BABY FOOD JAR SNOW GLOBES These make lovely favors and small gifts, and are particularly good when working with children. The same techniques can be used to make "commercial-quality" musical glitter domes, for which all materials can be purchased from the mail order company listed at the end of the materials. (I have no affiliation with this company other than being a satisfied customer.) MATERIALS NEEDED: Jars (such as baby food jars) Silicone Adhesive (available in any hardware store: this glue is necessary because it will not dissolve in water. It comes in both clear and white; I use clear for this.) Figure(s) - such as plastic - that will not be ruined by water Mylar glitter (regular glitter would rust) , or substitute moth flakes, crushed egg shells, etc. Braid/Ribbon to decorate rim of jar The following mail order company carries all of the supplies needed: National ArtCraft 23456 Mercantile Road Beechwood, OH 44122 1-216-292-4944 PROCEDURE: -- Clean the jar as thoroughly as possible. -- Using silicone adhesive, glue figure(s) to inner lid of jar. (Pick something large enough to be visible and attractive underneath "dome".) -- Pour the glitter into the jar. Gently fill to almost the top with water. Cover with net or a screen (to let air in, but keep dust out). Set aside until all of the glitter has sunk to the bottom. (This will take several days, but is essential; otherwise, the glitter would just stay suspended in the water, rather than drifting to the bottom and staying there until the jar is shaken.) -- If one or two flakes of glitter have not drifted to the bottom by the end of a week, gently remove them with a spoon. -- Working over sink, gently fill jar to rim with water. -- Screw lid onto jar. (Some water will overflow as the figurine displaces the water.) Work gently to avoid air bubbles. -- After lid is screwed tightly in place, affix with line of silicone glue. Let dry. -- Decorate jar rim with velvet ribbon, gold braid, etc. -- Invert jar, which is now a snow globe. VARIATIONS: Although usually reserved for larger (commercial) globes, a music box could be glued to the base.
TREASURE CANDLES The pricy ($ 30.00+ apiece) Treasure Candles now popular in catalogues and at fancy NYC boutiques are actually a simple variation of seashell candles, common to those of us living near the ocean (and described in the _Cauldron_). They are easy and inexpensive to make, and can be personalized for gifts. They would make sensational favors, or innovative gifts for most occasions ... e. g., traditional stars or trees at Christmas, blue six-pointed stars for Chanukah, hearts for Valentines Day or weddings, eggs for Easter, pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving, "cakes" for birthdays, et cetera. Candle-making is one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest crafts imaginable. It requires little more than wax, a wick, coloring, scent, a tall metal cylinder (such as a coffee can), a larger pan, a stirring spoon, and a mold (such as a milk carton). In essence, one merely melts wax in the coffee can (placed inside of a water-filled pan to simulate a double-boiler), adds coloring and scent, pours it over the wick in the mold, and lets it harden before removing from the container. If you have not tried this before, the two best guides I have found are _The CandleMakers Candle Book_ by Rose Stein (a thin, tiny paper booklet that clearly covers all the basics along with virtually all types of candles, from sculptured and dipped to keepsake and frosted) and _The Cauldron_, an extraordinary treasure trove detailing _EVERY_ kind of candle (and specialty candle) imaginable, and an incredible bargain at only $ 9.75. Both are available from Pourette (1-800-888-WICK). Materials needed: wax * wick * coloring (commercial or crayons) * essential oils or candle scent * gold foil (optional) * Gold metal non-sharp skewer, short knitting needle, or chopstick "wand" Clear cellophane, ribbon, and card (for wrapping) 1 or more small metal screw-type amulets/ capsules/lockets Tiny, non-flammable "treasures", such as: gold charms pewter or ceramic miniatures buttons shiny new coins tiny gemstones / crystals Tiny hand-written or printed "messages" to fit inside capsules (e. g., fortunes / warm wishes, and, if giving as gifts, coupons, such as "present to giver to have yard mowed", "present to giver for one night's free babysitting", "present to giver for one dinner party", or whatever) Gift tag or enclosure cards Foil writing paper (optional) * Non-stick cooking spray (if using mold that cannot be peeled off, as you would a milk carton) Equipment needed: Mold: This can be commercial, such as a star, heart, or cake-shaped disk (all of which are available from Pourette) or items found around the house, such as egg cartons (for egg or pumpkin shaped candles), inverted cone-shaped paper cups (for Christmas tree candles), et cetera Tall metal container (such as a coffee can or top of double boiler lined with aluminum foil) Larger pan (either double boiler base or container large enough to hold coffee can with room on all sides) Wooden spoon Candy thermometer (if available) * All available from Pourette (1-800-888-WICK) Select charms and similar "treasures" that you think will be enjoyed by the recipient. For example, if aware that the recipient makes miniatures, you might include tiny pewter or ceramic figures ... if he or she collects buttons, include buttons ... if he or she collects coins, include inexpensive foreign coins. Likewise, shiny new pennies and/or silver dollars are always nice. (Do not use anything valuable, since such items could easily become lost or discarded, as the recipient could overlook the item, or even misplace the entire candle.) Write or print messages (good fortunes / warm wishes / inspirational quotations) to fit inside each locket and/or capsule ... e. g., "The love we give away is the only love we have to keep", or "Happiness is not having what we want, it is wanting what we have". Biblical verses (such as Romans 8:28 or Philippians 4:13) are ideal, provided that you _know_ that the recipient shares that faith. If giving to friends or relatives, you might include coupons for services (such as babysitting or lawn mowing), trips to the movies or theatre, et cetera. Cut each message (as for a Chinese fortune cookie) and insert it into the locket or capsule. If using molds that cannot be peeled off (as you would a milk carton), prepare each mold by wiping with a cloth that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Stand wick securely in mold. If using a non-commercial container, such as a paper cup, coat the wicking with melted wax so it will dry straight, then wrap the other end around a pencil and suspend it over the container so that the wick stands straight inside.) Set aside. Pour wax and coloring into chosen container (e. g., coffee can or double boiler top lined with aluminum foil). Pour water into bottom (larger) pan. Place wax-filled pan inside. If using candy thermometer, affix to sides of pan containing wax. Cook over low flame - _WATCHING_ _AND_ STIRRING_ _CONSTANTLY_ - until desired temperature is reached (based upon that which is recommended on the package of wax selected). Stir in scent. Pour thin layer of wax into mold. Sprinkle with a few "treasures". When wax begins to firm, add more wax and "treasures". Continue layering wax and "treasures" (ending with wax) until mold is full. As the wax cools, a hollow area will form in the center. Poke a few times with ice pick or knitting needle to eliminate air pockets. Fill depression with additional melted wax. (You may have to repeat this step.) Let harden, then remove from mold. (Although there should not be any problems, if you added treasures too soon and some are poking out of the wax, simply dip the entire candle into melted wax and set aside to harden.) If including a message, invert Pourette's gold or silver foil writing paper over candle surface and use stylus to write greeting or occasion / guest(s) of honor (e. g., wedding couple's names and date) if making favors. Decorate as desired. For example, if making tiny "birthday cake" treasure candles (either as gifts or party favors), whip some melted wax and spread over sides and edges to simulate frosting. Either purchase or make a gift tag enclosure card. Punch a hole in the upper lefthand corner. Include a message explaining that this is a "treasure candle" intended to bring good fortune, and instructing the recipient to burn the candle as usual, using the skewer/chopstick to retrieve special treasures and fortunes as they appear ... For example, fold card stock in half and punch hole in upper lefthand corner. On the front cover, write "Treasure Candle Containing Hidden Charms and Good Fortune Capsules" ... Inside the card, write "Hidden within this candle are charms, trinkets, and a good fortune capsule. When revealed, blow out the flame and use the attached wand to retrieve the treasure. Twist open the capsule to receive your good fortune." Overwrap with clear cellophane twisted at the top. Tie a metallic gold ribbon at the top, looping the gift tag through the ribbon, and tying the non-pointed gold metal skewer, short knitting needle, or chopstick "wand" inside of the bow. Variations: For a new baby, or baby's first birthday, you might want to make a tall candle to burn on each birthday until the child reaches 21. Write at least 21 messages, and put each in a capsule (so that there will be one for each year). Stand wick in tall, round mold and pour in a very thin layer of colored, scented wax. Add "treasures" (including one capsule) and pour in additional wax until candle is approximately 1/2-inch high. Set aside to harden. Repeat with another capsule and treasures and different colored wax. Continue adding layers of wax (alternating colors, and including treasures and at least one capsule in each layer) until you have 21 layers. Set aside to harden. Attach a gold number for each year (e. g., number "21" on the bottom disk, "20" directly above that, "19" above, that, et cetera, until you reach "1" at the very top). If desired, dip quickly and lightly into clear wax just to provide a smooth, finished appearance. Decorate as for the birthday party favors. Copyright 1994 Virginia B. Sauer Pasta Angels For each angel, you will need: 1 piece of rigatoni pasta (for the body) 1 piece of bow pasta (for the wings) 3 pieces of elbow macaroni (2 for the arms and 1 for the hanger) 1 or 2 pieces of spaghetti (for the curly hair) 1 hazlenut or wooden bead (about 3/4" wide for the head) 1 small rectangular piece of card stock (about 1/2" x 1" for the book) hot glue gun and glue (other glue may work as well but it has to stick to the pasta) strong scissors or wire cutters a fine-tipped permanent ink black marker (to draw the face) white acrylic paint (water-based is the easiest to use as far as cleanup is concerned: it should be fairly thick paint so the usual craft paint should work okay) clear fishing line or other suitable fine cording (for the hanger) Steps to follow: 1. Do NOT cook the pasta, it has to be raw. You should wipe off any powdery residue on the pasta using a damp cloth but make sure everything is dry before going ahead. 2. Glue the nut (or bead) to the top of the rigatoni so that it's centred. The nut (or bead) should be slightly larger than the width of the pasta but not too much larger. Let dry til solid. 3. Using strong scissors or wire cutters, snip the spaghetti into several small pieces no larger than 1/8" long. Since these pieces of pasta will be the curly hair, put a fairly thick layer of glue on the top and three sides of the nut (or bead) and cover this area with the snipped pieces of spaghetti. Make sure you leave a large enough space on one side as that is where the face will be. Let dry til solid. 4. Glue the bow pasta on the back of the body making sure the "pinch" is centred as it will probably be the only part that will actually touch the body. You may have to use a fairly large blob of glue so it sits on it good and solid - not to mention straight. The ends or "pointy edges" of the bow should face out to the sides. Let dry til solid. 5. Using two pieces of the elbow macaroni, glue one end of each piece to the sides of the body near the top and facing front. Again, you'll have to use fairly large blobs of glue as they also need to be angled down somewhat to give the appearance of holding something in front of their body. Let dry til solid. 6. Using scissors or wire cutters, cut the remaining piece of elbow macaroni so that a small tube (about 1/4" long) is left whole. This is the part of the angel where the fishing line (or other cording) will be attached for hanging. Glue this small tube to the top of the head - on top of the curls. Make sure the open ends of the "tube" are on the sides - rather than facing the front and back. You could attach it to the back near the wings if you prefer but that will make the angel hang "forward" rather than straight. Let dry til solid. 7. Paint the angel making sure to cover it completely - including up inside the body as far as you can reach with the brush. You may have to give it more than one coat to cover completely. Let hang to dry. (My aunt made a lot of these at one time so what she did was attach a temporary line to each angel and dip each one in a quart can of white paint - using a manicure stick to sink it down and move it around til it was coated sufficiently.) Let hang to dry thoroughly which could take a day or two depending on the type of paint used. (Try to find a dust-free, kids-free and pets-free place to hang these and don't forget to place newspaper under them to catch the drips.) 8. Using the fine-tipped black marker, draw the facial features on the head. For a singing angel, the mouth will be an oval which could also be filled in with ink to stand out more and each closed eye could be a horizontal line (about 1/4") with four shorter but vertical lines drawn down from the horizontal line to give the appearance of eyelashes. Two dots, close together and side by side, will serve to indicate where the nose is. 9. Fold the small rectangle of card in half and glue to the ends of each arm so that it looks like an open book the angel is reading from. Let dry til solid. 10. Thread an 8" - 10" length of clear fishing line or thin cording through the tube on the top of the angel's head and tie the ends together. AND THAT'S IT!!! Of course, you can paint the angels any colour you want - they don't have to be white. You could also add more colour in "dressing" them up by attaching Christmas-type fabric or paper to the body to look like a gown. Sparkles, beads, sequins, etc. could also be glued on as well. The hair could be painted a different colour - as could the face and arms be painted in flesh tones, etc., etc., etc.... ---------