February 22, 2012

Tutorial: DIY hanging candleholders

Remember: all pics are clickable to show them larger!

I love the look of hanging candleholders from stanchions (shepherd's hooks) but had crossed the thought off my list when I realized how expensive the hooks were! I had even started looking last summer when most stores had clearance, hoping to find a good deal (and I found absolutely nothing) and everywhere online were just too expensive - think $15 per hook! So last weekend when I discovered a ton of them at the large Dollar Tree in Lake Park, GA, I snatched up 10 of them for $1 a piece! Nevermind that I had no clue where I'd find hanging candleholders to use with them.

I even checked at Hobby Lobby for some inexpensive tealight holders with a flared opening, something I could DIY with wire, but no such luck. Then on the drive home, I remembered I had some quart-size generic Mason jars at home from an attempt to make barbeque sauce :) Turns out I also had the other "ingredient" I needed - floral wire! So I got started (the only other supply I used were an old pair of needle-nose pliers, but those aren't required if using floral wire - it's pretty easy to bend with your fingers.)
I bought the green floral wire in a pack for about $1.22; Wal-mart brand "Mason jars" were about $6 for 12

  • Using your fingers or pliers, bend a loop on one end of your wire, and twist it around itself. Try to tuck in the end of the wire, since it's metal and you don't want to poke yourself with it! Try to keep the loop under .5" long.
  • Next, wrap the wire halfway around the rim of the jar (underneath the ridges/lip, so it has something to keep it from sliding off). Once it's curved halfway around, then bend it at a 90 degree angle, so the remaining wire points straight up.

  • Now, create an arch with the wire, bringing it back to the other side of the jar where you started, holding it in place. Thread the wire through the loop you made in the beginning. 
  • Wrap the wire around the other side of the jar, to meet the 90 degree bend you made previously. Wrap the end of the wire around the bent wire, mimicking the loop you made before. Be sure to keep that loop under .5", so that you have enough wire for a "handle".
  • Slide the second loop up the handle part of the wire, and use that slack to bend the wire at a 90 degree angle again; this helps the loop having something to catch. You can use this opportunity to tighten the wire around the rim of the jar, by pulling the extra wire up and creating a larger "handle".

Your end result should look something like this:

It gets easier with practice. Soon enough, you'll have a whole army of hanging jars:
I must say, I really like the clean look of the off-brand Wal-Mart "Mason" jars. They have no label on the glass, so they are smooth and don't scream MASON JAR. I thought I would've liked thicker, silver wire more; but once I was finished with a few of them, I realized the skinny green wire would work just lovely. The shepherd's hooks I bought are only 30" so I don't need anything fancy or bulky hanging from them anyways. I'm even reconsidering using them for flowers instead of candles! We shall see.

Let me know if you do this project, and how it turns out! I'm curious to see if I inspire anyone (even though this isn't the most original post, it's the first one I did on my own without any Pinterest or Google inspiration).

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