The crafters I know love to learn new techniques, which is why today’s post is so much fun. Designer Koren Russell has mad skills, and she’ll lead you through cutting and shaping STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, and working with air-dry modeling clay to DIY these Custom Candle Pedestals. Then, she shares how to dry brush paint, so you’ll layer on a faux finish with more depth. (If you followed Tinsel Tuesdays this week, you may have already used a few of these techniques to make Koren’s adorable Snowman Candle Pedestal.)
To make Custom Candle Pedestals, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
- Egg, 6″
- Ball, 4″
- Block, 12″ x 12″ x 1/2″
- Acrylic craft paints: Black, dark brown, brick red, green, dark golden brown
- Air-dry modeling clay*
- Weights, these can be fishing line weights, BBs, or other weighted items
- Pillar candles, 3″ x 4″, two (Note: Since publishing this post, I’ve received a very smart suggestion from a reader to use battery-operated candles instead, due to the flammable materials used in this project. Please consider this alternative!)
- Thick, white craft glue
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife; candle stub or bar of soap; pencil; ruler; compass; four large rubber bands; metal tablespoon; medium flat paintbrush; waxed paper; paper towels; fine-grit sandpaper; optional: clay tools
To make Custom Candle Pedestals:
1. With the compass, draw four, 3-5/8″ and four 4″ circles on the 1/2” thick foam block. Wax your serrated knife with an old candle or a bar of soap, and then cut out the circles. Sand the edges so they are smooth and rounded with a scrap piece of foam.
2. Center and glue a 3-5/8″ circle to each 4″ circle.
Shorter Candle Pedestal (shown on right)
3. Cut a 5/8″ slice from top and bottom of the foam ball. Be sure the cuts are parallel to each other.
4. Stretch four rubber bands around the foam ball, dividing it into eight, equal sections from top to bottom. Score a line along the left side of each rubber band, using a sharp pencil. Remove rubber bands.
5. Using a serrated knife, shape each scored line into a into v-shaped groove, 1/2″ wide and 3/16″ deep at the center. Use the bowl of the spoon to smooth and round the edges. Brush away loose particles with your fingers.
6. Push the pencil through center of the ball from one flat side to the other. Use the knife to enlarge the hole to 1″ wide, and remove the foam core from the ball.
7. Glue the ball to one of the pedestal bases made in Step 2. Tightly pack the hole with your weights. Glue the second foam base to the top. Let dry.
Taller Candle Pedestal (on left)
8. Cut a 1-1/4” slice from the narrow end of the foam egg, and a 1/2” slice from the wide end of the egg.
9. Repeat Step 4 to shape the foam egg. Then, using the serrated knife and spoon, carve 1-1/2” deep holes into the top and bottom of the egg.
10. Tightly pack the hole in the top of the egg with your weights. Glue one pair of foam circles to the top. Carefully flip the egg over, holding on the foam circles. Fill the second hole with weights and glue on the remaining pair of foam circles. Let dry.
Covering with Modeling Clay
11. Cover your work surface with waxed paper. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition the modeling compound. Cover the candle pedestals with modeling compound, working with a small amount each time. Use your fingers to spread the clay. Repeat, till each candle pedestal is covered with a thin, even layer of modeling compound. Smooth the surface with wet fingertips. Optional: use clay tools to help smooth out the clay.
12. Sand any rough or raised edges with fine-grit sandpaper. The surface doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Wipe away dust with a damp paper towel.
13. Paint the pedestals black and let dry. Dry brush the pedestals, applying color layers as follows: dark brown; brick red; green; dark golden brown. To dry brush, dip damp brush into small amount of paint, then wipe against a paper towel to remove excess paint. Using just the tip of the brush, lightly and randomly brush color across surface. Repeat for each color.
Here are a few more ideas for making your own candle holders using different techniques.
Were any of these techniques new to you? Or have you tried them all before?