{10 Crafty Days of Halloween} Specimen Jar Candles

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A big welcome to my good friend Triana of Rocky Mountain Mama. She’s guest blogging for me today and showing you how to make spooky specimen jar candles…on a budget. So creative and I love that your kids can help out with this project. Enjoy day 6 and don’t forget to link up your Halloween crafts HERE.
Hello! I am the author of Rocky Mountain Mama. I am married to my best friend and I am a part-time working mother to 2.5-year-old Christopher. I blog about balancing life as a working mother and dealing with all the stresses that come with it. When I do find “me” time, I am either organizing or working on one of many craft projects.

First of all, thank you so much to Vanessa for giving me the opportunity to do a guest post on her amazing blog. I was over the moon when she asked me to share some of my crafty skills with her readers.
Last Halloween, I decided to purge some of our old childhood decorations and try to come up with some more modern and not so cheesy ideas. But I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg buying new decorations at a retail store. So, I ended up making my own window silhouettes, a spooky wreath to hang on the door and some cheesecloth ghosts to hang from our tree. This year, I wanted to continue with the “Halloween on a budget” theme. When Vanessa asked me to do a guest post for her, one of the first projects that popped into my mind was Martha Stewart’s specimen jars. Off I went to one of my favorite hobby stores and I was totally bummed when I the one thing that looked similar to the Encapso K was $25/bottle. And they weren’t very large bottles. Then, I checked the recommended website and found that was the going rate. In keeping with my “Halloween on a budget” theme, I decided to go with plan B – making specimen jar candles. A much cheaper option, with (I think) and even cooler effect. And the great thing about this project is that kids can help too!


vegetables and fruits (see recommendations below)
glass vases or jars
suction cups (optional)
food coloring
wax crystals

Step 1: Like I said earlier, I wanted to do this project on a budget. So I went to one of my favorite craft stores and bought a few vases and jars. Keep an eye out for 50% off glassware sales. I scored 4 vases for $9.50! I also decided to use whatever I had in my fridge. There is really no need to go buy fresh veggies for this project. I found cauliflower, cabbage, grapes and mini potatoes in my fridge. I Christopher started putting the food in separate jars. Potatoes in one, grapes in another, etc.

Step 2: The potatoes and grapes obviously sank to the bottom, so I didn’t quite get why I would need a suction cup. Then I tried the cauliflower and it floated. Ding! I didn’t have any suction cups with the little metal clips attached, so I improvised and since this is supposed to be a budget project I had to be creative. I found a couple small suction cups and attached a paper clip to them. Then, I stabbed the bottom of the cauliflower with the paperclip and stuck it to the bottom of the jar.

Step 3: Once your fruit or veggies are in place, add water to cover the top of the fruit or vegetable.

Step 4: Add 1-3 drops of food coloring to your water depending on how dark you want it to be.

Step 5: Add about 1 inch of wax granules to the top of your water. Even the wax out with your finger. Martha’s tip: 1 inch of granules will burn for about 1 hour.

Step 6: Most craft stores should sell plain old candle wicks. But if you can only find the wicks with the metal tab attached to it, just snip it off and then insert the wick into your wax. Make sure you have enough wax on top of your water so that the wicks won’t sink through.

Step 7: Now you are finished! I love the way they turned out and they were super easy. Christopher loved helping, too.

Martha suggested cauliflower, grapes and celery root, but here is a list of other things you could try:

  • ginger root
  • cabbage
  • potatoes
  • pomegranate
  • garlic
  • prunes
  • apricot/peach pits
  • fennel

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I'm Vanessa and it's my mission in life to spread my love of hot glue guns and glitter to others. I suffer from craft ADHD, regularly working on at least 10 projects at the same time and my craft room looks like a tornado hit it. My first craft book, Party in a Jar, was published in 2014. I look forward to crafting with you!

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