We barely have any Valentine’s Day decorations in our house. It isn’t that we don’t like to decorate for holidays (you should see our house at Christmas!). And it isn’t that we’re Valentine’s haters (I’m a big fan of celebrating love whenever you can). So I have no idea why we haven’t decked out our house in pink and red and hearts and glitter before, but I’m telling you, that ends right now.
I’m all about decorating on the cheap (honestly, I’m all about doing everything on the cheap), so when I was thinking of what I could do to spruce up our house for Valentine’s Day, my mind instantly jumped to the thousands (no, literally) of Mason jars stashed in our basement. Combine a few of those with some painter’s tape, spray paint, and a pretty candle, and BOOM—holiday cheer up the wazoo.
Digression alert: does anyone else suffer from the winter blues? Since I started working for myself, it has gotten much better. Probably because I’m not locked inside an office from sun up until sun down— but I still feel the doldrums creeping in around this time of year. I’m a 100% summer girl. I love the sunshine. I love the fresh air. I love the beach. I love playing in the dirt. So it can be a struggle for me emotionally to handle the dark, dreary winter days.
But let me tell you, the past few years have been SO MUCH BETTER. Like, night and day. Why? Well, a few years ago, I read this article about the Norwegian concept of koselig (shout out to my awesome Norwegian readers!). Basically, it boils down to the feeling of coziness—and embracing, or even celebrating, coziness to help make winter not only tolerable, but totally awesome. And it clicked with me—maybe I should focus a little more on trying to enjoy winter and making it more cozy, and a little less on tolerating it until it was over. So I have been. I’ve been wearing extra cozy socks. I’ve been sipping tea by the fire. And I’ve been lighting more candles.
It’s interesting how small changes like that can make a big difference. I’m actually enjoying this winter. That doesn’t mean I’m not jonesin’ for a gin and tonic and my flip-flops—my love for summer will never die—but I’m not actively counting the seconds until winter is gone either. I know a lot of folks suffer from real emotional and mental health issues that make winter difficult to get through (not to mention the geographical climate differences—our winters are relatively mild here), but I think as a culture, we could use a little more koselig in our lives.
Anywho. Long story short, now you know why I made some jar votive holders for Valentine’s Day. Candles = koselig. And koselig = good. Now let me show you how to make them! Easy. Breezy.
Supplies for the Mason Jar Votive Holders
Here is what you’ll need to make your own painted mason jar votive holders:
- Mason Jars <— keep it to smaller jars (jelly jars, half pint, pint, etc.)
- Wide Painter’s Tape <—I got this 2″ tape at Home Depot
- Self-Healing Cutting Mat or piece of cardboard or foam core
- Marker or Pen
- Craft Knife <—-That’s my favorite one! Super comfy in the hand.
- Spray Paint
- Glass Frosting Spray (optional)
- Votive or Tea Light Candles <— LED candles are great!
Directions for Your Votive Holders
1. Start by rolling out a piece of wide painter’s tape onto a self-healing cutting mat. If you don’t have a cutting mat, a piece of cardboard or foam core will work. Just lightly press the tape down so it sticks. You’re going to want to peel it up later.
2. Using your marker, draw out some hearts onto the tape. No worries about it being perfect. Part of the appeal of Mason jar crafts is that they are rustic. Embrace rustic.
3. Using your craft knife, cut out the hearts. Again, rustic. Embrace it. Love it. Live it.
4. Peel the excess tape back. Voila! Painter’s tape hearts.
5. Place the tape onto the side of your Mason jar. For the best adherence, try to find a blank part of the jar. Most jars are covered in embossing, so do the best you can. Use your fingernail and really press it down well.
6. Next up, you’re going to spray paint. But first, flip those jars over so they are upside down. Why? Well, the overspray from painting will go inside the jar and paint your heart shape—no bueno. Place the jars upside down to fix it.
7. Spray paint those suckers! I did some red jars, some gold, and some white. It took two light coats to get them nice and covered.
8. Once the jars are completely dry, peel back the painter’s tape hearts.
9. You can be done right here if you like the look of them. Put a candle inside and enjoy! Or, if you prefer, you can coat the heart in a frosted glass spray. I really like the frosty look (and I had the spray already), so I did that.
10. Once they are totally dry, plop a candle inside and enjoy your beautiful (and cheap) Valentine’s Day decor. If you like, you can finish the jar votive holders off with some ribbon or twine tied around the neck of the jar. I went with twine, because twine is rustic. And you know how I feel about rustic.
Hopefully these jar votive holders bring a little koselig to your February. We have them up on our mantle, and I light them every evening after supper. It’s amazing how a few candles can make a big dark room so cozy. Happy February, friends!