I know the low temperatures in northern California hardly rival those of the East Coast, but we still get our fair share of bone-chilling, gloomy winter weather, and according to the news, there’s more cold and windy rain on its way. Like Max and Grace, I am a huge fan of candles: In my urban area, they are the closest I can get to a working fireplace. True, they don’t supply quite the same amount of warmth, but surprisingly, I can get just as much comfort and relaxation watching the delicate flicker of a single candle as I can sitting in front of roaring fire, and candles are much easier to swap out, clean up and move around the home.
I decided to make some simple candleholders for taper candles, and believe it or not, these were inspired by the colonial pewter candleholders I remember seeing growing up in New England. The old fashioned candleholders always had these wonderful big curved handles so that you carried the candle much like a cup of tea. I thought it would be fun to do a modern industrial spin on this design, turning the curved handle into a big flat disc. The warmth of the copper and wood suit the candlelight, and these also make lovely tiny sculptures to display even without candles. If you are up for a teeny bit of sawdust and elbow grease, these are a cinch to make. Happy crafting, and I hope everyone is keeping warm this holiday season. :) — Kate
Read the full how-to after the jump . . .
- 3/4″ copper couplings (one for each candleholder)
- 4″ x 4″ x 2″ lumber (Unfortunately, this usually comes in 6′, 8′ or 10′ lengths, so you’ll have a lot extra if you only make a couple of these. But you can at least have them cut to size at the hardware store.)
- mitre box and wood saw
- 4″ round wooden craft discs (these are available at craft and art supply stores)
- drill with 1″ boring bit attachment
- sandpaper or power sander
- wood glue
1. Once you have your pieces of lumber cut down to size, sand them all over with a medium- and then a fine-grit sandpaper until they are nice and smooth.
3. Clamp your piece of wood to a stable surface and begin sawing at a 45-degree angle just inside the left-hand mark you made. Stop when your saw has reached 1/2″ into the top and side face of the wood. Repeat the same cut just inside the right-hand mark and stop at the same point. Then you’ll have a thin little sliver of wood in the center, which you can continue sawing into and it will chip away. Once you have the slot cut out, wedge the disc into place to check that it fits nicely, and continue sawing out bit by bit until you have a nice snug fit.
5. Remove the wood disc and clamp the wood piece back down onto the stable work surface. Place the center tip of the boring bit into the center of the circle you drew and drill down 1/8″ into the wood, creating a shallow circular cavity for the coupling. Use your sandpaper to clean the edges, and wipe the piece down to remove any splinters or sawdust.
6. Put a small dab of wood glue into the slot for the disc and along the sides of the shallow circular cavity. Place the disc into the slot and gently tap it down into place with a mallet or stick. Place the copper coupling down into the shallow cavity. Use a rag or a slightly damp Q-tip to remove any excess glue and set the piece aside to dry.