Using throw-away stuff in our home décor always makes me happy. But what really makes my day is when I can share those creations with you and maybe encourage you to see things differently. These simple rustic upcycled candleholders are a good example. I bet you’ll never guess what 2 things I used recycled/repurposed to make them. One of those things can be used to make a faux hand water pump, and the other gets shipped all over the world. Any ideas? …….. a cardboard box and leftover pieces of PVC pipe 😀 If you don’t have any PVC pipes lying around, check with your local hardware store. They often have small off-cuts they’ll give away for free. Or go to a building site near you. You’ll probably find a whole bunch in the building rubble. These candleholders are easy to make, and besides the hour or so I took to put them together, didn’t cost a thing. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make simple rustic upcycled candleholders. But, before we get there, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
Besides a PVC pipe and a thick, sturdy cardboard box, you’ll need the following:
- Texture paste (homemade recipe here)
- Garden soil
- Hand saw
As an optional extra, you’ll also need decorative bits to customize the candleholders. I used leather cord, a key, feathers, and one of the wood slice buttons I made for this 3D textured wall art. The candleholders look lovely unadorned too.
How to make simple rustic upcycled candleholders
Creating a base form
These rustic candleholders are such a simple project to make, and you can adapt their height to suit your needs. The thickness of the base will depend entirely on the diameter of your PVC pipes. I used a 40mm and 50mm pipe to make mine. Mark and cut the PVC pipes based on your requirements. I cut mine in different heights. Sand the edges to smooth them out. Use the cut PVC pipes as a guide and cut circles out of cardboard. The circles should be at least 1 -2 cm (1/2” – 1”) wider than the diameter of the pipes. They form the top and bottom of the upcycled candleholders, so don’t make the circles too small. The PVC pipes need a stable base to rest on and a top that’s large enough for a pillar candle. We’ll be covering the cardboard in texture paste in a little bit to protect and seal it. If you prefer you can make the top and base from wood off cuts. Depending on how thick you’re cardboard box is you may need to cut a few circles. I used three circles for the base and two for the top. You can add more if you want. To ensure the base and top are stable, cut an inner circle in one top circle and one base circle to form a ring. Slide the rings onto both ends of the PVC pipes. Glue the other base and top circles on. Lightly sand the PVC pipe to roughen up the surface in preparation for the next step.
Adding a rustic texture
Now that the base is ready, we can hide the pipes and cardboard under a gorgeous rustic exterior. I used my homemade texture paste recipe to cover these candleholders. To protect the cardboard top and bottom I mixed the texture paste with non- flammable Gorilla wood glue. You can use any store bought texture paste to achieve similar results. Apply a layer of texture base around the PVC pipes and cardboard top and base. Make sure to push the paste into the cardboard layers to disguise those corrugated, wavy lines. The texture paste shrinks a little once it’s dry so you may need to apply a second layer. Wait for the first layer to dry, before applying the next one. The final layer is a mixture of texture paste and garden soil. Remove any stones from the garden soil before mixing into the texture paste. You don’t want the candleholder to be wobbly because of some stray pebble. We live in highveld in South Africa and our garden soil gives the texture paste a rough, mottled, and slightly aged appearance as the dirt settles into the grooves. The soil in your area will be different, so experiment first if you want to be sure. For something that resembles concrete, add charcoal ash. You can also use watered down craft paint to paint the rustic candleholders or leave them white. Add feathers, twine, and trinkets around the candleholders to create a unique look that fits with your décor style. Pop a candle on top and you’re done. Please be careful and NEVER leave a lit candle unattended. Safety first. The layers of texture paste will protect the cardboard, but it’s not flame proof. You can also use battery operated candles if you prefer.
If you like the idea of upcycling unexpected things to make some simple rustic candleholders, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing caring 😉 More unexpected cardboard creations
If you’re have a collection of cardboard boxes waiting for a creative makeover, why not explore some of our other cardboard tutorials. Just click on the web story below for a selection of some of our best how-to-guides that involve cardboard.
Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.