File This One Under: Do Not Try This at Home

I never thought I would have to warn you to not make something from the pages of Weldon’s, but these projects are unsafe for any home. Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 7, Practical Crinkled Tissue Paper Work, First Series, seems like a tame collection of flower-pot covers, paper flowers, and other assorted whimsies, but don’t be fooled. Lurking in these pages are a few projects not practical or useful.

No. 13.—Butterfly Candle Shade.

No. 13.—Butterfly Candle Shade.

“The paper insect is very pretty and effective as a candle shade, while it is especially useful upon piano candles, as it shades the light from the eyes without diverting it from the music,” claims Weldon’s. However, place this Butterfly Candle Shade on a piano candle, and you’ll soon be hearing the music of the fire alarm.

No. 28.—Gas-Globe Shade

No. 28.—Gas-Globe Shade

If the Butterfly Candle Shade hasn’t started a fire, the Gas-Globe Cover is sure to do the trick. Weldon’s suggests that this Gas-Globe Cover could also be used as a Flower-Pot Cover. I agree; that is a much safer option.

No. 32.—Fly Rest.

No. 32.—Fly Rest.

As impractical as the globe cover and candle shade are, my personal favorite is the Fly Rest. Lure your little winged guests to their “final” resting place. Weldon’s advises, “If these are hung beneath the gas chandelier they really form a novel and useful ornament.” Novel indeed—I think not!

If the idea of setting your house ablaze with crinkled tissue paper work makes you cringe, try knitting the more practical projects from Weldon’s found in Nancy Bush’s eBook, Knitting Vintage Socks. Knitted socks are a much safer crafting option!

—Elizabeth


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One Comment

  1. Wendy G at 12:21 pm February 24, 2017

    You have to remember, back in those days they understood fire and how close things could be to them because they used candles and oil lamps all the time. Modern electrical conveniences and the growing “bubble wrap world” mentality throughout the 20th century has led to many once-commonly done (without injury or death) activities to be labelled “dangerous.”

    The paper insect really isn’t an issue as long as you make sure it stays well below the actual flame, and sounds like it would be quite appropriate for its function. I don’t know gas globes well enough to comment on the fire hazard of the cover, but if I were to guess, I would say it probably isn’t nearly the ignition source your imagination says it is.

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