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Quick Craft: Seahorse Candle

Friday, August 12, 2011

Since I just used it in my goggles photo shoot, I thought I'd show you my seahorse candle mod.

I started with this:

We got it for $12 at a Caribbean knickknack shop, on account of the little seahorse missing his nose. I didn't like the smaller seahorses tacked on to the side like that anyway, though, so...


I cut them off with a hacksaw.

There was a build up of resin where the horses were attached, so I Dremeled those areas down a bit:


Already looking better!

Next I got out my trusty epoxy putty:

Love this stuff.

...and built up the edges:


And because I couldn't bear to throw them away, I patched up the little guys, too:

(I initially thought I'd make a mold for the missing nose in clay, but later I just used epoxy for that, too.)

Now, what time is it, folks?

That's right: DREMEL TIME.

I carefully carved in all the missing detail on the ridges and tails.


I figured I'd have to repaint the entire thing, but decided to try patching the resin areas with this old gold leaf kit I found in my craft box first:

And, would you believe it? The golds matched! A few layers of leaf, and then a little brown glaze patted on with my fingers, and...

Not too shabby.

(For the edge above the seahorse, I color-matched the green and then applied gold leaf over those areas as well.)

I also pried off the coconut shell candle bowl that was glued on top and replaced it with a pillar candle, which looks much better.

It's a bit fussier than the stuff I usually like, but I have to admit this little guy has really won me over. (Of course, if I ever start draping doilies all over everything and collecting stuffed cats, then you have my permission to stage an intervention.)

Oh, and just for fun, I painted the little seahorses bronze and leafed them, too:

Side by side you can still tell which nose I carved - but I like to think it might take you a second or two. :)

So now I have these cute little gold seahorses, but no idea what to do with them. Any ideas? They're pretty heavy, and solid as rocks, so I'm open to suggestions!

Posted by Jen at 2:02 PM Labels:

50 comments:

  1. Nicely done, Jen! The initial thought I had for the little seahorses was knobs on a medicine cabinet or drawer pulls. Just a suggestion.

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  2. If you need some bookends then I would suggest making some that look like a the bottom of the sea with colorful coral etc... and then place the sea horses on them either flat or poking out. I think that would be pretty neat.

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  3. I love the candle holder. Great work.

    Those small ones would make neat cabinet pulls. I can just see them on a fancy old wood cabinet.

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  4. I honestly can't tell which one you molded. They do look a little different, but they both look great!

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  5. What about making them into drawer pulls for a two-cabinet place in your household? Mirror imaged seahorses that open to....your medicine cabinet, or the DVD collection, Etc etc....
    What do you think?

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  6. I love the candle holder! I couldn't tell where the epoxy was in the last picture :).

    If I had been the one to fix up that seahorse, the dremmel would have gone crazy and ruined the whole thing and I wouldn't have made a blog about it - I would hide it in the trash from my husband who would ask me how my project went and I would make up something about how it broke in half and was cheap anyway so who really cares? Most of my projects seem to end up like that.

    As for the two little seahorses, how about turning them into Christmas ornaments? For a really sturdy tree, of course, since they're heavy.

    Or how about using one on a pendant? I tend to like heavy pendants, so, I don't know, maybe you could figure out how to make it work.

    I think I'm done being creative today - it's too much work!

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  7. Baby seahorse:
    knobs (for two bifold closet doors)
    Book faceplace - with brass corners on a leather background
    clips for the outside tops of boots
    Heavy and solid might be too heavy but a clasp (or clasp decoration) for a heavy leather bag.
    taper candle holders to go next to the pillar (maybe that's doily country, though).

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  8. I can't tell which one is molded, but they could be great for drawing back curtains, used as handles on doors or drawers, or maybe you have some other project lying around that they could be added to for a little something special.

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  9. I cannot tell you how incredibly funny I found the sentence "so...I cut them off with a hacksaw." It was just so matter of fact, I could hear it being said in the voice of one of those public service videos they made in the 50s. Duck and cover!

    Anyway, since I can't really make out how small they are, maybe make them the base for a small shelf for tiny steampunk type trinkets for your steampunk dining room? I like everyone else's ideas too, especially the knobs and bookends.

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  10. You always astonish me. And what might be a quick craft to you would be a major undertaking for me! ;)

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  11. Oh sweet action! I love crafts in general, but love them even more when they're more on the practical side, like in this case, where we have a candle holder! As for the smaller sea horses, I agree with others who suggested drawer pulls, they would look great! Here's another thought-- what about ceiling fan pulls? Or maybe refridgerator magnets? Happy crafting! :)

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  12. Jen you are so talented! I really love your gift for repurposing things. You could start whole new blog just on that! Like your life isn't busy enough, right? ;-)

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  13. Just delightful! And I thought I would be original with the "drawer pull" idea, but about 20 other commenters were equally brilliant. So ... how about ... uhm ... yeah, I got nuthin. :)

    I love being so crafty vicariously through you.

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  14. Like everyone seems to have said, door handles!
    Or the bookend idea is pretty neat too, although I wouldn't add much personally, just an heavy base.

    On a sidenote I just got a Dremel and I'm giddy with excitement to start using it, the people in the tools/diy shop probably wondered why a 23 y/o girl was behaving like a kid in a toystore, but come on, what's not to love about power tools?

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  15. Lots of good ideas (that I agree with). My idea that wasn't mentioned was pulls for a ceiling fan or light. Carve a hole in top, insert ball chain, epoxy and finish to match. Easy.

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  16. Lovely, as usual. Here's me putting it out there that you should start teaching craft classes while you are touring for the CakeWrecks stuff; there would be more of a chance you'd come to California that way.

    The baby seahorses are cute just hanging out--maybe in a bowl of other treasures [pretty stones, shells, etc.] to sit next to the big candle. I was also thinking about some kind of steampunk/Nemo themed hair ornament or hat decor if they weren't too heavy...but the knob idea is a really good one too.

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  17. The seahorse on the right is the one you carved, but funny enough, as I looked through your photos again, I see the horse you carved matches the mouth of the great center seahorse! Gorgeous results as always!

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  18. to give your wee seahorses a steampunk feel, could you get a bell jar with a cool base (something like this one).

    and from the base make a few tall strands of seaweed (upright) inside, made out of layers of various sized tiny cogs. patina them old like your other seahorse bottle necklace you made.

    then have the gold seahorses among the cog seaweed. under the bell jar?

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  19. So when I read "I cut them off with a hacksaw" all I could picture is Jen with a hacksaw and a very devious little smile. Muahahahahaha! I will conquer you little seahorse candle holder and you shall be awesome!

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  20. I love it! It's just the right amount of fun tacky while being really nice. (as in, if you had a series of three of them they'd definitely be too much but alone it works.) I like the idea of curtain tie backs, but it would depend on the size. I think they'd rock a shower curtain or bathroom window. Instead of a tassel on a tie back maybe?

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  21. Put the little guys on stakes and hide them in your potted plants for a whimsical peek-a-boo treat? (It would look as though they were hanging out in their natural habitat)

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  22. Beautiful job! I can't offer any ideas for the other two seahorses, but I saw this recently and thought of you:

    seahorse necklace

    Pennies, seahorses, it seemed a perfect match for you! There are several other vintage styles that looked cool - a bike and a ferris wheel. Enjoy!

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  23. Ooh, attach the little guys to the pull chains for ceiling lights! How fun and unexpected would it be to have little seahorses hanging in the air!?

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  24. How about incorporating them into an ocean- or steampunk- themed wreath for your front door?

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  25. Use them in a collection of weights for a tablecloth by suspending them on clips, combine with other similarly weighted items of nautical theme (octopi, coral, little pewter submarines etc.). You could add them to your curtain tie-backs in the dinning room. Lastly, you could use them as pulls on the ends of lamp chains.

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  26. Steampunk Christmas tress decorations.

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  27. "Jen at Work: The Musical"

    Dremel, Dremel, Dremel;
    Jen is working hard.

    Dremel, Dremel, Dremel;
    To repair a broken shard.

    Dremel, Dremel, Dremel;
    Then she leafs with shiny gold.

    Dremel, Dremel, Dremel;
    Jen's creative soul is bold.

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  28. Drawer pulls perhaps? or you could use them as those decorative things to hold your curtains back? I can't think of the name of them for the life of me at the moment.

    Great job on the candleholder!

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  29. What is this magical epoxy putty you speak of? I'm fascinated!

    I loved this little project, you brought a cute but tacky-looking piece to another level. :)

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  30. -paper weights
    -in a glass vase with shells

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  31. I think they would work very well on/with something steampunk. My first thought was hatband decor on a top hat, if they aren't too heavy. I they could also work as the basis for a fascinator of some kind, where you could use them one at a time, and it wouldn't make it too heavy... hopefully. You could even add them to a walking stick to give it a more steampunk feel.

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  32. Nice touch with the nose job! :)I'm a fan of strange doohickies decorating my fridge, so I would turn those sea horses into magnets.

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  33. Valerie C. - Knox, TNAugust 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Christmas tree ornaments, fan pulls or drawer pulls.


    WV: Excra - I should get excra credit points for my awesome ideas

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  34. Beautiful! Are they small enough to make into necklaces?

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  35. Maybe tablecloth weights if you like to eat outdoors. Especially if you have two more heavy things for four corners. An example: http://www.amazon.com/Prodyne-TW-9-W-Tablecloth-Weights-Dwellers/dp/B000MUOUW2

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  36. I'm with Nora on the bookend idea!

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  37. If you carry a purse, I'd say put one in there and then every time you went to pay for something you could rummage around for your money, pretend that you can't find it, and and pull the seahorse out so that you could presumably see in there better. All the people standing in line waiting would think "Wow, she has a golden seahorse..."

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  38. VERY cool project!

    Create napkin rings with 'em?

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  39. My first thought about the seahorses involved a clock modification. It would have to be just the right clock, of course. Or mirror, perhaps.

    I also liked the idea of ornaments for a steampunk tree.

    If you have a small window not covered by curtains, they could potentially serve as an embellishment for either the corners of a window, or even the end of a small curtain rod, but again would have to be just the right configuration.

    Paper weights?

    Decoration on an outdoor mailbox, if the kind that is attached to the house, flanking your name or address.

    Mandy Rose

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  40. Talking about tree decorations...what about a specifically themed, Jules Verne; Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, themed steampunk tree?
    Or conversely with the same theme you could do bookends like was also suggested, or a glass domed display. The plant stakes would be cute too, especially in some grasses!

    I think it really depends on whether you're feeling the vibe for functional or decorative.

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  41. The candle holder looks great and what about using the little sea horses as the ends of pull chains for a ceiling fan or attached to some taper candle sticks so you have a trio for a centerpiece or something.

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  42. Shelf brackets or curtain tie back accessories would be pretty awesome.

    Also, I notice you keep using the Locktite putty, that stuff is expensive! You should go get yourself some Apoxie Sculpt, it's the same stuff just a lot cheaper and you get a lot more bang for your buck. I highly recommend it!

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  43. curtain tie-backs?

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  44. What do we mean by "stuffed cats"? Are we talking things that were never cats and have been assembled by a toymaker, or things that were once cats and have been seen to by a taxidermist?

    Because the latter might not look entirely out of place...

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  45. Okay, I saw this: http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/klotz-small-breezy-0708?src=nl&mag=hbu&list=nl_hbn_dot_non_081611_hamptons-cottage&kw=ist, this: http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/klotz-small-breezy-0708?src=nl&mag=hbu&list=nl_hbn_dot_non_081611_hamptons-cottage&kw=ist, and this: http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/klotz-small-breezy-0708?src=nl&mag=hbu&list=nl_hbn_dot_non_081611_hamptons-cottage&kw=ist and thought of you.

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  46. Cute...you are going to get "dremelling seahorses" in your stats now! lol

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  47. But but...what's wrong with draping lace all over everything and collecting stuffed cats? :< (In fact, I think I will use this excellent tutorial to doctor one of my injured gargoyles to adorn one of said lace-covered surfaces safely again!)

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