Solo Art Exhibit: May 2015 at Love, Light, & Magick on Hertel Ave. Buffalo NY. Welcome to the Website/Blog of Fantasy Artist, Writer, and Intuitive Julia Finucane. Explore Fantasy and Fairy tale art. Get lost in the world of magic, spirituality, and Tarot. Learn Irish / Italian folklore & traditions, have fun with crafts. View Artwork, Crafts, & Spiritual Supplies in person at 464 Gallery, Love Light & Magick, or Impact Gallery in Buffalo, NY

April 25, 2015

How to Remove Candle Wax from Glass Containers



Learning how to remove candle wax from their glass containers can be a great way to reuse and recycle. When one has as many leftover old candles hanging around the house as I do, you try to find ways to reuse the wax instead of just throwing the jars out. This saves money and saves on adding to the garbage piles.

People burn candles for many different reasons. I burn for their scents and for the romantic and peaceful atmosphere they give off. The aroma fills the air and helps with taking unwanted smells out of the room, such as those lovely dog and cat smells. Now I love my animals, but I don't want my house smelling like them. I also burn candles for spiritual reasons, so you can probably imagine how many old candles I have laying around. 

Removing the wax is very easy and you can use the leftover candle wax to make wax tarts, tea light candles, or even small pillar candles. Bigger candles can be made if you have a lot of old wax or if you mix the leftovers together. I like to keep the wax separate because I make wax tarts from the different scents. 

Choose and gather all those old glass jar candles with the leftover wax at the bottom. Place them on a hot plate or towel to protect whatever surface they are on. In my case, I was protecting my kitchen counter. Score the wax with a knife making slits in the wax.

Boil a pot of water like you are making tea. You can use a tea kettle or a pot. The boiled water is the key to removing the candle wax from the glass jars. When the water is boiled, pour the water into each glass jar about a quarter way from the top. Remember to do this on the hot plate or towel to protect your surface. The glass jars will get very hot, so refrain from touching them with bare hands. Use a oven mitt or glove. 

The water will cover and reach into the wax section of the candle. The slits in the wax that were made will allow the water to reach inside the wax easier. You will see the wax start to melt and bubble to the top. It looks kind of like a lava lamp. Let the water sit for awhile and until it cools off. I let it sit for at least an hour. The water will eventually cool off and the wax will harden at the top. 

Remember as the wax melts in the container with the boiling water, the wax will separate and move to the top of the jars. When the water cools so will the wax, making it very easy to remove. To remove, stick the knife into the top of the wax. This will crack the wax making it easy to pull out. Pour the water out, but not into the kitchen sink because the wax will harden into the pipes. Take all the leftover wax out and place on the side to make wax tarts or candles out of it. You might have to repeat the steps if you have a lot of wax left in the jar and you can not remove it. 

If reusing the jars and containers, wipe the remaining wax out with a rag or paper towel. Wash with dish soap, rinse, and let dry. Remember to peal any labels off. The jars can now be used for decoration or storage. 

Well I hope that this helps with getting all that old wax out of those glass jars. Enjoy!

April 14, 2015

DIY Plastic Bag and Fabric Pillows



I recently wrote about how my husband and I made a dog bed out of wooden pallets for our two dogs. It came out perfect and we were ready for the next step of making the pillows and cushion parts for the bed. To learn how to make the bed or to get ideas, read the post DIY Pallet Wood - Handmade Dog Bed
When it came to making the pillows, we wanted to make them semi water (pee pee) proof, easy to clean, sturdy, comfortable, and affordable in price. The fabric had to be comfortable but sturdy enough for two large dogs to use basically everyday and night. Our one dog also has minor incontinence, so the number one thing I wanted was easy cleanup and water proofing. I did some Pinterest searching and thinking out if the box brainstorming, and we came up with two great ideas for the dog bed cushions. 

The bottom cushion part was pretty easy. I got four regular bed size pillows that fit on the bottom portion of the bed with some overlap. This worked out great because the pillows not only overlapped on the bottom but also covered the wooden sides adding extra comfort. My dogs are spoiled and do not like sitting or laying on anything hard. Having this overlap gave them the comfort they wanted which made for easy "human couch to dog bed" transition." For those of you who didn't read the DIY Pallet Wood - Handmade Dog Bed post, the main reason for making this bed was to get our dogs off our human couch. 

Next was the water (pee pee) proofing of the bottom pillows. I decided to buy regular sized white trash bags that one would use in the kitchen trash can. These fit the regular bed size pillows perfect. I placed each of the four pillows separating into four separate garbage bags. I folded the opening end and taped  it shut. I used packaging tape and this made the pillows water proof and easy for clean up. Just use any cleaner such as soap and water or diluted vinegar or animal cleaner to clean up any accidents on the pillow. When the bag gets destroyed, just remove it and place on another. 

Now since I figured that garbage bags aren't too comfy and would get holes in them from the dogs nails, I decided to see pillow cases for them. Now I'm sure you can use just regular pillow cases, but I wanted to bed to look presentable because it was going in my living room. I got a light blue flannel fabric and decided to see four separate pillow cases. If one gets dirty or soiled, I just remove that pillow case and wash it. Easy clean up for everyone. 

Now I could have stopped here, but when I went fabric shopping for the blue fabric, I found this very cute dog patterned fabric that matched perfectly. I had a coupon too, so I had to get it. Plus I wanted to make accent pillows for the back of the bed. These two had to be water proof and easy to clean.

I didn't have any pillow forms or poly-fil and did not want to by anymore. I wanted to keep this project under a certain price, and the fabric had made me almost reach my limit. I searched Pinterest again and found a picture of a pillow made from plastic bags. I said, "I can do that" and I did.

First I got about 20 regular sized grocery store bags. This made the inside of the pillows. I made 3 all together. I used a thicker plastic bag that I got from a retail type store for the outside bag. I figured a thicker bag would hold up a little better. If you don't have a thicker retail bag, a small garbage style bag would work as well.

I stuffed the 20 or so bags into the thicker retail bag. I then tied the handles together, formed it into a square pillow shape, and then taped the bag shut. This was my base form for the pillows. I was surprised at how they actually looked the shape of a pillow without that much forming on my part.

I then stuck it into another plastic bag which will be the outer plastic layer that will be thrown out and changed if it gets soiled or ruined. 

The last part was to make these plastic bag pillows look pretty and presentable, Oh and comfortable for the pups. I took that cute fabric I had bought, cut out my length for the size of the pillow case and turned it inside out so the non decorative side faced me. 

I pinned the ends together and folded the edges so they wouldn't fray. I also use a fray glue for extra non fraying hold. They sell it at places like Jo Ann Fabrics. 

Next sew the edges closed but make sure to keep the opening edge opened when sewing because you need a place to stick the pillow into. Think of how a pillow case works. 

If you need more info or step by step directions on how to sew a pillow case, google has so many tutorials and so does youtube. I recommend researching DIY pillow case or free pillow case patterns.

When the fabric is completely sewn (either by hand or on a machine) it is time too turn it right side up with the fabric on the outside. Stuff the pillow cases, one with each pillow, and you're done.

The finished product came out so nice and they served their purpose of easy clean up, water (pee pee) proof, affordable, and comfy.
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