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DIY, Holiday Creative Project, Modern Block Advent Candle Holders
Modern block advent candle holders http://www.maddylane.com/project10.html
“Lighting the way to the Holidays”
Hands-on time: Under two hours to make 4.
Total time: Drying time for the stain (8 hours per coat).
Skill: Moderate, with basic tool skills.
Project cost: Under $25.00.
Materials & tools:
4” x 4” wooden fence posts (two 30 cm high, and two 25 cm high)
Pencil and a ruler
Vise, drill and 1-1/4” diameter drill bit, spade bit
Electric sander and medium to fine grit sandpaper
Pre-stain by Minwax and a sponge brush
Minwax PolyShades (one-step stain & finish all in one) in colour of your choice (I used Natural Cherry gloss 390/490)
High-quality natural bristle brush
Tealight candles, 3 purple, 1 pink, 4 white
(Materials for this project are available at hardware stores).
Making block advent candle holders is a clever way to utilize pieces of wood leftover from other projects, such as last summer’s new deck or fence. Wooden posts are cut to size, and holes are drilled for the candles. Minwax PolyShades was applied to add rich colour with a durable protection while enhancing the wood grain — all in a single step. These modern-style candle holders can used year round.
Advent is a term for the period that begins on the Sunday nearest November 30 and lasts until Christmas. The word advent is derived from the Latin word “adventus” meaning “to come”. The four advent candles symbolize the four weeks of advent. Typically, the purple candles symbolize joy, peace and love, and are lit on the first, second and fourth Sunday of advent. The pink candle symbolizes hope and is lit on the third Sunday. At midnight on Christmas Eve, the candles are replaced by white candles. Theses candle are used until the Epiphany. This tradition has long been practiced by several religious faiths. Families set up advent candles arranged in or around a wreath that is either set on a table or suspended from the ceiling. The circle wreath is a symbol of eternity and life, and the candles are the light of the world.
Measure and cut with a saw four wooden blocks in the sizes indicated above, or to any other size, as there are no rules for the height of advent candle holders, just as long as there are four. Traditionally, they are all the same size, but there is no set rule. I just decided to give these wooden holders a modern look.
On the top face of each of the blocks, draw an X (from each corner) with a pencil and a ruler to find and mark the centre.
Secure the wooden block in a vise, then drill a 1-1/4” diameter hole, as deep as the tealight candle cup, in the centre of it. Stop and check if the tealight fits, then continue drilling if needed to adjust the depth. Repeat steps for each holder.
Sand the wooden blocks until smooth. Start with the medium grit sandpaper and finish with the fine grit sandpaper. Dust off with a tack cloth.
For uniform staining, first apply a coat of pre-stain to each candle holder. Let dry about 10 minutes. Apply a light coat (to avoid drip marks) of the one-step stain in your choice of colour to each of the candle holders. Let each coat dry for eight hours before recoating. Normally, at least two coats are needed for an even and polished finish, but additional coats may be applied for richer colour. I applied four coats, one in the morning and one in the evening over a two-day period. To avoid drip marks, after each coat application, wait five minutes and use upward strokes with the paintbrush around the top edges of the holders.
Once the stain is dry, insert a tealight candle into each of the candle holders.
Adorn with festive beaded wire if desired and let the count down to the holidays begin. The holders will look simply majestic when displayed in a row on a buffet, down the centre of a table or gracing a mantel, or placed inside a large wreath. Light one candle each Sunday, an additional one the next Sunday, and so on until Christmas.
To make Hanukkah candle holders, cut eight wooden holders in the same size and height. Cut a ninth (and centre, the Shamas) holder taller. Stain blue, paint silver, or decorate with gold leaf accents, such as Stars of David.
To use tapered candles, simply drill a smaller hole at the other end of the wooden block, then turn them over to use different size candles.
No need to clean your paintbrush between each coat; simply kept it sealed in Glad® Press’n Seal™ wrap.
Minwax PolyShades also allows you to easily change the colour of currently stained or varnished wood items without stripping.
Copyright MaddyLane Designs © 2006
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