Decoupage Glass Jars & Mini Altar Stools

Over at my Unitarian Universalist church our pagan group shares space with other people so space is always at a premium.

A long time ago we made a “basic kit” to keep in a classroom.  It consists of colored table cloths we made from Kona cotton that are about a yard square to go over bentwood stacking stools.

bentwood stool

These stools are useful in a religious education classroom because they are stackable, can be seating, small tables, and so on.  The cloths are in elemental colors — green, yellow, red, blue and purple.

We also got some quart jars and used gift wrap tissue in elemental colors to decoupage them.  You can buy the jars outright or spend some time collecting spaghetti sauce jars or similar.

The process is simple — you tear the gift tissue into smaller pieces or invite the child you are doing this with to rip it up. Help the child to paint the outside of a glass jar with Modge Podge using a 1″ foam or craft brush.  Then attach the tissue chunks so the outside of the jar is covered.  It is helpful to put the pieces with straight edges first along the top and bottom edges of the jar so it has a clean line.

You can seal as you go, coating each piece as added.  When the whole jar is covered, you coat the whole thing one more time and allow it to dry.

The results are inexpensive but cute candle holders that have a cheerful glow to them when lit from within. We use votives in smaller glass votive holders or battery votives. We sometimes put vase filler to set the votives level.  This way candle wax does not melt inside the jar itself.  Washing the jars with hot water could damage the decoupage.

element jars

To put them out, you can screw the lid back on the jar and it will extinguish itself.  Or use a snuffer. The Ikea Tratt snuffer is one we all like. (At $2.50 it was inexpensive to get a lot so every classroom could have one for putting out the UU Chalice.)

When not in use, we wrap the tablecloths around the jars and put them all into a 30 qt Sterilite tub along with four basic click lighters.  These tubs happen to fit into the Ikea Expedit or Kallax shelving that we have in the church classrooms for storing supplies and children’s toys.

People might bring special stones, feathers, origami, tarot cards, or other trinkets to add to the mini altars when we celebrate a Sabbat. But even if they bring nothing, our group can relax knowing that “basic mini elemental altars” are already on location.

Perhaps this gives you ideas for your own pagan group at your Unitarian Universalist church. Enjoy!

decoupage jars

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