NOTE: Through this post, I was working with two finished pieces I took pictures of earlier. One was made with a candlestick as a base, and the other with an upside-down sundae dish. You can use either. There are times in this blog when I describe making both. I hope that isn’t too confusing!
This is literally the easiest fancy lookin’ thing I’ve ever made.
Over the years, the one thing that held me back from making things like this, was epoxy. Isn’t that weird? Well, maybe you don’t think it’s weird, cause presently you feel the same way. The fear of epoxy can keep a very crafty person from making a LOT of stuff! Just like me. Don’t be dismayed though, your fear isn’t without it’s reasons….
- Epoxy is expensive
- Epoxy is messy
- Epoxy is difficult to mix
- Epoxy is expensive
First off, epoxy IS expensive. That’s why I listed twice. Us cheapos have a real hard time buying a little tiny weird lookin bottle of anything. But guess where I found some!
I couldn’t believe it. Sometimes things that seem a good deal at the dollar store turn out to be not-so-good. They tend to be a higher price per ounce than what you may pay somewhere else, and often they aren’t very good quality. With the epoxy I purchased at the dollar store, neither of those instances was true! My regular epoxy is Gorilla Brand. It’s awesome. I can’t remember the exact price, but it’s maybe 7 bucks. The epoxy at Dollar Tree is about half the size and, yes… one dollar. So price-wise, it’s a total score! I have made about 2 dozen different cake/food/candy stands. I’ve used the cheapo glue with about half, and Gorilla brand with the rest. Of the ones with Gorilla brand, 4 have separated from the base. You should know, we have used them more, so you might want to consider that. Also, two were made of plastic, like this…
Another had a very rough underside, which makes it hard for ANY epoxy to hold. Of the dollar store epoxy, only one came apart. It too, had a ridge-filled underside. In fact, it was an experiment I did for the Valentine’s Day Dinner at church. So, it was carried about in a car about 4 times. It’s this one…
So, my unprofessional, half-educated, opinion based on experience is… the epoxy from Dollar Tree is great!
From Mason Jars and wooden candlesticks, I have made other, more complicated and fancier apothecary jars. I will do a blog on those later. I did this one for a candy dish to be used at the dinner, and thought I’d use it for coffee at home. It turned out super cute, cost next to nothing, and was so easy, I wanted to share. It’s truly a great way to dip your toes into the crafting experiences that are held together with epoxy!
(Please, do not put your toes in epoxy. I was speaking figuratively. I’m sure most of you know that, but some people… ya know??)
Here’s what you need for this project…
- Mixing Stick (I use a comestic “orange” stick. You can use a toothpick or popsicle stick. Wood seems to be the material of choice)
- Tray for mixing (I use everything from a glass plate to a piece of paper, depending on the amount needed. The more expensive brands of epoxy often come with a mixing tray and a stir stick).
- Candy Dish with Lid (Check the thrift stores. I got mine on clearance (NEW) for .10 cents!)
- Glass Candlestick (or a sundae dish) (try mixing and matching different ones and make sure the two pieces of glass look good together and the bottom of each fits together[the sundae dish will be upside-down])
- Make sure both of these are SUPER clean and VERY dry!
I’m going to go through the epoxy directions in very specific steps. It really is a daunting kind of glue to many people! First, you’ll see that the actual container is two tubes, each with pressure plungers (kinda like syringes) which work jointly. Each tube contains a different kind of glue. They must be packaged separately because when mixed, they become so powerful, within 5 minutes they would harden in the container and can not be removed! Separate packaging is the only way to keep them until ready for use. Knowing that, make sure the two NEVER accidentally mix. If they do, just toss the whole thing… there’s no saving it. In the center of the double plunger, you’ll see a small piece of plastic that has perforated edges connecting it to the plunger. This is the cap. The first time I worked with epoxy, I couldn’t find the cap. I thought I had lost it in an ADHD “glue it NOW” furor. I looked all over the floor until I realized that cap wasn’t to found! Reluctantly, I picked up the epoxy and started making my way downstairs to ask Mr. Matrimony if he could fashion a new cap for it. On the way downstairs, I discovered the cap in the plunger! I was so happy I didn’t have another lost item to report to Mr. Matrimony. After 8 years though, he really takes it in stride.
I have mentioned he’s pretty awesome… haven’t I?
To mix the epoxy, make sure the glue from both tubes comes out evenly. I just compress the plunger very slowly and put extra pressure on either side as needed. It is very important when you are done, to make sure you DO NOT CROSS-CONTAMINATE THE TUBES! I pull the epoxy tubes towards me, while the openings are resting on whatever I’m using to mix it in. Then, I sort of scrape it back, making sure to wipe the glues off from each tube. Also, after the tubes are away from the mixing area, I pull the plungers back to allow extra air to enter the openings. This insures the glue won’t sorta “bloop” out. When you have a very small amount (like, less than dime size) on your mixing surface, begin mixing it. Just swirl your stick around in it. You want to stir until the epoxy is a milky color. It doesn’t take very long; less than a minute.
Next, you will apply the epoxy. I only apply epoxy to one piece. For me, it makes less of a mess than when I apply it to both. I am not going to take the time to measure out the diameter, or the exact mili-inch the two pieces match up to. If you want to do that Martha stuff… go for it. However, I assure you mine look pretty good and evenly placed. There’s just too many squirrels in this world to see instead of taking extra time measuring things I really don’t need to. Anyways… With my jar, the bottom of the sundae dish was smaller than the bottom of the candy dish. So, I put my epoxy on the smaller dish. The reasoning is simple, the wider rim of the candy dish will hide any gloops that might go over the edge of the sundae dish. It is preferable that the top piece is wider at the base than the bottom piece. Personally, I think it looks better. Ideally, you’ll find two pieces that match up almost perfectly.
Turn the sundae dish (or the candy dish [without the lid] if you are applying the epoxy to it) upside-down. Use a teeny tiny bit of epoxy! I just put a few drops on my orange stick and from the inside of the rim (the highest place where it will be connecting to the other piece) and kind of wipe the stick on the rim as I pull it outwards. Then, I take that tiny bit and pull it along the rim. Then, I turn the piece, and repeat that step. I do this until I’m all the way around the rim. If you have mistakes, use a damp q-tip to wipe them up. Don’t use a dry one, it’ll leave fuzz on the epoxy. I actually use a q-tip with “Goo Gone” on my mistakes. It’s great stuff, and also available (in the trial size) at the dollar store!
Here’s a look at me doing this step…
(Yes, I need a manicure. But seriously? I have a difficult time sitting down that long. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could use my hands while I’m getting a manicure. But the manicure ladies are always grabbing my hands. It’s just a part of the deal…)
Now place the bottom of the other piece onto the piece with the epoxy. I simply looked through the open top of the candy dish to make sure the sundae dish was centered. Once you’re certain it’s centered, place your hand firmly on the top, and apply pressure while holding the bottom. DO NOT PRESS TOO HARD! The purpose here is just to make sure there’s no bubbles in the epoxy. You are not doing this to make it stick more. Before it dries (which is fast), clean up any mess you may have made.
Really, you’re done! Well, there is drying time. You can find out exactly how long your epoxy dries by reading the directions. Also, you may want to read them to make sure there isn’t anything I didn’t cover (most likely I did forget something) I sometimes forget that “reading instructions” part. Shocking, I know. But really, is it any coincidence that the words “directions” and “instructions” combined make “destruction“? I knooooow…. right??? Kinda makes me feel better about forgetting to read them sometimes.
At this point, you can leave your apothecary jar super simple and not add any trim. That would probably be best for use in a kitchen or bathroom, for cleanliness sake. I had some really fun floral ribbon from Hobby Lobby that I wanted to use up. I didn’t glue it, because I will probably change my mind on what I want. I just tucked the ribbon under. I thought it was darling! Another idea would be to paint the knob. Or, if the lid doesn’t have a knob, you could epoxy one onto it, seeins… ya know, you CAN do that now… epoxy things together. *smile*
I did the same with the floral ribbon on the base. It is only tucked under itself, not glued. If you aren’t ADHD and/or you don’t change your mind fifteen times (like I do!), you should probably glue it on.
I tried another ribbon with it. It just wasn’t what I was looking for, so I took it off. Still, I thought I’d show it to you…
A couple looks at my finished project…
I hope you try this easy-as-pie project,and don’t forget to share your pictures! I leave you with this, an artsy-fartsy picture of my Super Simple Apothecary Jar…