Be Mine Candleholders: A Valentine’s Craft Fail

Posted by Dani on February 18, 2013

This post was going to start off smugly with a great craft idea that I was going to pull off really well.  And it was going to look really beautiful and get lots of praise from impressed readers.  Canadian House and Home was probably going to feature it.  I was going to feel like a proud blogger.

The project started off with those famous last words, “how hard can it be?” and then went downhill from there.  But I am posting it anyway.  I will feel like a humble blogger.  And we will learn some important crafting lessons together.  And then I will throw the project away.

I wanted to add a Valentine’s message to some red candleholders by painting the inside with gold paint and masking off letters to read “Be Mine.”  Then I could light them and watch them flicker all pretty on the mantle, and feel impressed with myself.  Easy, right?  Read on…

I couldn’t find 6 red candleholders in a matching size, so in the spirit of the new relax and chill attitude I am trying to cultivate, I decide to combine 2 sizes.  I’m going to say it gave this project an eclectic look.  Eclectic is a very convenient word for times like this.

You can see here that I went to the trouble of carefully taping off the top edge.  Cause I can be neurotic like that.  Obviously there are some areas of my life where my new chill out attitude has not yet taken hold.

I used some stick-on letters from the dollar store, which I stuck on with glue stick.  I sprayed the inside in several light coats on the stove area, where I had good ventilation.  This was going great.  Very blog-worthy.

I was feeling pretty optimistic until I pulled off the stickers and saw that the paint ran underneath, and the metallic gold paint ran down the sides of the candleholders, looking horribly uneven and blotchy.  I tried to fix them with a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover.  And then a paint brush dipped in a puddle of spray paint.  And then I dropped one and cracked it.  And then I gave up.

I think these candleholders would work well if you were stalking someone and wanted to frighten them on Valentine’s Day.  Maybe you could word scramble the letters to say something menacing to enhance this effect.  Or maybe you could give these to the kids so that they understand that “Be Mine” really means you own their asses.  Lots of possibilities.

I’m done with glass painting.  But just to put this post to good use, here are some lessons you can keep in mind if you ever decide to try something like this:

How To Not Fail At Reverse Painting Candle Holders

  1. Do not use glue stick if you’re ever masking something off for painting.  Too gummy, which will give you a messy edge.  And the adhesion is not uniform.  Spray glue would have been much better.
  2. The metallic flake in metallic paint runs and settles easily, which affects the colour.  This project might have worked if I had applied several light coats with drying time in between.
  3. When working with metallic paint on glass, use a primer if possible to provide .  An initial coat of primer, with gold on top, would have given me uniform coverage.
  4. Consider buying reverse painted candle holders instead.

28 Responses to “Be Mine Candleholders: A Valentine’s Craft Fail”

  1. I love your candle holders just for the fact that you had the blog guts to post about something that didn’t work perfectly. I have had many a project that hasn’t turned out exactly as I hoped, and they never saw any love on my blog.
    I wonder if these would work if you reversed the process – maybe next year you can find some gold candle holders, attach the letter to the front and then spray the exterior with red paint. Do you think that could work?

    • Dani says:

      Thanks, Michelle! (this was not my first craft fail, by the way!) That might be an idea worth trying. I think I might try them for Halloween, so even a “fail” would work!

  2. LOL! I clicked over from Vintage Revivals…we both were featured in the “DIY Gone Wrong” post! You’re so funny…I cried alittle 🙂

  3. LOL LOL LOL I love the stalker slant you gave the finished product! Hilarious!

  4. Suzanne says:

    This was too funny!

    We’ve all been there but I love how you were able to offer opportunities to use the failed project for someone you’re stalking. LOL

    Popped over from Vintage Revivals.


  5. Oh dear… i can see how this project was going to be epic and beautiful, at least we have learning points though!

  6. Laughing Abi says:

    “You own their asses”. Perfect! Love your attempt at this. I have a fail I keep meaning to post about but every time I look at it I get aggravated all over again. Obviously it’s still too soon 🙂

    • Dani says:

      I think with craft fails you have to go through the 6 stages of craft loss – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and then finally blogging about it. Maybe you still need to sit with it a while 😉

  7. diane jones says:

    girl. i laughed the biggest belly laugh i have had in years. when i hit the comment about using the candle holders – gone – wrong to frighten and to send the message to our kids that ” Be Mine actually means we own their asses” it literally sent me over the edge ! as of today, you have one more blog follower.

    • Dani says:

      The candle holders looked vaguely threatening, and I think that’s a good thing in parenting sometimes 😉 Thanks for commenting, it made my day!

  8. Camille says:

    Oh Dani,

    You KNOW it’s rude to laugh at people’s failure, but I can’t help myself. Primarily because you’re laughing at yourself! I’m like everyone else, when I got to the message to our kids, I fell out of my chair laughing! I C-A-N-N-O-T tell you how many craft projects I have failed and thrown away! I so badly want to write that blogger and say “how in the hell did you do that?” lol

    I’m here from Vintage Revivals and thank you for my morning laugh! Also, by posting the failed project, it helps the rest of us not feel so inadequate!

  9. Aimee says:

    On the flip side, the spooky look could be perfect for Halloween. Perhaps do two more ‘O’s and spell out “Boo”? Thanks for sharing, I’ve had plenty of craft fails – it’s nice to know we’re not alone!

  10. Tess says:

    Oh, dear…thank you for using your craft fail to bring joy to so many peoples’ lives. I am laughing so hard!

  11. Danee says:

    Hilarous. Paint on glass is never easy. Glass paint would have been the best option with the least amount of streak risk. Martha’s glass paints work well and come in lots of colors. To mask off the letters you need to use something with a lot of stick= maybe cut them out of masking tape and then BURNISH the tape down WELL so that nothing runs behind the letters. Frankly, I cannot believe you tried to use glue stick. Glue sticks suck for everything except kid’s school art projects- and you know how long those last. Uhu brand is the only exception brand to this and the only one I will even use on paper. But you learned good lessons and you were willing to share.

    • Dani says:

      Thanks for these tips Danee. I guess I had to learn these lessons the hard way. Believe me, glue sticks are off my crafting supply list!

  12. Melissa says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m crying from laughing so hard! Story of my life. You can’t even imagine how I can relate! Well, you can look back on it and have a giggle, at least you tried:)!

  13. paula schuck says:

    LOL. Cratfing and DIY can be like that. They still look great !

  14. Kathleen says:

    Ha you’re funny! You got a lot farther than I would have, I wouldn’t have attempted it in the first place! Thanks for a dose of real life.

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