Try This: Steel Candle Covers

Make these galvanized steel candle covers with simple sheets of steel, nuts, bolts and pieces of wire from the hardware store.


| January/February 2006


Candle power

Add a modern edge to plain candles. These architectural edifices are not so much candleholders as candle emboldeners. Inexpensive, galvanized metal plates from the hardware store are put together with nuts, bolts, or pieces of wire in a matter of seconds. The perfectly spaced holes add a twinkly, peek-a-boo quality to the candlelight that bounces off the softly reflective metal. Grouped together, they’re reminiscent of a city skyline, the perfect centerpiece for your next uptown dinner.

1. The perforated metal plates used to make these candleholders, called mending plates or tie plates, are available at the hardware store for less than a dollar. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The holders pictured used plates that were 3 or 4 inches wide and 5, 7, or 9 inches tall.

2. Simply connect three or four plates using a short length of wire. Using needlenose pliers, thread the wire through adjacent holes on two different plates. Send the ends of the wire back through the opposite hole and double the circle of wire around on itself until you’ve made a ring with overlapping ends like a key ring. Alternatively, twist the wire around itself like a twist-tie.

3. Connecting 3-by-5-inch plates into a triangle shape makes a perfect cover for a narrow votive candle. The taller 3-by-9-inch plates, connected into a four-sided column, are a good fit with a pillar or a short taper candle.

4. For the long, narrow tealight cover, use nuts and bolts to position the sides at an angle. For the bottom, we used two 3-inch #6 bolts (make sure before purchasing that they go through the holes in your mending plate). For the top, we used two 11/2-inch #6 bolts. Thread the bolts through the holes in the four corners of each plate, leaving enough of the bolt exposed to fasten on the nut. This cover looks lovely with three tealights nestled inside.





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