Monday, 20 March 2017

Making a Rustic Candelabra

With a first coat of Chalk Paint in "Americana Rustic"

I was inspired by Amberatti's blog post on making a mini candelabra and decided to make my own version.  (Note to self: check out model boat parts. :D )

I hit the local Spotlight and looked for useful items. I found some cone-shaped fasteners in the sewing notions section. No idea what they are called but they have two pointed pieces of metal on them that spread apart behind a backing plate, kind of like those paper fasteners you see in offices. I was just after the cone shape for a base so I cut off the metal tails.

I also bought some earring hooks because I thought they'd be good to use for the arms and already halfway bent. :) Bonus, they had bead and wire detail on them that I decided to use in the design.

Next to the bead aisle. I bought two different sized fluted silver beads and some oblong wooden beads. I couldn't find any earring backs or cap beads but I have a bunch of other beads in my stash so I thought I would be able to come up with something.

First I fashioned the arms out of earring hooks. I figured this would be the hardest part so if it all went to hell, I could quit without spending too much time on it. :D

And it was.... after a few false starts, I figured out that if I bent the wire over my exacto knife handle for the large curve and a pencil for the small curve, I had relatively similar arms.

Earring hooks fashioned into arms

Next I took a small fluted bead (the larger ones I bought were way out of scale!) and super glued that to the aforementioned fastener of unknown name :D with its metal "tails" cut off.

Then I cut off a piece of a tiny turning that I liked about ??? in length and attached that to the fluted bead... after that dried I glued on an oblong wood bead. I think these are 6mm x 9mm.

Now my "stem" was complete.

Time to glue the arms in!

It's coming together

I think it is important to glue the arms in before you build the candle holders on them because:

  1. This allows you to make any last-minute adjustments to the arm length/height to make them as close as even to each other as possible.

  2. Once they were super glued into the base, they were more stable which gave me more ability to mess with the fiddly task of trying to stack and glue beads onto the end of a wire and have them turn out somewhat level.

Once the arms are completely dry, you can construct the candle holders.

I did this by threading the detail wire and bead that came with the earring hook back onto the arms. Wire first, then a dab of superglue on the end of the arm and thread on the bead.

Hold the bead at the very end of the arm so that the top of the bead is flush with the top of the arm. Hold in place until dry.

Now put a dab of glue directly underneath the bead and push the wire coil back up the arm to butt up with the bottom of the bead.

This smaller bead forms the beginning of the base and is important to give you more area to start layering on detail.

Next, I glued a 3mm flower jewellery spacer on top of the bead and when that was dry, the same type of fluted bead used at the bottom of the base. I think it's good to have some continuity in the design.

Make sure to try and get these elements level with each layer.

While waiting for this to dry I made the topper candle holder. Same process as the arm ones but now on a short straight piece of wire from the earring hooks. It needed to be long enough to accomodate the wire coil and small earring hook bead but not more than half a mm longer. Once the wire coil & bead a glued and dry follow the same process for the arm candle holders. I stuck the whole assembly in some foam to dry.


And here it is fully assembled. As you can see it is about 1.75 inches tall.

About 1.75 inches high, that should work

On a table before paint to show scale. As you can see it is fairly chunky. All the better for rustic decor. :D

On the breakfast table for sizing. It's not going to end up on this table though

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