Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Table Hardware - How to Make a Beautiful Table Using Items from the Hardware Store - Candle Holders and Copper Napkin Rings

Hello Everyone!
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and it is time, if you haven't already started, to start preparing for your holiday meal.  In my opinion, that means not only planning a menu full of family, traditional favorites, but also planning out how you are going to decorate the table and make it beautiful.

This is often a skipped step among many for Thanksgiving.  After all, your guests are usually family and if anyone will forgive you a blank, non-decorated, table its family.  But, I think that this is a grave mistake.  Studies have proven that food actually tastes better if you are sitting in an inviting environment.  Scientists still don't know why the human brain works this way, they just know that it does.  (I just heard this on NRP a couple of days ago, so if you want to look for this study, that is where to start.)  Also, the Thanksgivings that I remember the best are the ones that my family pulled out Grandma's good silver and china and made Thanksgiving an occasion and not just an excuse to stuff your face with turkey and dressing.  We actually dressed nicely and sat down to a table that was elegantly dressed and enjoyed a grand meal in a grand style.
I firmly believe that more people should do this.
Now, I know that not all of us are lucky enough to have inherited grandmother's good china and silver. (I know that I was only lucky enough to get the good silverware.) I also know that napkins, tablecloths/table runners, place mats, napkin rings, candle stick holders and center pieces can add up and be very expensive.  So, in the next few posts, I am going to show you how you can create a beautiful table using items that you can find in the hardware store, your local Goodwill, and the craft store.  The goal that I had for these items was that they had to be significantly less expensive than if you bought the items retail.  Otherwise, it didn't make any sense to craft an item when you could go out and buy them.
To cost compare, I will include a retail item that is similar to the one that I am showing and will show the price.  I will also do the same for my homemade version and will add up our savings!
So lets get started!

Contemporary Copper Block Candle Holder

I am in love with all things rose gold and copper right now, so I wanted to decorate my table using copper. However, my fine china, that my husband gave me as an awesome birthday present, is white and silver.  
This is what my fine china looks like.  It is Parchment by Mikasa and I adore it.  My husband got it for my birthday when Macy's was running a crazy good sale.  Which is good, because it has since increase in price by ALOT.

So I had to figure out a way to make silver and copper live together on my table, one of the ways that I decided to do this was with candlesticks to help out as part of my center piece.  

I went online, looking for inspiration and was appalled by the cost of copper candlesticks and nothing tied in my silver.  Always trying to problem solve, I combined two of my favorite candle sticks and made them into one!
Below are the two candlesticks that inspired my artistic vision.

Ebony Wood Block Candle Holder

This little block candle holder you can get on Amazon.
It is made of ebony, so that explains some of the price.
It currently is $7.00 per block plus $7.50 shipping.
Two of these, at a bare minimum would cost me $21.50 and that is assuming they combine shipping.

Contemporary Polished Copper Candle Holder

You can get these candle holder from  And they are beautiful.
These candle holders are handmade so this usually means the price will go up because they are not mass produced in a factory.
I still have yet to be able to figure out if the pricing on this is for a single candle holder or more.  But I'm pretty sure that the cost is per holder.  So the cost per holder is $29.00 per candle plus shipping. I did not price shipping because, I figured that know that two of these would be $58.00 was enough.

And here's mine.  The pictures aren't as pretty, but I'm not a professional photographer.
Contemporary Copper Black Candle Holders

I think these turned out pretty cool.

2 Copper End Caps (Lowe's $1.25 each)
2 Wooden Blocks (Michael's $1.30 each)
Painters tape (Already had on hand)
Rustoleum Chrome Spray Paint (Already had on hand but $3.00)
Martha Stewart Copper Liquid Gilding  (Already had on hand $5.00 or get copper acrylic paint for $1.50)
Super glue (Already had on hand - don't even know the price.)

So, for me, the total cost was $5.10 for two.  If you have to get the paint, the total cost will be around $10.00.
Still better than the two above.
NOTE:  The least expensive way to get candlesticks is to get them from a garage sale or Goodwill, but most of these are very traditional and are made of brass.  Its also hit or miss if you will be able to find them.

1.  Spray wooden blocks with chrome spray paint leaving the bottom unpainted. OR paint the blocks using silver acylic paint.  (I find spray painting easier.)

2.  Once the silver paint has dried, put painters tape on the blocks, leaving whatever part you want to paint uncovered.  I chose the bottom that I wanted to paint copper.

3.  Make sure to match the tape on the second block so that they candle holders will match.

4.  Paint the un-taped parts of the blocks copper.

5.  Once the paint has dried, peel off the painters tape.

We're more than halfway there!
6.  Put an even, thin film of super glue on the bottom of the copper caps and place on the top of the block trying to be as centered as possible.  (You have about 15 seconds of time that you can move the cap around. After that, it stays where you glued it.)

These are going to be larger than a taper candle.  I do have a few solutions for you.
A.  Glue a smaller copper coupling into the copper caps.  They have a size that will fit a taper candle perfectly.  This will also look more like the handmade candle holders in the picture above.
B.  Put silly putty around the bottom of the candle the width of the space between the candle and the copper cap.  This has the advantage of being fun.
C.  Use a lighter and slightly melt the wax on the bottom of your candle.  Before the wax gets cold and hardens again, push gently into the candle holder.

Voila!  Contemporary candle stick holders!

Now we move on to napkin rings.
Keeping with the copper theme, I decided to do copper napkin rings.  Again, not inexpensive.

Copper Napkin Rings

I am going to show you two ways to make copper napkin rings as one way requires a tool that almost none of us have and I wanted you to be able to have options.
But first, I will show you my price comparison napkin ring holders.

These copper napkin rings are flat on the bottom and are handmade in Mexico.  As far as I can tell, they do not come in sets but have to be purchased individually.
The cost is $7.60 each plus shipping.  So $30.40 for a set of four.^45527543503-device^c-plaid^83089552903-sku^2423601-adType^PLA&gclid=CjwKEAiAsMXBBRD71KWOh6fcjRwSJAC5CNE19wlpZw_eZknPvpmlLg3z4KXe8e1qkgN97AudG7zZVhoCQfvw_wcB

These copper napkin rings have a lovely beveled edge.  So these are fancier than the ones that I will show you how to make.
Cost for four is $31.96 at Williams-Sonoma.

And here's mine!
This is the first option made out of toilet paper rolls.  They cost me a total of $6.48.
These may be my favorite thing that I have ever made from a toilet paper roll.
2 toilet paper rolls
1 Sheet Self-Adhesive Chrome Sign Vinyl in Copper (I got three sheets on Ebay for $6.48)
Dressmaking tape measure
Exacto Knife

1. First, determine how wide you would like your napkin rings to be.  I like a width of 1.5 inches for my napkin rings.  This meant that I needed two toilet paper rolls.  If you would like your napkin rings to be 1 inch thick, you only need one toilet paper roll because a roll is 4 inches long.
Then, using a ruler or tape measure, mark the width of your napkin rings on the toilet paper roll.

Make marks about an inch apart.  Once the tube is marked, use the tape measure, line it up with you marks, and trace a line around the tube.
2.  Using an Exacto knife or scissors, cut the tube along the line.

3.  Repeat steps one and two three more times.
4.  Measure around the toilet paper tube using the tape measure.  The outside measured 5.5 inches.  The inside of the tube measured 5.25 inches.  These will be the lengths of the vinyl to cut.
Using a ruler, mark your vinyl on the back with the measurements.

The width of the  outside vinyl to cut is 1.5 inches or, whatever width you cut your napkin rings to.
The width of the inside vinyl needs to be wider than the outside so you can fold it over.  I did 2 inches.

5.  Cut the vinyl strips with scissors.  You should have eight strips.  Four longer ones for the outside and four shorter ones for the inside.
6.  Start with the shorter inside strip.  Peel the paper off the back off of the back of the vinyl about 1-2 inches in length and cut with scissors.

Roll the paper with the tacky side facing outside so that it easily slides inside the toilet paper tube.

Using your fingers, press the tacky side to the toiler paper roll leaving approximately the same amount of vinyl on along each edge.
Use your finger to press the vinyl onto the tube.  Slowly peel the paper off of the back of the vinyl as you press.  This will prevent air bubbles.
7.  Cut the slits into the excess vinyl.  Basically following the same pattern that you would use to cut pizza or pie.  First slitting in half and then in quarters.  Fold the edges down onto the front of the toilet paper roll going all the way around the edges on the top and the bottom.

8.  Peel the back off of one of the front strips by an inch and cut with scissors.

9.  Place sticky side on the front of the toilet paper roll.  Make certain that your vinyl is straight or the strip will slowly go diagonally as you go along the tube.  Press the vinyl down on the toilet paper tube using your finger to press down.  Peel the back off the vinyl as you go around the tube, pressing as you go to avoid air bubbles.
10.  One down!  Repeat these steps three more times to create four napkin rings.

Here is a preview.  I am going to show you how to make the napkin in an upcoming post.
Copper Coupling Napkin Rings
These napkin rings are actually easier to make, but it requires tools that not everyone may have, so I wanted there to be another option.

2 copper couplings (1 inch wide and 2 inches long $2.97 each)
Painters tape
Pipe cutter or hacksaw
Fine grain sandpaper

So this round of copper napkin rings cost about $6.00 for a set of four.

1.  Place painters tape on copper couplings so that each half of the coupling measures one inch.
2.  Cut along the edge of the tape using a pipe cutter or hacksaw.
3.  Remove tape and sand cut edges with fine grain sand paper to round the edges.
4.  Repeat to steps to other copper coupling.

That is it for this post.  So far, we have two candle holders and four napkin rings and I have spent approximately $11.00.
I still have a table runner, napkins, and a center piece to go.  My goal is to do this all, including the items above for less than $25.00.  Please check back to see if I succeed.

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