Monday, April 14, 2014

make it: concrete + copper candleholders

This project combines three things that we both love: copperconcrete, and colorful taper candles. This is the perfect project for a warm weekend and it's easy to customize. You can make all of the candleholders the same height, leave the wooden block uncut and drill several holes for one long candleholder, or mix and match with different colors of candles. These candleholders will look great as a dining room table centerpiece, on a patio table, or on a mantle.


- 1 3"x3"x30" wood block
- 3/4" copper coupling without stops (we used 8)
- painter's tape
- E6000 adhesive
- 1.5" and 3" plastic putty knives (sold in a multi pack at Home Depot)
- FeatherFinish skimcoat concrete
- 2 qt. plastic bucket and several plastic spoons for mixing
- drill
- 1" hole saw
- miter saw (not pictured)
- 100 grit sandpaper (not pictured)

Carefully cut your wooden block into several pieces with a miter saw. We cut ours into 8 pieces varying from 1.5" to 6" tall. Sand down rough edges with 100 grit sandpaper.

Measure and mark the center of each block and carefully position hole saw center on mark. Pulse the drill several times to start the center hole. Make sure the drill is straight. Slowly cut a hole about 1/8" deep.

Tape copper couplings about 1/4" from edge with painter's tape. Fill hole in block with glue and place copper coupling inside. Let the glue dry for 2-3 hours.

We found that it worked best to mix two batches for each coat because the concrete mixture dries out very quickly. Thoroughly mix 1 cup concrete with 1/2 cup water in bucket. Working with one wooden block at a time, apply a thin layer of concrete (about 1/8 thick) to sides with the 3" putty knife and to the top with the 1.5" putty knife. (we highly recommend trying this on a scrap piece of wood first to get a feel for it) Mix another batch and apply to remaining candleholders. Quickly wash bucket and putty knives after applying concrete. Let the first coat dry for about 20-30 minutes (maximum 1 hour).

When the first coat is dry, sand all sides until smooth with 100 grit sandpaper. Apply a second coat if necessary following the instructions for the first coat. Remove tape and clean any errant concrete from copper coupling if necessary. Apply a concrete sealer or water-based acrylic coat if desired. We loved the look of the raw concrete so we didn't treat ours but be advised that wax drippings can stain the concrete.


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