Almost two years ago, about the time I was first pregnant with Maddox, a good friend of mine and her mother introduced me to the local flea market called The Elephant’s Trunk. I had wanted to check it out for many, many years, so I'm not sure why it took me this long to finally go. It was always a passing thought and I never made it a priority on my weekend schedule - but with their convincing, I was game... and it turned into my new weekly routine. It was also a nice break for some "me" time which up until this point, I never really took any, at least on a consistent basis. I looked forward to going each weekend (and when it got rained out, I was always totally bummed). The flea market is the perfect place to find a starting point for all sorts of DIY projects - and I've been known to get ahead of myself with purchasing stuff faster than I was able to work on them. But, we had also been living in our new house for several months by this point and I needed more decor to fill our space... at least I had a good excuse to go a little crazy.
Anyways, one of my first project ideas was a new centerpiece on my dining room table. On our first trip, we found the perfect wood box - an old wood tool caddy of sorts - and at a pretty good price. It certainly helps to go with “flea market veterans” who also happen to be good negotiators. (My quiet/shy nature certainly doesn't help me in this arena). We also found some old mason jars from “the glass guy” who is there every weekend and specializes in... you guessed it - all sorts of old glass bottles and jars. The mason jars I found had glass lids and metal hinges and I bought them in two sizes which I planned to place inside the box. I brought home those pieces and got to work.
I started by using Briwax on the wooden box. Briwax is amazing - it brings out all the natural patina and color of the antiqued wood and gives it a natural sheen - the more you buff, the glossier it will get. Briwax comes in a variety colors/shades too so even if you wanted to darken a piece, it’s possible using this wax.
Next, I wanted to figure out a way to put candles in the mason jars to keep them elevated and peeking above the rim instead of placing them on the bottom where they would be hidden once I added the moss and flowers I had in mind. I decided to use some heavy gauge metal wire we had in the basement and experimented a bit to make these little “candle holders” that wrapped around the edges of the mason jars. They keep the candles elevated at just the right height. As you can see, I bent the wire to make a platform for the candle, and then little arms that wrapped around the top of the jar.
Finally, I used moss and artificial flowers and berries to fill in around the jars. By using moss as a filler, I made sure not to add any extra weight to the piece so it can easily be picked up and moved when setting out food on the table. The wood caddy alone is quite heavy and once adding the mason jars, I didn’t want it much heavier. As for the holidays this year, I switched out the white and cream flowers and berries for red ones to make it more festive. Only thing… I forgot to get some pictures. Maybe next Christmas I’ll update this post with new photos.