IN THIS ARTICLE:
Holy soy wax, that’s one spendy candle;
going from rags to rugs is trickier than expected
Concrete (Actually Cement) Candle
People just can’t seem to get enough concrete and cement craft projects these days. So to meet public demand for them, I was tasked with producing a DIY video + tutorial entitled How to Make Concrete Candles. Say what? Concrete candles? Well, they’re actually candles with concrete bases. Like this lovely specimen on Garmentory.com:
Beautiful, I thought. Then I saw the price tag.
$90! Nine. Zero. US. Dollars. Basically, an item for those who’ve, literally, got money to burn.
Plus that candle is only HALF candle. What happens to the concrete base afterwards? I suppose you’ve got yourself a $45 paperweight. Anyway, regardless of all that, it really is a lovely piece of decor, and I suppose it would only be lit for very short periods of time (if even lit at all). But what an excellent DIY opportunity. I mean, the materials would be so freaking cheap.
So I said, yes — challenge accepted.
Candle With Cement Base: Trial Run
It’s very rare that a project should prove successful (or very near successful) during my very first attempt at it. This was one of those rare moments.
Technically, I didn’t use concrete — I used Portland cement. (These days, so many people are using those terms interchangeably, which they probably shouldn’t because confusion can ensue — but what’re you gonna do?) Also, I really like the marbling effect at the border between the wax and cement, where the wax creeped through a bit when I poured it into the mold. I could have sanded that down for a more clear definition between the two materials, but I like the organic flavor this happy accident lends.
I’m currently working on the DIY video for this project, so stay tuned!
Woven Rag Rug
A classic…no…ancient craft that’s probably thousands of years old. Who knows, maybe even prehistoric.
Still, there are many among us who’ve never made a rag rug (me included!) so I wanted to take a stab at it, using the easiest and quickest method I could find. For me personally, that proved to be the cardboard loom method.
Cardboard Loom Rag Rug: Trial Run #1
Not bad, not bad. I used some floral canvas fabric and an old bed sheet I’ve had for years, and though I liked the process and the result, I wasn’t crazy about the colors. It looks super dated (not in a good way) — like something you’d find in a department store catalog from the late 80s – mid 90s. When you’re making videos for a website meant for a general audience, you’ve got to make something that would have universal appeal — which sometimes means the more neutral the better.
So off to the thrift stores I went.
Trial Run #2
It proved pretty tough to find second-hand pieces that would work together in perfect harmony for my video-making purposes. Also, I needed lots of fabric to tear into rags. After a day of thrift store hopping, I found these linens. Note that I didn’t go neutral after all, because I like to live on the edge.
Bright and cheery, right? Seemed promising, but you never really know how colors and prints will play together until you let them play. So I proceeded to cut my strips. 105 of them in total.
And when that was done, I thought it would be smart to make a little swatch before starting on a full sized rug. So, I made a mini loom and got to work. Didn’t pay attention to weaving technique as much as getting an idea of what the final color effect would look like. And….
Uhhhhhmmmmm. NOPE. Not gonna work.
Maybe this’ll work as placemat for a little girl throwing a tea party for Holly Hobby, but definitely not the fresh and modern look I was going for. *SIGH*
So that’s where I left it for now. Still on the lookout for the right rags to rug.