Recycling scrap furniture into unique candleholders

This week, Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades, shows us how she took some scrap furniture parts from another Jill of All Trades project and turned them into a set of really cool candle holders. 

Jill had done a project where she revamped a queen size bed headboard. She had gotten the headboard for free on Facebook Marketplace. But, it had very tall spires on the bedposts. They were loose and falling off, and Jill didn’t like the look of them. She removed them and put smaller finials on top of the bedposts.  That made the headboard more to her liking, but she saved the spires in her workshop. She didn’t even know why, at the time. She just figured that they would come in handy at some point. Then, inspiration struck. 

Jill figured out that she could cut them into pieces and use them to make some candle holders. She started by taking measurements and figuring out the sizes that she wanted her candleholders to be. She also had to figure out what she was going to use as a base and a top for each candle holder. She decided to use some routerEd wood circles that she found at a craft supply store. She used a wider one for the bases (5 inches) and a smaller one for the tops (3.5 inches). 

The pine circles were affordable, costing as little as a dollar apiece, and only needed a light sanding, so they required minimal prep work. 

With the bases and the tops figured out, it was time to start cutting the spires. Because the spires were tapered, Jill knew it was going to be tricky to get a straight cut through them on her miter saw. She knew she couldn’t just lay them down, because then the cut would end up with a slight angle. 

Jill tried multiple ways to figure out how to keep the spires level while she was cutting. In the end, it just came down to shimming them, eyeballing it, and winging it.  It helped that Jill measured the circumference at the bottom of the spire and at the point that she was cutting. That gave her some idea how much she was going to have to shim each one. 

Also, because of the taper, she had to shim the backside of the spire that was resting against the fence on the saw. If she didn’t do that, she was still going to end up with an angled cut.

Jill’s cuts turned out pretty well. Not 100% square, but close enough. Her concern was that, if they were off by too much, the candles would end up burning unevenly. Jill’s cuts were close enough to square that that was not a problem.

Once the cuts were made, the rest was easy. Jill just figured out which part of each section she wanted to be at the bottom, and which part she wanted to be at the top. Then she glued the sections of the spires to the bases. She waited for those to dry, being careful to make sure everything stayed centered during the drying process. Then she flipped them over and glued the bases to the tops, again being careful to keep everything centered while the glue was drying. 

Once the glue was dry, Jill was ready to paint. Jill says you can get creative and paint them however you want. She chose to do a black undercoat with some basic flat black craft paint. Once that was dry, she painted white chalk paint over it. When the chalk paint was dry, she went back with a green Scotch-Brite scrubbing pad and sand back the finish a little bit. That made the candleholders smoother to the touch and also revealed a tiny bit of the black undercoat to highlight some of the turnings on the candleholders.

This is a quick and simple project that can be done in an hour or two. Jill ended up with a total of five candleholders that now have a place of honor on her kitchen island. 

PROJECT RATING:  Pretty Easy (as long as you have a saw)

To watch Jill take you through the process, just click on the video player above.