Brilliant and Clever tea-light lanterns

tea lights

By Laurie Marshall

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

It’s easy to prove this out by taking a quick look around the internet for unique craft ideas.

When Etsy.com was a new baby website I used to spend time in their forums finding out more about being a merchant and how to handle marketing and promotion and such.

Pretty regularly, someone would post a discussion about people who were allegedly copying their Brilliant and Clever Handmade Item. They would accuse the other seller of blatant theft of their design and of attempting to capitalize on someone else’s talent without spending the time to labor over the design phase of the creation process. Usually, the response from the masses who were reading these posts was less inflamed…  more like “meh.” It was obvious in those forums that most people doubt the possibility that an idea, no matter how unique, will never be reproduced by someone else.

Case in point:  My Brilliant and Clever Tea-light Lanterns

tea light full shotI came up with these a few years ago after lucking onto a whole box of glass insulators for .25 cents each. You can find them in flea markets for a few dollars and up to $12 each, which is crazy-talk. They are neither rare, nor collectible… but they do make fantastic lanterns!

The best thing is that the hole on the inside of the insulator, when it’s turned upside down, is EXACTLY the same size as a tea light. Isn’t that nuts?

So, of course, I had to get crafty. I had a bunch of wire, and a pair of needle-nosed pliers, and came up with my own wacky design for hanging them. They also work well as replacements for the glass candle holders that sit in metal holders… I like mine better.

So, back to the copying thing…  I have never sold these online, but have had them posted in my Flickr feed, and maybe mentioned them on a blog at some point.

But let’s face it – the visibility of my personal photo streams and blog posts is extremely limited. So, when I do a quick search on Pinterest for the words “glass insulator” and find over a half-dozen varieties of the same idea, I just chalk it up to the “no new ideas under the sun” thing.

They’re really simple to make, so if you find a couple for less than a few dollars each, grab some wire and pliers and give it a go. They are great hanging on a porch or in a tree near a patio. When you get them done, be sure to post them on Pinterest for the rest of us to see!

Laurie Marshall has been a regular contributor on nwaMotherlode for several years, previously writing posts for “Getting Healthy For Good”.

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