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Make Minimal, Modern Candlesticks Using Copper Tube Caps

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Before the holidays, this gorgeous table setting caught my eye while surfing a Scandinavian design blog—and in particular, I couldn't get over the star candle holder in the foreground. It was one of those classic "I can make that!" moments: a DIY that uses just two materials (plus glue). I love the way the gleaming copper is juxtaposed with a bright white base, and I imagined a dozen of them lined down the center of a table; simple, wintry, and so easy and affordable (about $2 a pop) to make.

Overturned pinch bowls and egg cups join in the fun alongside star shapes.
Overturned pinch bowls and egg cups join in the fun alongside star shapes. Photo by Bobbi Lin

The star-shaped bases I found at the ever-reliable craftparts.com in a few different sizes. And for the copper candle bases, I hit up the hardware store, where I spent several minutes poking around the plumbing section marveling at a world of simple, sturdy, copper tube caps.

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Turn most anything into a candle-holder with a copper end cap and epoxy.
Turn most anything into a candle-holder with a copper end cap and epoxy. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Copper tube caps are typically used in plumbing to seal the end of a pipe, but they are surprisingly versatile in the world of DIY. They're round, smooth, and available in a range of sizes—the perfect home for a sleek taper candle. Just a dab of epoxy glue—which is one of the strongest bonding solutions, and the best glue for connecting two different types of materials—on a copper end cap will transform any everyday object into a functional candle holder. Here's how:

What you'll need:

  • Flat wood star cut-outs in a few sizes (I used both 2 7/8-inch and 1 1/2-inch ones)
  • Matte white spray paint, if making white or color-blocked stars
  • Painter's tape or masking tape, if making white or color-blocked stars
  • Epoxy adhesive, such as E6000
  • Copper tube caps in various sizes (I used the 3/4 inch size for taper candles and 1/2-inch ones for menorah or advent candles)
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Spray paint the wooden bases, if desired.

Lay wooden stars flat on an outdoor surface covered with kraft paper or newsprint. To color-block, tape off half of the star with low-adhesive masking or painter's tape before spraying. Be sure there is no wood exposed on the side you want to remain unpainted, then spray stars with an even coat of spray paint and let dry. Slowly pull off any tape once completely dry.

A dab of epoxy will do ya.
A dab of epoxy will do ya. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Assemble

Take your dried, painted or unpainted wooden stars—or overturned wooden egg cups, or wooden pinch bowls—and dab a dot of epoxy in the center of the shape. The dot should be about the size of a pea—a little goes a long way!—but you want enough to hold the copper in place. (Be careful not to get epoxy on your skin; while it's not flammable, it's basically an industrial glue.)

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Quickly press the copper cap onto the dot of epoxy, holding in place for about 30 seconds. Let dry completely on a flat surface (you don't want a crooked holder) for about 2 hours. Mix and match star and copper cap sizes as you see fit, add candles, and enjoy!

Tell us: What everyday hardware supplies do you love for DIYs?

Tags: candles, candlesticks, candle holders, copper, DIY, how-to