How to make a candlestick with found objects: Betsy DiJulio

How to make a candlestick with found objects: Betsy DiJulio

A plank of wood and a photo on Pinterest sparked the idea for this $6 rustic sconce, a mix of farmhouse and industrial modern style. YOU WILL NOT NEED TO CONNECT ANYTHING: This sconce is powered by LED votives with an on/off switch.

The wood, about 8 inches by 12, I researched last year from our construction site in the Outer Banks. I put it aside so I knew what to do with it. Once I decided to design a menorah, I made a list of what I would also need: a glass jar that would fit in my hand; thin, flexible wire; lightweight chain; metal hook; some sea glass or glass pebbles; LED votive. A pair of screw eyes and more wires to make the hanger. I had everything but the hook, chain and vowel.

Instead of the hook, I ended up with large screw eyes because it had a long enough length of thread to bite deep into the wood, with just enough neck in front of the eye to allow the jar to hang nicely. The cup hooks, although they come in more finishes, are quite short. Plus, I loved the shiny silver. Choosing the chain was probably the hardest part of the project: I was torn between silver, black, or white, and eventually decided on the last choice. A colleague at my neighborhood home improvement store cut it perfectly, although my next-door neighbor—yes, we’ve teamed up again this month—cut it short. I thought I would need 18 inches but I need a little less; However, it depends on the height of the wood and the jar.

I marked the wood and drilled a hole for the screw eye, screwing it in exactly the right place. I threaded the chain across the eye and pulled a very thin, flexible, but strong enough wire, through the bottom ties of each end of the chain. Then I simply twisted the ends of the wire forward, twisted it a few times, cut it with light wire cutters, and repositioned the string so that the jar would hang nicely.

I decided that the candlestick needed a cotton strip tied around the mouth of the jar to create a smoother visual transition between it and the string. I save the tape from shipments and gifts and had plenty of rustic white cotton tape that fit right in.

I didn’t hang my hanger up to the end, but I recommend doing that first. You can use a threaded hanger, but I threaded two small screw eyes to the back of the plank about a third of the way down from the top, threaded a double length thin wire through both eyes, and wrapped one end around the plank. The neck of her eye is spiral, and it is repeated with the other. Then I twisted the free ends around the taut wire.

The last item was a plastic LED votive I found at a dollar store. After pouring about 2.5 cm of sea glass into the jar, I settled into my vows.

I was really happy with the result and can think of a lot of people who would have loved receiving it, but I knew exactly who would. I grabbed my black mustache and wrote a quick note on the back to my neighbour’s daughter, saying again that her father and I had collaborated on a small decor for her room.

Betsy DiGulio,


  • Plank: It was at hand
  • glass jar: It was at hand
  • swimming glasses: It was at hand
  • white cotton tape: It was at hand
  • Small Spiral Eyes, Wire: It was at hand
  • big screw eye (2 packs): about $3.50
  • 18 inch white chain: about 1 dollar
  • votive white plastic valve (2 packs): $1.25

the total: $5.75 plus tax

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