Concrete & Copper Candle Holders DIY
I have a super simple, budget friendly DIY today,making candle holders from concrete. I am just loving concrete right now. I have been experimenting with it a lot lately and have been coming up with some really fun projects I’m planning on sharing with you soon. Concrete is such a fun, unexpected material to use in your home, and more versatile than you might originally think. Concrete can be smooth and shiny, or rough and pitted, but either way concrete adds a layer of texture that’s very interesting. It can fit right in to an industrial look, but it also plays well with a rustic or farmhouse vibe. It can be painted, embedded with a variety of materials, stained, sealed wet-shiny or matte, the possibilities are endless. And this project is a great intro to the medium, but you can customize your candle holders as intricately as desired easily. (This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here.)
- Various plastic/glass jars/bottles
- Concrete (I used quick setting concrete)
- 3/4 inch Copper Pipe Cap
- Embellishments (I used white acrylic paint and Copper Foil Tape)
So the first thing I did was raid the recycle bin for any interesting plastic bottles or jars to use as molds. You could use glass, but you would need to break the glass to get the concrete out later,so if you decide to go that route, be careful! Practice common sense and safety! I went with plastic bottles for simplicity’s sake. I found a SoBe bottle, Body Armour bottle, Smart Water bottle,and a spice jar. (The picture also shows a small sprinkles jar, but that one didn’t work out, so I just went with these four).
So next I made sure the bottles are well rinsed out with no remaining residue. Set those aside and mix up your concrete. I got a bag of quick-setting concrete and it had small pebbles mixed in it. For this project I wanted to make sure my candle holders had a smooth surface so I sifted out the pebbles. To do this I bought a strainer from the dollar store and dumped a couple cups of concrete into it, then sifted it into a bucket I placed below. Then I just tossed the pebbles. You don’t have to do this though, I just like this look personally.
After my concrete was sifted, its time to add water. I never go by what it suggests on the bag, it never works for me. I add a little water, mix well, add more water, mix, water, mix, until I have a consistency of slightly runny peanut butter. This part is really just trial and error until it feels right.
Then I used a funnel to pour the concrete into each bottle. After each bottle was full I tapped the bottom of the bottle against the table to knock any air bubbles out. Then just let it dry according to the manufacturers directions based upon what kind of concrete you purchased.
After the concrete is dry, it’s time to get it out of that plastic! I used an exacto knife to slice a circular band all the way around the bottle near the bottom, then slip something (I used a plastic butter knife) between the plastic and concrete and slide it all around, separating the two. Be careful not to gouge the concrete, but don’t worry too much if you mark it up, we can fix that later. Work the bottlm piece until you can pull it off. Next, slice up the length of the bottle and around in another ring near the top. Repeat the trick with the plastic butter knife until all the plastic is off. Some bottles take more work than others. Some people advocate adding oil to the inside of the mold before pouring, claiming its easier to get the concrete out after its set. Personally I’ve done it both ways and I’ve found no difference between the two processes, but to each his/her own.
If you did mark up the concrete while getting it out (likee I did) this is where you sand it out. I used 100 grit sandpaper to get the marks out, then 220 grit to smooth everything out.
Now you can customize your candle holders if you wish. I decided to use white paint and copper tape on some of them, but you can do or not do as you choose.
Next I took 3/4 inch copper cap (found in the plumbing section) and some E-6000 glue and glued the cap to the top of the candleholder. This is where your candle will sit, and I found that the 3/4 inch caps fit the bottom of taper candles perfectly. The copper caps are very affordable, mine were $1.36 each at my local Lowes. They have caps made from other materials if copper is not your jam, or you could always spray paint them the color of your choice.
After they are dry, they are ready for use! I’m seriously infatuated with my concrete candleholders right now. I keep moving them to every room so I can continuously use them. Ha! What about you? How would you customize your own concrete candle holders? Let me know or send a pic!
As always, have fun! Go nuts! Get messy! Amazing things can happen when you do! XO Caroline
P.S. Here are the fun parties
I link to!