Fall Mason Jar Luminaries

14647177_101

I’m getting ready to celebrate my daughter’s 1st birthday!  She was born in early October (2 months early) and with an early Fall birthday comes the endless opportunities for fun Fall crafts.  We have a Fall themed birthday (as you may have already guessed) and being the crafty family we are, the majority of decorations will be homemade.

Today’s craft is the Fall Mason Jar Luminaries.  I am going to be using these as table decorations.  Since I will be making quite a few them, I will be encouraging the adult guests at her birthday to take them home.  It took a while to get the process right, but after a few hours and a few jars, I got it right.  So lets get started

00

What You’ll need:
Mason Jars
Modpodge (I used the original Matte finish)
Small Foam Brush
Fake Fall Leaves
Tealight Candles (I used the battery operated kind)

Step 1 – Prepping
Before starting, you should clean your mason jars.  Wipe them down to get rid of any dust, oils, etc.. this will make the application process much easier.

If you purchased leaves with the plastic stems, now is the time to remove the plastic.  The easiest way to do this is to slowly peel the leaf away from the stem starting at the bottom of the leaf.  Once you have that main piece going, it should just lift right off (see below)

Once you have removed the leaves, you should pick out the ones that you want to use for the jar.  Try them out, wrap them around the jar for size, see which ones look best next to to others.  Put those aside.  If you are going to be layering leaves on top of each other,  you don’t have to pick those now, there’s an extra step later.

Step 2:
With the small foam brush, lay a thin even layer of Modpodge around the entire jar.  Set aside.  Next, lay a thin even layer of Modpodge around the inside of the chosen leaves, making sure to pay extra attention to the tips.  Set them aside.

1

The key here is to make sure that the glue is very tacky on all items before sticking them together.  If the glue is too wet, the edges will not stick and the leaves will move around.. alot!  For me, it took about 10 minutes before it reached a semi translucent, tacky consistency.  It may be a bit harder to tell on the leaves, so touch the glue to see how tacky it is.

2

Step 3:
Once the jar and leaves are tacky, it’s time to stick the leaves on.  Once positioned, press down on the leaves from the middle out in order to get rid of any air bubbles.  If you are having trouble keeping the points of the leaves down, just press and hold with your fingers for a few seconds.  Repeat for all the leaves.  If some of them end up overlapping, depending on the type of leaf you bought, you may be able to just stick it down.  If that’s not possible, dab a very tiny amount of modpodge on the bottom of leave, wait a minute or two and press and hold the top leaf down.

(If you want to add another layer of leaves, repeat the process from step one.  Except that you will also be applying Modpodge to the leaves you have attached. Continue below )

Step 4:
Once all the leaves  have been attached to the jar, set aside and let the rest of the glue dry (about 10 more minutes).

With the foam brush, apply a thin layer of Modpodge over the entire jar.  Allow to fully dry.  You made add more layers if you wish but it’s not necessary.

Step 5:
When fully dried, wrap some jute or twine around the lip and decorate with a bow or leaves, anything works!  Stick a tealight candle inside and makes a beautiful day or night time decoration for your home.

Try it with different types and colors of leaves.  As you can see, I used glittery leaves for a little extra pizazz.  Show me your finished projects and become featured on the blog!

Happy Crafting

Growing a lemon tree

When my oldest daughter was born, I started a little lemon tree.  To me, it was as simple as washing the seeds and throwing them in some dirt.  My poor little tree did not make it very long and since then, every now and again, I will try to grow another.  Thus far, nothing has sprouted.  So, I do what we all do when we are stuck – I google!

I found that there are many, many ways to make sure that your little seeds start to sprout.  I tried the least complicated method and improvised a bit (as I always do when I’m feeling lazy).  All you need are one or two lemons (1 will give you plenty of seeds), a knife, a plastic container (I used a yogurt container – great way to recycle!), a hammer, a nail and some soil.  Below is the way that worked for me:

Lemon Tree Tutorial

I used the seeds of a regular lemon purchased at the grocery store.  I washed and dried them so that they wouldn’t be slimy and hard to handle.

Lemon Tree Tutorial 2

Try not to cut into the seed itself.  This could get tricky, but after the 3rd or 4th seed, it gets easier.

Lemon Tree Tutorial 3

I used my nails to pry them open.  again, with practice it gets much easier

Lemon Tree Tutorial 4

Lemon Tree Tutorial 5

I used an old yogurt container.  They are the perfect size for starting seeds.

Lemon Tree Tutorial 6

The more holes you make, the better drainage you get.

Lemon Tree Tutorial 7

Water them often.  Make sure the soil is always moist.  I placed mine on  my kitchen window sill.

Lemon Tree Tutorial 8

After 2-3 weeks, they will begin to sprout.  I almost gave hope, but I eventually saw progress!

Lemon Tree Tutorial 9

My little plant is growing nicely!  I am going to give it another week or two before transferring them into a bigger, permanent container.  What’s the best thing about the lemon plant you ask?  When you gently squeeze the  leaves, you can smell the yummy lemony scent!  Of course you won’t get lemons growing on it anytime soon.  From what  I have read, that takes about 6 years to happen.  In the meantime, take care of it, water it regularly and enjoy the beauty of it!