Hi, you guys! It's Mandi, from Making Nice in the Midwest, with a fun winter project to share with you. Instead of complaining about the rare appearance of sunlight in the wintertime, I thought I'd make the most of of the darkness and create some mood lighting in my home! I love the sleek look of atomic style candle holders from the '50s and '60s, but haven't had much luck in getting a pair for a good price. So I thought I'd enjoy creating something similar to add some ambiance to my home. It was a relatively simple project that used mostly things that an avid crafter might already have on hand. Check out the instructions below to make your own!Supplies for One Candle Stand:
- 2 plastic cups with bottoms the same size
- nonstick spray
- plaster of paris
- small sponge
- sand paper and/or sanding screen
- mixing bowl
- X-acto blade
- serrated knife
- primer + paint (I used gold metallic Krylon paint, not the paint shown above)
Step Two: Spray the inside of the cups with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure the widest diameter of the cup is larger than the diameter of the candle you plan to use.
Step Three: Fill the insides of each cup you are using with the plaster. Fill each cup in sections, tapping the bottom of the cup on the table periodically to remove any trapped air that will create bubbles- unless you like the look of bubbles, that is. Try to keep the top of the plaster smooth, which is easier to do with plaster that has been freshly mixed and hasn't begun to set up yet.
Step Four: After the plaster has set up (I waited about 20 minutes, but follow the directions on the plaster package), slice open the side of the cup with an X-acto blade and peel it off of the plaster form.Step Five: If the top of the cup is not perfectly level and smooth (it probably won't be), then use a serrated knife to scrape it into a nice level surface. I moved my knife in a radial fashion as if I was peeling an apple. It was actually pretty easy to do.
Step Six: Mix up a small batch of plaster and use it as glue to connect the two pieces together at their smallest end. I used my finger to glob and smooth plaster over the sides to cover the grooves left by the cup, to disguise where the two pieces were connected, and to hide air bubbles and give the sides a little extra texture.
Step Seven: Before the skim coat of plaster has set up, use a wet sponge to smooth it out as nicely as you can get it. You have to work quickly in steps six and seven because the plaster is drying as you work.
Step Eight: After the plaster has completely dried, use a sanding screen or sand paper to smooth it out. Fine grit sandpaper will not work for this, because the plaster will clog it up immediately and render it useless. A sanding screen is probably best.Step Nine: Follow the instructions on the plaster package for how long you should wait until the plaster has completely set up, and then do a final sanding and wiping down of the candle stand. Then, in a well ventilated area while wearing an air filtration mask, cover the candle stands with a few very light coats of primer and then a few light coats of the paint you have chosen. Do not try to get too much coverage out of each coat of paint, or it will leave drip marks. Patience is key.
Once the paint has dried, you may want to try out something I considered doing, but ended up skipping. Paint the candle stand with a light coat of black craft paint, and rub it off with a paper towel. It will leave paint in the textured areas and give the candle holder a nice patina, if that's a look that you enjoy.The beauty of using disposable cups as a mold is that depending on what kind of cups you use, you can create all kinds of shapes and sizes to mix and match your candle arrangement. You can make them into dramatic votive stands too by inserting a small votive holder into the top before the plaster dries. I love how the candle holders turned out so much that I think I'll make them as gifts to give to family next Christmas!
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson