Christmas Day

Things have been a little quiet on Jessthetics recently. I’ve been working full-time as a Christmas temp, trying to finish off homemade presents and getting ready to move back to York in January – I forgot how much hassle it is to find somewhere to live! I’ve not had much time to sit down with my computer and blog. My Christmas day was lovely and relaxed –  exactly what I needed (especially since it was my first day off work for a while!) Here is how I spent the day 🙂

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My Grandpa stayed with us for Christmas, and he brought my Aunt’s dog Bella! She’s very good – she knows she’s not allowed to chase Archie, although Archie is still very nervous around her, understandably. After a lie in, me and my brother opened our presents from Santa before enjoying a leisurely breakfast. We then exchanged family presents, accompanied by champagne and appetisers!

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We spent Christmas day afternoon walking in the countryside around my village – we’ve never done this before, but it was lovely to be outside in the cold sunshine after too much time on the sofa.

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After our walk we came home for Christmas dinner (including a mirror selfie in my new Christmas jumper!) followed by the Blackadder Christmas special in front of the fire. Christmas has been and gone so quickly, I can’t believe that it was four days ago now! If you’ve written a Christmas day post, do send me the link. I love to read them!


DIY Scented Candles

I love things that smell good, especially during winter when I’m spending a lot of time indoors. I burn a lot of joss sticks but I also love scented candles, and this is my third tutorial featuring essential oils! (DIY one, DIY two.) I find Yankee Candles super expensive though, especially when it’s so easy to make your own! I think it would be hard to replicate the smell of a Yankee Candle using this DIY, but these candles are still really cute.

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You will need: Glass containers for your candles (you can find so much cute cheap glassware in charity shops, that’s where mine come from!) candle wicks, candle wax (I recommend using either an unwanted candle that’s broken or dirty or soy wax, which is eco-friendly), spray paint, tape, kebab skewers, essential oil, and a doily.

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Obviously you can use any essential oil, but I am totally addicted to lavender! I think it’s the most relaxing scent.

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Cut your doily in half and cut each half into a semi-circle • Tape your doilies onto your glassware so that they overlap. Make sure they sit flat otherwise your pattern will smudge, and make sure you don’t put tape on the part you want to paint! • Turn your glass upside down and spray paint the bottom • Whilst your glass is drying, move on to the next step

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If you are recycling a candle like me, scrape any of the damaged parts from the wax with a knife • Melt the candle in a double burner (this is a pan on top of a pan full of water – you don’t want your wax to cook!) and remove the wick. You can recycle the wick too if you like! If you’re using soy wax just melt this in the pan • Tape two kebab sticks to the top of the glass, and wedge the wick in between them. This will hold the wick in place • Add a couple of drops of essential oil to your wax and pour it into your container. Wax sinks as it cools, so you will need to add more wax after a couple of hours.

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I did a second candle, but instead of using doilies I just taped the top of my glass before spray painting it. This is so simple but I think it’s really effective.

What do you think of my DIY? I think these would make great christmas presents, and you can be as creative as you like with both the scent and the way you decorate your glass! I’m keeping these for myself, they make my room so cosy 🙂

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Have you ever made candles before? Happy Wednesday friends!


Jam Jar Lanterns

A couple of months ago I went to an allotment party (If you haven’t been to an allotment party before, I reccomend it!) and we decorated the trees with lanterns made out of jam jars. It was the best – warm cider, roasting marshmallows, a campfire and sing-a-longs. I don’t know why I ever have parties indoors!

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Don’t worry though, jam jar lanterns aren’t just for allotment parties. They can make any space look pretty and atmospheric – indoors or outdoors.  I decided to make a couple of lanterns for the house, and here’s how I did it!

You will need:
A glass jar
A tea light
Glue (I used prit stick but PVA might be slightly more weatherproof!)
Nice paper / fabric / lace for decorating
String to hang your lantern up

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Step 1: Decorate the lantern. Just cut out your fabric or paper and glue it on! I think the candlelight looks lovely shining through some thin gausey paper, or lacey fabric, but if you are using something thicker make sure you leave some gaps for the light to shine through. There’s so much room here to experiment, you could make a stripey lantern, you could cut out some cool silhouette’s out of black paper, or you could tie some ribbons round the jar.

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Step 2: Once you’ve done that, you need to tie the string around the top of the jar so that you can hang your lantern up. Cut off a long piece of string, and tie it around the top of the jar, leaving one long end. The natural ridge of the jar should hold the string in place. Then tie the left over end of the string to the other side.

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All finished! Just pop the tea light in, and hang it in the garden or in the corner of a room that you would like ot be a little cosier.

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I’m sure the weather will be gloriousy sunny soon so that you can hang up your lanterns in the garden!