So my Aunt absolutely loves the Fourth of July. Every year it’s a big extravaganza at her house on Independence Day. Everyone gathers around and spends the entire day outside…. Then at night we set off fireworks. Problem is, bugs eat us alive!! I wanted to make a practical gift for her that she could keep out for decoration and help with the bug problem. So here are the mason jars I turned into citronella candles and painted like the American flag.
First, I had to paint the jars. In order to make the stars, I just used some star alphabet stickers I already had. To make sure the lines of stars stayed straight, I simply used hair ties!
To make the stripes (somewhat) straight- I used masking tape and stretched it across both jars, then cut it to seperate the jars.
I then painted the jars with tempra paint. It took a few layers to cover it, but since I had everything taped off, I could be a little sloppy with the paint! I let them sit overnight so the paint was set.
The masking tape peeled right off, but the stars were a different story! I had to pick each one individually off with an exacto knife. That took some time. (I have heard of someone painting the entire jar blue and then using a star stamp to put the stars in place, which sounds so much smarter! I would try that if I had to do it again.)
Now here is the part where this turned into a Crafting Fail…. The jars didn’t look a lot like an American flag because they were missing the white. I didn’t want to paint the white on them because I wanted you to be able to see the citronella inside it when it was done. My solution was to use Armor Etch to etch the inside of the jars. The problem is that the jars did not want to etch. I applied, and reapplied, and reapplied the Armor Etch until I ran out! It still didn’t cover 100%… Very frustrating! Well, if you have ever worked with Armor Etch, then you know that as soon as you get etched glass wet, you can no longer see the etching! So as soon as I put the citronella oil in the jars, you could not even see the etching! So please learn from my mistake- etching the inside doesn’t work! You could probably etch the outside before you paint, but you may run into the same problem where it doesn’t cover well.
So the next step was to make the holes in the lids. I did this very simply by using a screw and a hammer.. I slowly punched holes in the top of the jar by hammering the screw until it punched through. (I actually let my 8 year old nephew hammer the screw in while I held it- that’s why the screw is so long, to protect my fingers!)
I went to Target and picked up the citronella oil and the wicks. The oil was only $10, the wicks were $2.99 per 2 pack. (I also picked up the Mason Jars at Target in the dollar section for $1 each!) This jar of oil filled up all three jars to the top, and I still had some left over. The wicks slid easily in the lids, and they soak up the oil very fast! Here’s my little helper, he’s cute right?
So in the end, I have a nice simple gift for my aunt on the Fourth of July, and a way to keep the bugs away as we celebrate with family!
What creative ways can you keep the bugs away?