We wanted to make something special for Ark’s sister, for her birthday, and I got the idea for a set of tea light holders for their new deck. It would have to be at least 5 or 6 sources of lights to accommodate the broad deck and something fairly sturdy so they can set them on the floor or the railing or leave them out for days.
Ark had been talking about up-cycling glass jars using a simple technique for “breaking” glass evenly to take the threads off. Then a few weeks ago his mum took us out for drinks and the bar had storm glass candles with mixed coloured and natural pearl gravel.
Over the next few weeks we located and appropriated some gravel locally >.>. Which I scrubbed and scrubbed and finally soaked in vinegar solution. After sorting all the darkest pebbles out for painting the remaining gravel was very pale, uniform and pretty.
First I tested to see how close to the rim of the glass the tealights could be before wind would blow them out.
I eyeballed how much coloured gravel would go per natural gravel for the glasses and started painting the dark pebbles with acrylics, in 3 hues of 4 select colours: Purple, Aqua, Pink and a neutral sand/camel. I actually started on some bright orange ones too with little pumpkin faces on them, but I didn’t finish them.
Meanwhile Ark experimented with different flammable liquids with very little success, trying first with nail polish remover as the original guide has said and moving on to different varieties of alcohol. But none of them would burn the floss wound around the glasses. It wasn’t until we picked up some rubbing alcohol that he was able to set the floss on fire. It was a very singular sound when the glasses cracked after being doused in ice water. Unmistakably glass breaking but very controlled sounding and we should mention that the break wont’ be super straight nor does it follow the thread. It will be above the thread in a more or less wavy line and the edges are sharp! Thankfully we only had one cutting accident and then Ark broke out his man toys with a miniature sanding machine and smoothed out the sharp edges.
With the finished glass sizes finally I could measure out precisely how much natural and coloured gravel I would need per glass and how much in total. Which meant painting twice as much gravel as I already had prepared – two days before we were set to have the present over of course.
Then I pre-mixed the purple variety (because I happened to have picked up some purple embroidery floss for burning off the top of the jars.
Decided on a triple bow of the pretty dark purple string for an embellishment: