The feast of Saint Nicholas is fast approaching and I wanted to share something to put out on it’s eve as your family prepares for his feast the next day. When I finished it last year I cannot tell you how pleased I was with the results; I hope it’s something you may want to do too.
I love the images of Father Christmas worshipping the infant Jesus, but they never had items like that in the U.K., let alone France where I now live. So this was my starting point.
The candle holder part of this project is super simple. You’ll need some transparent water slide decal paper for a laser jet or inkjet paper, obviously for whichever printer you have. Then download one or both of these…
Print them out before transferring to the decal paper so you don’t waste any. As you’ll see in the images I took at the time that I started with the words and images document, but I wasn’t going to have enough space on the same side of the vase. So I produced the second, larger image (marked as Saint Nicholas image) so I could have the text one side and the image the other.
At the point I realised I was going to have to do this – I was so relieved I’d bought a bigger vase/candle holder. Originally I was going to use a smaller one, but as I’m going to have a flower wreath on the bottom I thought this taller one would mean that the image and words wouldn’t be crowded out by the wreath.
Water slide decals are pretty simple – once you get the hang of them, but I’ve had to pick up a few tricks along the way. You can find an in-depth post on how to do them under the ‘Craft Basics How Tos’ tag in the menu bar.
Here’s the vase with the first decals applied, but pre spray…
After I’d applied the decal I sealed it with a glitter varnish, to give it an extra Christmassy feel. You might want to give one or two coats, but be sure to leave enough time for it to properly cure in between applications.
I thought about simply putting some purple twinkle lights in the jar as it’s obviously going to be an advent decoration. But then I saw these LED candles in the shop which are inexpensive and you can set on a timer. They’re something I wouldn’t have looked twice at pre children, but I have lots of the tea light versions of these and they’re a God send with little fingers in the house. The only danger they pose is my little one sneakily turning them on and the battery running out!
As I said I also made this wreath to go around the base. If you’re wanting to do this too I suggest you make the wreath first so that you can estimate the size of the decal image so it doesn’t go below the flowers.
Originally I was looking for purple flowers due to the liturgical season, but I couldn’t find any apart from lovely, but inappropriate, orchids. So in the end I went for simple white roses as they were better quality than the red ones available. After all, Saint Nicholas wasn’t martyred. It’s just that red is the colour of Christmas in secular culture due to Victorian influences, and it’s symbolism often comes from the holly berries used to decorate. They and the leaves prefigured the Blood of Christ and His crown of thorns.
White is often used to depict the saints though, as they are purified and in heaven.
I used a simple staple and garden wire technique, as with many of my other wreaths. The roses were stapled first, then I used garden wire to secure them and attach any leaf filler foliage.
You will need;
For the storm jar
1-2 Waterslide decals
Spray sparkly gold varnish
For the wreath
4 x 3 Artificial sprays of Roses
3 Artificial leaf Sprays
Staple gun and staples
2m green garden wire
Here are the pictorial steps.
Once you’ve finished spray the entire wreath with silver, glitter spray once or twice – allowing each one to cure – to give it a frosted look.
What do you think?
The wording is a lot clearer in reality, but the back says…
Feast of Saint Nicholas
“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic Gods giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.”
St. Nicholas of Myra
I love the way you can just see the wording peep through from the other side and the whole thing looks faded and vintage.
Let me know what you think in the comments, especially if you want to, or have given it a try yourself!