Text and images by Amy Christie for Design Mom.
As the daylight time decreases, I find myself wanting more light, and since I can’t harness the sun, candlelight is a comfy and cozy alternative. I was very inspired by this image and thought them perfect for fall. Cement candle holders are both architectural and soft, an assemblage of lines and curved bands, cold stone with a warm glow.
Don’t be put off by cement. A bag of it is really (really!) heavy and it is dusty and a little dirty, however, it’s sculptural properties are too alluring to pass up. Nothing can achieve what concrete can.
Spray paint is the perfect medium to add a colorful or metallic touch. Doesn’t the gold just shimmer? If you were making these for an event, you could use any color palette you like. Navy and royal with silver for a dinner party? Yellows for a summer wedding? Or you could stick with metallics and use them through the holidays and into January.
Hopefully these images have intrigued you, so let’s get right to how it’s done.
-small plastic/paper cups
First, a note on containers. Just about anything will do. Raid that recyclable bin! Narrow mouths or bottle necks should be removed for this project and the size is up to you. If you can make enough room for a votive to sit, then it will work. Cardboard or paper-based containers work just as good as plastic ones. Paper based ones might put up more of a fight when trying to remove the dried concrete while plastic containers leave a shiny sheen on the surface. Unless the container is very, very firm, the concrete will alter the form just a bit. Straight edges might be more curved, perfect forms might be irregular. If uniformity is what you are going for, think about using other supportive materials.
Mix the concrete with water according to the package direction and scoop into the molds. Do tap the mold to encourage the air bubbles out and settle the mix.
Once its filled, add in a cup to make place for the candle. Plastic cups will pop out of the dried concrete more easily, but paper cups work too. If you are worried about them sticking, try coating them with a cooking spray. Also, they might need to be weighted down to keep them in place.
Allow the cement to fully dry.
When they are dry, remove the containers.
Next, add tape and plastic to mark off the area for paint. Make sure the tape is securely attached so the paint lines are clean.
Coat the concrete in your desired color and allow to completely dry.
Peel off the tape and plastic and drop in a candle. Voila!
This project is so satisfying. The containers you can use are endless, and it would be fun to add to your collection as you find interesting shapes. I hope you give it a try!
P.S. — Like to make things? More of our projects here.