour before I applied a coat of Mod Podge over the top to seal it and turn it semi-transparent.  I apparently forgot to take a picture of applying the layer of glue, but once it's dry, it  turned into a cute candle holder.  You could also jazz it up with glitter or apply multiple layers of paper, but I liked the way it turned out with just one layer.  I dropped an LED votive on the inside and paired it with my homemade rockets from last year, and I have a nice little table for the 4th. I only used one napkin out of my package, so I also have festive napkins to use at our barbecue this year. Hope you have a happy 4th of July!


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