Linda Kester Hamilton: Turning Jelly Jars to Jewels


You may never feel the same about a jar of jelly ever again.

Linda Kester Hamilton has always had a creative soul. She currently works as a graphic artist from her home, and is a small-time producer of DVD productions using photos, mementos, film clips and new photography. She also does intricate beadwork and dabbles in a variety of other media.

After moving last year from the central coast of California town of Aptos, to Alamogordo, New Mexico, she found the change in local recycling facilities alarming. She began to hold onto things she would normally recycle or throw away, namely her wide mouth jars and lids.

"I remembered a teacher in high school had shown us how to make candle sticks using the same method I use today," Linda said. "Now, there are more modern crafting supplies to get neat things accomplished and I am very thankful for that."

In high school, she remembers cutting lace from her canopy bed set (hoping her mother wouldn't notice) to add texture to her candle holder projects. Aside from reusing her bottles, (her bed lace) and other recycled materials for texture and embellishment, Linda also fills her jars with shredded tires to add weight. This is recycled art in its truest form.

Over the years, Linda has made dozens of candleholders using everything imaginable. Her jar projects are so popular, she now teaches classes from her home.

Though it may seem like a simple craft, she doesn't see it as a child's project. "I did have my granddaughter Bailey pose for some photographs last year, " she says. "But hot glue is dangerous, some glues are caustic, and broken glass just doesn't sound safe either!"

Linda has taken an old lesson, combined it with new materials and lots of creativity and created some truly amazing pieces. She says she is grateful to her two children, two grandchildren and her husband Bob for being so supportive of her creative endeavors. "I like that he doesn't ever seem to notice my messes!" she says.

Linda is a wealth of information on recycled jar projects and other high-end crafts. Please feel free to contact her with your questions. You can also visit her Facebook page, search for "Linda Kester Hamilton Creative Artistry" on Facebook.

Linda Kester Hamilton

1094 San Miguel St

Alamogordo, NM 88310

Tel: 575-446-4576

[email protected]

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Heather D.  •  November 03, 2013
I am so excited to find you!! My aunt made these back in the 50s and 60s. I have wished I had her's but now I can make my own. I save jars with fun shapes all the time. I'm ready to glue! Thanks, Heather
Linda H.  •  February 22, 2011
@Sheila M. Hi Sheila! Not sure if you were "asking" about the glue I use on my jars... If so.... The latest method goes like this: Jars are clean but get another wipe with rubbing alcohol and dried. I squeeze a generous dose of epoxy for glass between (jars lids are attached to jars with a bit of same on threads), keeping sure to not have so much that it comes out around edges. I use A LOT of all purpose hot glue sticks, and this helps me work faster. I do not rough-handle or begin using elastomeric or paint until the stacked project has cured 3 days or longer. because of this I tend to have several builds in-progress. Seems are strengthened by rope details and hot-glue and fabric stiffener. The fabric stiffener turns the rope "porcelain like". Its beautiful, and takes other finishing wonderfully!
Linda H.  •  February 22, 2011
@loveis4 - Each one of the jar sets are candle holders. Yes, I do sell these. The skull ones you mentioned were commissioned for a tattoo shop in Spokane, WA. I never make something twice. I do have a how to booklet I have created and printed. I need to see how "public" this reply is before I send you my weblink. Thank you! -Linda
doris r.  •  February 18, 2011
really like the candle ones and my son would love the skull ones do you sale these
Sheila M.  •  February 17, 2011
I love this! Anytime we can take junk and make it pretty & useful is an awesome thing. I'm do mosaics, always recycling throw aways for them. It makes perfect sense to me! Always need to know what glue is best for making sure these jars stay together?
Julie Bedford

Julie Bedford

Julie graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Communications. She worked as a marketing director and graphic designer before coming to work for Delphi as social media manager. Her mother is an artist and inspired Julie's love for art and creativity at a young age. Her hobbies include writing, crafting and social networking.