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the candle holder project
for a 3" pillar candle                                                        Dec 2004
Sandra saw an idea for homemade candle holders in a craft magazine.
We put our own twist on it & with Xmas coming up we thought we'd make a few for family & friends.
shopping list:

- 3/4" MDF or plywood for the flat surface
- chair rail trim of choice
- wooden dowel for feet
- wood glue
- clamps
- drill / drill press
- drywall screws to secure feet
- paint (green & red shown)
- glaze (gold shown)
- clear spray
- felt blanket (self-adhesive felt to put on bottoms of feet)
- sandpaper
I decided that 5" x 5" was the right size for a 3" candle.

I cut these out of scrap MDF and some out of scrap plywood. 3/4" seemed right.

I used the power miter saw to make sure it was square.
Sandra & I went to Lowes & browsed through their trim section & decided on this chair rail. One piece was about $12 & produced three candle holders.

For a small project like this, I was looking for a pattern that was really small & intricate. A larger pattern on a small box like this would look odd.

I then cut the trim at 45 degree angles to fit around the 5" piece of wood above.

I numbered each side of the sq base & marked & cut each piece of trim to match

Notice that there is a thinner piece of plywood lying on the workbench--this allows there to be a uniform "lip" around the top of the box. (it is upside down)

Good wood glue & clamps makes a strong bond. Let it dry completely.

(Slater apparently has done some artwork on my wood scraps...)

Then glue & clamp the other sides.

The hole in the center is for a nail to poke through to hold the candle.

The other 4 holes are just slightly predrilled for the feet. Using the drill press allowed these holes to be straight & for the feet to fit well.
Here's the box without feet. The dark stain along the back side is some wood putty I used to fill some gaps.

No, I'm not that good--there were plenty of gaps ;-)
After I did a couple, I realised it was better to drill this & the other holes before assembling the box
The pictures I took don't really show the affect of the feet.

The box "hovers" about 1/2" off the table. You really don't see the feet, just the space between the table & the bottom of the candle holder.

Setting up a jig like this allows you to cut all the feet at all the same length.

(have I mentioned lately how much this saw ROCKS?!)
I first drilled a small hole all the way through each foot---that allowed a drywall screw to anchor them to the base.

Next, a larger hole needed to be drilled to allow the head of the screw to go up into the foot.

I made this jig to hold the foot---b/c it's hard to hold a small round dowel when drilling with a larger bit.

Important to drill to the proper depth so your screw doesn't do through the top of the candle holder!
On the left you can see the end that will afix to the underside of the candle holder.
On the right you see how we'll screw the leg to the base.
As to not mar a table, I made felt pads for the bottom of the feet. A nickle was the right size template.

Buying a sheet of "felt blanket" was more cost effective than buying pre cut circles.
the finish:

1. Spray paint color of your choosing. This is "claret wine." Paint the feet same color.

I used satin finish, which is between a shiny & flat finish.

2. Then brush a glaze* over the sides completely.
I used "bronze" or Ram Pants as my friend, Bistro, calls it.

3. Wipe off the glaze with a towel. The glaze will hide in all the nooks & crannies

*Glaze dries slowly & wipes off easily.

4. After the glaze dries, spray a couple coats of clear over the whole thing.

5. Add a bit of wood glue to the top of the feet & screw them into the base. Finished!

The project was fairly simple, but a little time-consuming----that's why everyone didn't get one. (sorry)

If you'd like one, twist my arm or offer me Starbucks gift cards ;-)

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off-white & silver for the Mygrants
black & silver for my mom