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Monday, March 11, 2024

From Empty Candle Jar to Embellished Face Cream Jar

In February on a Saturday, I started a thing. I was in the throes of Pinterest-envy after seeing a photo of an absolutely beautiful vanity area. I studied that photo for a long while, trying to determine how I could improve my own vanity area.

This area is my own personal space. No one else uses it. I fix my hair, wash and make-up my face, and take care of general above-the-shoulder grooming in this space. Unfortunately, I allowed it to become terribly cluttered with my stuff, leaving me with great dissatisfaction in its appearance. I wanted to redo my space, but this project is cosmetic and therefore not a spending priority. I needed to do this with minimal expense.

One of the aspects of the Pinterest vanity that was very doable for my circumstance was it had a clean look to the counter space, no clutter. On the counter was a small vase of flowers, what looked like a bottle of body spray or cologne, a small soap dish for hand soap, and a lovely decorative jar, perhaps containing powder or moisturizing cream, but nothing else. My counter, in contrast, had all of my makeup, a toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, hair straightener and a bunch fo scrunchies, and my phone.

I work on personal space/ personal belongings activities on Saturdays. So this first Saturday I cleared off the counter, and reorganized the cabinet under the sink and the wall cabinet. It already looked tons better. I was unsure if I'd be able to maintain this streamlined look. But here we are, a month later and yes, I have been able to keep it tidy. 

The next Saturday I went through my craft supplies and found some faux white flowers and a silver mint julep cup to use as a vase in imitation of the floral bouquet on the Pinterest vanity. I also collected my prettier perfume and cologne bottles and lined them up on a long and narrow cut glass cracker tray that had been my parents. 

The one cosmetic/grooming item that I felt I wanted to leave on the counter is my jar of CeraVe moisturizing cream. I use this all day long and didn't really have a convenient alternative place to keep it.  But I did want to stick with a more elegant look than a plastic commercial jar. Then I thought of the decorative jar in the photo and I had an inspiration. I had recently emptied a Bath & Body Works candle jar. I've seen lots of up-cycled candle jars online and have wanted to do something with this one jar. 

As you can see, the jar of moisturizing cream fits perfectly inside the empty candle jar. With the lid off of the cream jar, I could simply lift the candle jar lid off to access the moisturizer, no unscrewing necessary.

Another Saturday later I began my own up-cycle. One requirement I had for myself in this jar transformation was that I could not buy anything new to do this. I decided to go with a white glass look, with additions of matte gold and pearl beads. I used ordinary white acrylic paint on the inside of the jar (about 5 or 6 coats). Acrylic paint on the outside of glass can look flat. Paint on the inside of the jar gives the illusion of white glass. Once all of the layers of white paint had thoroughly dried, I used painters' tape to spray paint gold on the outside of the jar and on the lid.

And finally, this weekend I glued the pearl beads onto the lid. I'm happy with how it turned out. I still need to spray a clear sealer inside the jar to protect the acrylic paint from chipping. But I can do that this next Saturday.

Once I began poking through my craft supplies I realized that I have a lot of useful paints and trims to use in projects. I had the white acrylic paint, the matte gold spray paint, the pearl beads, and glue to adhere them. I "borrowed" a foot of painters' tape from my daughter and the rest was just a matter of my time, which actually became a very enjoyable weekend activity.

I continue to work on this vanity space. I have a towel ring that I held onto when we spruced up a bathroom 20 years ago. It has a very 1970s vibe in its antiqued brass finish. I plan on spray painting this a creamy white. I also plan on painting the walls surrounding this little spot and finding a new place to keep my phone. For now, I'm pleased with the progress I've made so far. I must admit, the biggest improvement came from cleaning up the counter and using under sink and wall cabinet storage for everything I use for grooming. I've already adjusted to opening cabinet doors to access my stuff. While not as convenient as just keeping everything on the counter, the pleasure I receive from seeing a more inviting space makes that trade-off worth it. When I finish it all up, I'll show it to you. Or at least when I've made more progress.


  1. Once again, you do what you do best - make things look nice. And you had fun doing it and like the results. A win, win, win. I share a vanity space with my husband and it's not very big. We clean the clutter off then and again, and I always appreciate the decluttered look.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn.
      I think decluttering is the most cost-effective thing we can do to spruce up our environments.

  2. How great is it that your CeraVe container fits into your upcycled container? Great idea.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I know. I was so thrilled that the CeraVe fit right inside. Sometimes things just work out that way.

  3. I love how small changes can lift spirits. I "shop my home" often, and love how those little changes freshen up my spaces. Can you tell me how you like CeraVe? I have used Olay cream and have considered switching to CeraVe.

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      I think we get more bang for the buck by doing the little spruce-ups compared to the really costly ones. But there are times when spending more money is what we have to do, like when our house needs a new roof.

      CeraVe works for my skin. I've used both the basic daily moisturizing lotion and the moisturizing cream, no sunscreen in either. I used the lotion for years when I was younger. Then as my skin became drier, I switched to the cream. I use it as both a skin cleanser and moisturizer for my face and a hand cream all day long. I have dry skin with occasional flare-ups of eczema. CeraVe keeps the eczema under control. As much as I love CeraVe, I realize that we each need to find the products that work for our own skin. So, it may work for you, but you may find that Olay does what you need just as well. You can get a $4 off coupon at their website.

    2. I'm chiming in to say that I really like CeraVe products, too. Like Lili, I use the creams--I use the same one Lili uses for my body, and the night cream for my face (I use it day and night). I also have problems with eczema. CeraVe has an itch relief cream which I have found to be really helpful (a friend gifted it to me and while I don't use it all the time, it's wonderful if I'm having an eczema flare). None of the items I have used are greasy, which is important to me.


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