Today, I’m excited to share a guest post by Rheney of RheneyWilliams.com. It’s hard to believe as my kids play outside in t-shirt weather that many of you are still snowed in and looking for indoor activities to do with your kids. So, for those of you stuck inside, this post is for you!
Tiny Tea Light LED Luminaries
With winter going full force outside, it can be tough to find crafts and projects to keep kids busy indoors and very tough to find ones that you can actually keep displayed and use year-round!
It was this cold weather conundrum that led me to creating a hurricane vase luminary with LED tea lights! Not only do you have a fun and simple craft project to do with your kids, but you can also take the opportunity to teach them about energy efficient lighting methods that are as safe as they are functional. Also, a little bit of window glitter never hurt any home!
So the next day you have a brief respite from the bitter wind, head outside for a few minutes to complete the first step of this project and then warm up inside as you discuss the bright concepts surrounding tiny tea lights.
I took a glass hurricane vase that I picked up at a local crafts store and a can of Rust-Oleum’s Glitter spray paint in silver. Clean the glass thoroughly, inside and out, to provide the best adhesion for the glitter.
In a well-ventilated area like a back porch or a garage with open doors, spray the inside and outside of the vase with the glitter. I began by spraying the inside, waited about an hour and turned it upside down to finish spraying the outside.
Be sure to put something under the vase while you spray because glitter gets everywhere! I have a flat cardboard box ‘paint platform’ that has seen enough coats of many colors that it is starting to take on its own artistic merit!
Another hour or so and you can bring the vase back inside to dry overnight. I placed it upside down on top of a cooling rack sitting inside a foil lined sheet pan so that air would circulate inside and around the vase while it dried. If there are any glitter drips (which there shouldn’t be after an hour) they will drop below the cooling rack into the sheet pan and all I need to do is remove the foil and clean up’s done.
Once it is completely dry, the vase is ready to take its tea light. And this is where kids today have more options than we did growing up in the pre-LED bulb days. A tea light candle was about all we had, if we were lucky, and those only lasted a few hours at most.
Plus, I wasn’t allowed to ‘play with matches’ and unless my mom was around and not dealing with the shenanigans of my three brothers, I would have to be content to just look at the glass and imagine what it would look like all lit up.
Fortunately the times have changed and LED bulbs with a little 50-hour lithium battery last infinitely longer than candle wax while providing sufficient lighting that doesn’t require an incandescent bulb attached to an electric cord or AAA batteries.
And about those electric candles in the ’90s that plugged into the wall: Was I the only one with cats that seemed to think it was their mission in life to knock over the candle? At a minimum, that flimsy cord was a nice little hazard for wandering tails and I seem to recall walking in to find a candle bulb burning brightly on the carpet as a kid! Not exactly the safest way to light a room.
With these LED luminaries in the window, there’s no risk of cat tails or paws knocking them over.
And another great feature of LED tea lights is that some of them come with a timer that will automatically turn it off if you forget about it when you go to bed. No more worrying about waking up to a puddle of wax – or worse!
What other illuminating ideas do you have for windowsill luminaries?
Rheney Williams is a crafter in Charleston, S.C., who adds a DIY element to all of her home décor lighting pieces. In addition to writing about her craft projects for Home Depot, Rheney is busy updating her home with all manner of custom Lowcountry touches. You can view Home Depot’s online LED lighting products here.