Thursday, August 6, 2015

DIY Decorative Tea Lights

If you're anything like me, you've picked up several rolls of wash tape by cash registers in every book & stationery store you've been in and then wondered what to do with it… Though I've used it from time to time for the odd spontaneous last minute crafty fix, I've accumulated piles of pretty tapes with little to show for it. I won't take credit for coming up with this idea for washi tape tea light candles… Admittedly, I saw it in this Popsugar article and decided to try it myself. 

I was a little skeptical, thinking they wouldn't turn out as well as the examples in the article or that the tape might not stick, but I was pleasantly surprised with this little project! These candles take only minutes to put together and make the perfect accent for a dinner table or a mantle and are an easy way to theme candles to match any party or event that you may be planning. I can't wait to make some of these for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas in appropriate, seasonal colors & patterns!

All you need to make these adorable candles is some washi tape in colors or patterns of your choosing and some tea light candles. These candles are easy to find and in some case you can buy a bulk bag or box for a very reasonable price. I prefer unscented tea lights if I'm using them as part of a table setting, however this is a great way to zhush up some scented ones that you have on hand to use elsewhere at home. Additionally, this is a cute way to decorate citronella tea lights for burning outdoors in the summertime.

If your washi tape is a little bigger than the metal casing on your tea lights, don't worry. Simply line it up with the top and let the slack hang off the bottom. Start by lining up the tape with the top rim and attaching it.

Continue around until you've covered the candle casing the whole way around.

Tear off the tape with a bit of slack left at the end and then smooth the slack down. This will be the back of the candle - in some cases you will be able to see the seam, though in my experience, it's never drastically visible. I personally don't worry much about the seams or making them absolutely perfect, but if you do, then simply cut it straight with a pair of scissors and be careful not to overlap the slack more than about a half centimeter. 

Some of the washi tapes I've used are quite transparent or are colors that aren't quite bright enough with just one layer. If that's the case, I will sometimes do two layers around the casing of the candle to get a brighter or more opaque layering of the tape.

If your tape is a little wider than the candle casing as I mentioned before, it will look like the above photo… Simply push the edges down a little bit so they curve around towards the bottom. I normally don't try to bend them down completely as the weight of the candle is not substantial enough that the tape slack won't support it so I simply try to make it look as tidy as possible.

What's great about this crafty little project is that you can create different looks for a table or other area of your home depending on season or occasion. Glitter will be great for Christmas or New Year, pastels will work perfectly for spring and bright colors could be just right for summer.

Printed washi tapes are great for adding a little dimension to a table setting that's otherwise a bit mundane. I'm thinking of using these gold polka dot tea lights for my Thanksgiving table this year as the gold will compliment the Autumnal colors of orange, red and brown.

I'm definitely a big fan of this simple way of decorating candles that are otherwise nothing to get excited about. Aside from decoration, I'm also planning to include a few of these little candles in gift hampers or as favors for parties I'm throwing later this year. I'm now inspired to find some more ways to use up my washi tape stash… How are you using yours?

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