Saturday, December 31, 2011

Epsom Salts Luminaries

This project is definitely my favorite so far. The result is a beautiful luminary that can add some decorative flair to any space, or make a great little gift. You can also do a fair amount of experimenting with the process, as I did.

I followed the instructions found on the website Crafts by Amanda. Hers were great, but since I improvised and did some things a little differently, I'll explain my process in detail.

  • Jars (Any size or type will do, although I suggest a large, wide mouth variety so you can fit your hand inside)
  • Epsom Salts (One bag from Publix contains enough for you to make several, I've made almost 20 and still have at least a quarter of the bag left)
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • Food Coloring (I suggest purchasing both the standard and neon boxes)
  • Clear Gloss Sealer (I used Rustoleum brand, $4 at Home Depot. I suggest buying more than one canister if you plan on making a large amount)
  • Paper Plates
  • Tin Foil (I used this as an alternative to newspaper to protect the surface I was working on and help gather leftover salts, and found that it worked very well, and you can reuse the same sheet over and over)
  • Bowls
  • Small Ziploc Baggies (In case you want to save your leftover colored Epsom Salts for later use)
  • Spoon
  • Paintbrush

Step 1:

Pour a few large spoonfuls of the Epsom Salts into the bowls. Then, color them as desired. The amount of food coloring you'll want to mix in varies depending on the amount of Epsom Salts that is in the bowl and how dark you want the color. To achieve the light blue and green shown above, I used no more than two drops in each bowl. When you're satisfied with the color, pour the contents of the bowl out onto a paper plate, and gently shift it back and forth to form an even layer of the salts.

Step 2:

Place one hand inside the jar, and paint on the Mod Podge with your brush. Make sure you cover the entire thing (minus the top rim, I did that later), as you want a nice, even coating.

Step 3:

Slowly and gently roll the jar in the salts in a smooth motion. Do this a few times, making sure you don't miss any spots on the jar. Once it seems to have a nice coating, place it upright on the newspaper/foil. Then, use the brush to dab a small amount of Mod Podge around the rim of the jar. Pinch some of the salts between your fingers and sprinkle them onto the rim.

Step 4:

Let the jars dry for 2-3 hours. 

Step 5:

I suggest performing this step outside, as the sealer has a strong smell, and it's never a good idea to spray those kinds of chemicals in an enclosed space. Carefully pick up and place each jar onto a paper plate, and spray it with the sealer as you rotate the plate, making sure you cover the entire outside of the jar. Don't forget to spray the top rim from above as well. The sealer I used was fast drying, so I was able to apply a new coat every 20-30 minutes or so. I suggest applying 3-4 coats total. Once the third coat dries, pick up the jar. If there are still a fair amount of loose pieces of salt, I suggest applying one more coat.

Once you have applied enough layers and they are completely dry... congratulations! You are done! :)

P.S: Don't forget to save your leftover colored salts!


If you choose to make these, I'd love to see how they come out :)

1 comment:

  1. They came out great! So glad you enjoyed it! Love the colors :)