Insu-Laters, Baby

Hi there! Did you miss me? Sorry I’m posting later today, but I’ve had you on my mind. I couldn’t wait to show y’all what you can do with these great glass insulators. These are as utilitarian as they come. Glass insulators were used for years on telephone poles to keep the wire connections dry from the outdoor elements. Water conducts electricity, and that’s not good!

Glass insulators come in all kinds of colors. Different colors do not have any meaning or purpose. They simply made insulators at the end of the day with whatever glass color they had been using earlier in the day. I love that! Something so utilitarian, that it wasn’t even given a dedicated color, has now become something that people seek out to find and save.

You might also find ceramic ones. I prefer the glass, but that’s just me. If you like the ceramic ones, then love them for all you’re worth. Unfortunately, the ceramic ones won’t be much use for what I’m showing you today, though.

So today your supplies are: glass insulators and electric flicker tea light candles.

Glass Insulators

 Y’all, glass insulators as a whole are not rare. Certain colors are hard to find. However, if you aren’t looking for a specific color, you should be able to find these very easily anywhere vintage and antique items are sold.

Battery Operated Tea Light Candles

I found my tea light candles at Sam’s Club. They have a great set around Christmas time for a very good price, and it even includes extra batteries. But you can get yours anywhere. CVS, Walmart, Publix. Any.where. I saw a set of 3 at Walmart today for 99 cents.

Okay, now here’s the hard ridiculously easy part. Turn on the light and put it under the insulator. That’s it. You’re done. You don’t have to have any special talent for this project. Anyone can do it.

Instant Ambiance

I love using these outside on a patio table. The flickering lights make everything sparkle. They’re also great on a fireplace mantle. You don’t have to worry about having to blow the candle out.

Here’s another idea that is just as simple and easy to pull off:

The insulators fit perfectly into the openings of a vintage Coca-Cola crate. Instant vases for flowers from your yard!

What I love about both of these projects is that neither is permanent. You can use them for candlelight one day, and then for vases the next.

Be sure to come back tomorrow. I’ll be giving a sneak peak of what I’ll be selling at the fair on Saturday. (Tiny Hint: I will have these insulators with candles available there.) Let me know what you think of the insulators.

That’s just crate!

October is always really hectic at our house. It’s my favorite month of the year, and I always have a million fantastic unrealistic ways that I want to spend the autumnal season. I think October might be busier at our house than December. We have soccer games and family birthdays, not to mention the traditional pumpkin picking, carving, and eating that goes along with season. So when I registered to sell at a craft fair this month, I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly. I do happen to operate well on a time deadline, so you guessed it…another adventure!

I needed some way to display my wares at the craft fair. Not having a lot of extra time (see above) or money (see above), I wanted to do something fast and easy. I was inspired by these two guys below that I have used in vignettes around the holidays. The chippy red bench came from my sister’s garage sale about 10 years ago. And the green crate came from someplace like JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby.

Next I did a search on Pinterest for crates. Don’t you just love Pinterest? Of course, I found some inspiration.
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First I found this DIY crate project from Vintage Chic.

Next I found some inspiration for creating a vinegar stain from The Money Pit

I decided that I wanted to create some crates that looked like they were left in a barn. I gathered my materials, which included: two unfinished crates from Michaels, apple cider vinegar, a mason jar, a foam brush, some pennies, tea bags, and some steel wool. The crates were normally $12.99, but I used a 40% off coupon for each (purchased on different days) and a 20% off total purchase coupon. I found the vinegar, tea, jar, and brush at Walmart. The steel wool came from Home Depot in the paint department.

Don’t you love the patina showing on Abe? I have another project with these coming up in the future that I can’t wait to show you.

Step 1. Make the stain. Fill the jar with the apple cider vinegar. Add the steel wool, pennies, and tea. The website I found didn’t do it exactly like this. But I like to experiment, so I came up with my own stain cocktail recipe. I left it sitting on my counter for 2-3 days. You have to be careful with the tea, though, because it will mold. I took the tea bags out after a few hours.

Step 2. Sand the rough edges. (Oops, I didn’t picture my sanding block!) You will want to decide how much to sand, depending on how you’re using the crates. I wanted mine to be rough and old looking, so I only sanded the rough edges and splinters.

Step 3. Find a spot where you can get messy. This may be a DIY stain made with materials from home, but it is a stain. And it does. Stain. Even concrete in a garage. This would be great outside on the grass with some newspapers.

Step 4. Give the steel wool in the jar a few dunks up and down to get all of the fantastic color mixing through. Dip your foam brush in and, going with the grain of the wood, start brushing it on. The more coats you do the darker it gets. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look like it’s doing anything at first. The wood reacts with the ingredients and starts to change color. I did three coats on mine.

Here’s the before and after.

This was one of the easiest projects I’ve done. When I have time, I plan on adding some wording to the sides of the crates, either my company logo or something utilitarian like, “Peaches.” Don’t feel like you have the time for this project? No worries, you can purchase weathered looking crates online!

Let me know what you think!


P.S. Here is a great site to get steel wool from, delivered right to your door! Red Devil 630-0316 Steel Wool Course #3 (Google Affiliate Ad) //