There’s something absolutely iconic about Santa’s belt, isn’t there? No matter what time of year, if you see a black belt with a big buckle on red, you instantly think of Santa Claus. I’ve both seen and used this graphic in tons and tons of craft projects. Tee shirts with Santa’s belt, pillows, you name it! But I hadn’t seen it on votives… yet.

Stained Santa Votives DIY Craft

Since I had already been playing around with Mod Podge and food coloring my little stained Santa votives just kind of came together. You see, the tutorial intended for today wound up being a time-consuming flop. Yep, a big, ol’ craft fail. But luckily my little on-the-fly project saved the day. And you know what? I think I like this tons better anyway!

You may remember earlier this year I showed you how to stain mason jars with Mod Podge and food coloring. Well, today we’re going to revisit that exact same technique, putting a very, merry spin on it!

For this project you will need:

Stained Santa Votives Tutorial

I’m making two candle holders so I’m making a decent amount of colorant. These jars look more like smaller tumblers than shot glasses so these are a pretty good size. To color two of these I used about 1/4 cup of Mod Podge and 30 drops of red food coloring. You’ll need to play with the ratio for the size of your jars.

Stained Santa Votives TutorialTake a stick and stir up well. You want to totally incorporate it so you don’t have any weird streaks in the finish of your glass. Oh, and no worries about your mixture being pink. Since we’re adding to white the food coloring will naturally become lighter, but by baking, we’ll be drying out the Mod Podge so that it turns clear making the color red again!

Stained Santa Votives TutorialPour some of the mixtures into your holder.

Stained Santa Votives TutorialTwist and turn the glass until the inside is fully coated.

Stained Santa Votives TutorialTurn upside down and allow the excess mixture to drain out onto a paper towel for about thirty minutes. Then place in a COLD oven and set the heat to 300 degrees. Allow the jars to stay until all of the mixtures become transparent. If you have areas where the glass is foggy, it’s not ready yet.

When it starts to get close, pay special attention. I walked away from mine for about 5 minutes and they went 5 minutes too long! When they’ve been in too long, the coating starts to bubble and pop so that you don’t have a nice smooth finish. It starts at the lip and works its way down. You’ll be able to see in the next few pictures what I’m talking about.

Stained Santa Votives Tutorial Take a nice, smooth bristled brush and paint on scallops (like Santa’s beard) around the top lip. You’ll need to several coats to fully cover, allowing each coat to fully dry before adding the next. Oh, and though it doesn’t matter too much because I covered it up, there is my marred finish. Ugh. Look at that awful lip!

Stained Santa Votives Tutorial

Cut a piece of felt that is about half an inch wide and long enough to run around the glass with a bit of overlap.

Stained Santa Votives Tutorial

Cut a piece of yellow or gold craft foam in a rectangle 2 inches by 1 1/4 inches. Cut slits on the right and left of the foam to insert your felt belt. Now, craft foam is super cheap, so feel free to make another if your first belt buckle doesn’t turn out perfectly…

Stained Santa Votives TutorialStart by hot gluing the buckle onto your glass. Then wrap the felt belt around and secure on the back end.

Stained Santa Votives TutorialAnd there are my little cuties! I purchased a package of two battery-operated LED “candles” for $1 at the dollar store and I’ll be using them rather than traditional candles as it makes me feel safer when I’ve modified the candle holder.

Stained Santa Votives Tutorial

These are a lot of fun and a great little gift to hand out. You can even make them larger for pillar candles or as a vase! What a neat (and inexpensive) neighbor gift! I’ll be back again next week with more holiday goodness!