Steampunk – Crafting
A number of years ago my BFF gave me this super cute tealight candleholder. We used to have several gift-giving themes when it came to Christmas and birthday gifts (since both of our birthdays are coughing distance from Xmas) and for a few years it was candles, including this one. It’s very pretty, but after having it on my shelf for many years it has started to slip to the back of the bookshelf and isn’t nearly as appreciated as before. I wanted to do something to it to refresh it, without ruining it in any way.
Basically the candle holder is a small frame attached to the tealight holder. In the frame is a piece of etched glass with a Chinese character on it. I don’t remember what it says anymore (and this photo is shown from the back, so you’re seeing the back of it if you do know Chinese…) It probably says something like “peace” or “home” or something because I dont imagine too many mass-manufactured home decor items with “anteater” or “do your laundry” on them, do you?
Then I was looking at my raygun project materials, and realized that the brass and copper sheet that I had, was never going to be all used up by one or two guns… Can you see where I’m going with this?
It was pretty easy to refresh this, and I can see the next iteration of the design as well.
So, the first step was just to remove the glass. There’s a small black tab at the top keeping the glass in place, and although I dont think I’ll want to bend it up and down too many times (the paint is already flaking a bit) it was easy enough to move. The glass is held in channels, so once the tab was up, it just slid out with reasonable ease.
Step 2 – tracing the glass onto the copper sheet. I just used a ultra fine point Sharpie to trace the glass onto the sheet. I
picked up the copper sheeting at a hobby shop – in the model airplane section. Not cheap, but not too expensive either. I also picked up a perforated brass and a solid brass as well, but I like the warmth of copper a bit better myself. I had looked in a few craft and art supply stores, and only one art supply (the one just off 17th avenue in Calgary) had a TINY piece of brass, so I was glad that Sheena suggested PMS hobbycraft during a Facebook crowdsource question.
Step 3 – cutting out the copper. It cuts really well with just regular scissors, though in the raygun instructions they mentioned several times wearing gloves to avoid cutting yourself with the edges of the metal. I didn’t have a problem, but I was careful.
Step 4 – Since I didn’t want to throw out the glass, and if I put it anywhere else I’d end up losing it, I slid the copper into the slot and then carefully re-added the glass back in again. The copper sheet is thin enought that it wasn’t tooo much
trouble. I also had to smooth out the ‘roll’ of the copper before, and roughed it up a bit with the handle of my scissors, entirely for appearance sake.
Finished! So now instead of having the light shine through the glass, the copper is like a reflector – and the quality of the light is nice and warm.
When I find a design that I like, I’ve considered doing a punched-hole-design in the copper instead – I remember an article about Victorian xmas tree ornaments done that way – though I’m thinking more of Cuthulu or an airship vs. holly and ivy!