Saturday, January 4, 2014

Golden Chevron Christmas Candles

Now that chevrons are super hip, you undoubtedly saw some of these gilded chevron candles this holiday season. You probably saw them and thought, "Those would be super easy to make." And then you moved on, like a sane person.

I, on the other hand, had to try to make them. After all, I live in Orange County, where Vigil candles (read: Jesus candles) are available for $1 in just about every store in town. So, $6 in candles and $3 in spray paint later, I was sitting on the floor trying to fashion chevrons out of masking tape. Easy, you say? Nope. 

Along with being the hippest pattern, they are also a pretty stinking difficult one to free hand. So, my fellow DIY enthusiast, I offer you this advice. 

Find a cloth measure with centimeters on it (usually, they're about 1/2inch wide and rubberized). Wrap it around the the candle at the highest point you'd like your chevrons to hit. Starting at 0, make a little dot with a permanent marker just above your measuring tape every 6 cm. On your run of the mill $1 glass candle, this should perfectly space them all the way around. Now, starting at 3cm, repeat the process, putting the small dots just below your measure, repeat all the way around. 

Carefully (so as not to smudge your dots!) measure down 2 inches from each dot on the top and bottom rows to duplicate the pattern 2 inches down. Do this again 4 inches down from each dot. 

Now, pull out your masking tape (go spend the $3 on the the good, name brand blue kind in 3/4" width. Believe me, it's worth it.) Starting at the top most dot, run a line of tape from just below the dot (so that the topmost corner of the tape touches the dot) down to the adjacent dot that would have been below your measure, again, the top corner of the tape should be just below the dot. Then, run your next length of tape back up to the next upper dot. Be careful, as you go, to trim the tape into a diagonal at each corner to remain in line with your pattern. 

When you are done with the first row, you may go ahead and curse my name, then move on to the second set of dots 2 inches down. 

Eventually, you'll have something that looks like this.
I experimented with brush-on acrylic paint that I already had around the house (still trying to hold to the great spray paint embargo of 2013) first, and was a little underwhelmed by the results.
Notice how even in this very crappy light, the brush strokes are visible? Well that simply wouldn't do. So, for my second batch, I did the whole process again (while catching up on Glee, of course) and this time used gold spray paint. 

As you can see here, the spray painted version has more luster to it, and doesn't have brush strokes. Also, I found that it is a little more durable and doesn't scratch off quite as easy.
Either method, I encourage you to wait as long as you can bring yourself to (maybe even 24 whole hours) before removing the tape. If the paint is at all wet (even deep down) it will peel right off the glass and your hours of masking will all be in vain.

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