How can I NOT set this craft on fire?
January 23, 2009 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out how to colour some clear glass tea light holders to maximize sexiness and avoid flames.

I'm trying to figure out how best to dimly light my bedroom. I have a set of clear glass tea light holders that look like this but are contained in a thin metal frame like these ones. Note that the tea lights are shorter than the holders so the light shines through the sides of the glass, not out of the top like in the second example.

They produce a good level of light but it's so yellow/white that it's not flattering. I think a pink, purple or red hue would work better, but I want to know how I should colour these holders.

Would tissue or thin decorative paper and decoupage work? Would paint? Are either of these likely to catch fire if I applied them to the inside of the holders? Any other suggestions?
posted by cranberrymonger to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Best answer: Make a really thin mix of water and Elmers glue, and brush it onto ripped pieces of colored crepe paper laid on the glass. I've done this with glass handle holders and it's really pretty, doesn't set on fire or melt or anything.
posted by tristeza at 11:54 AM on January 23, 2009

I don't know about flammability but you could try the paint that you use on plastic sun catchers. You can buy it at hobby stores. You might have to apply multiple layers.
posted by shmurley at 12:03 PM on January 23, 2009

My wife did exactly this with tissue and decoupage glue. It works fine.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:07 PM on January 23, 2009

Tissue paper, I mean. Not Kleenex. Cause that'd be weird.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:07 PM on January 23, 2009

paint with elmers or modge podge and wrap with laceweight yarn.
posted by peachfuzz at 12:10 PM on January 23, 2009

Eek, I meant tissue paper, too! :) Although crepe might be nice for even more texture.....
posted by tristeza at 12:41 PM on January 23, 2009

The tissue paper + decoupage medium works just fine.

I've done this on the insides of votive holders so that the outside surfaces are shiny and smooth. I coated the inside with a few layers of varnish after the decoupage medium dried to make wax spills easier to clean up.

I've been using them for at least 8 years with no issues at all.
posted by burntflowers at 12:48 PM on January 23, 2009

Best answer: Decoupage the outside of the holders. Here's a picture tutorial, of sorts. Just skip the step with the eyes.
posted by moonshine at 12:49 PM on January 23, 2009

You could also get an led tea light. No problems with fire that way.
posted by JAD'E at 12:56 PM on January 23, 2009

There's enamel-based glass paint available at craft stores that I have used many a time on candle holders. I believe it's by Delta.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:20 PM on January 23, 2009

The issue I think you're going to have here, is that most of the light is still going to be the reflected yellow/white light off the ceiling.

If you're just going for effect and not in love with the idea of the candels themselves, I might run with JAD'E's suggestion and look into playing with a couple of 256 color LEDs. Since they stay cool you could stick them into pretty much anything you wanted to make.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:16 PM on January 23, 2009

I have used Delta glass enamel in the past. You paint it on and then bake it in the oven. Once cured this way, it is indestructable, even when you run items through the dishwasher.
posted by Ostara at 5:35 PM on January 23, 2009

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