How to Make Baluster Candle Holders

Staircase with balusters
Transform old balusters into candle holders

One way to recycle old materials is to learn how to make baluster candle holders. These dramatic wooden candlesticks add a touch of class to any room, and you can customize the finish to match your décor. With a few scraps of wood, tools, and some fresh paint, you'll have a lovely new inexpensive candle holder in no time.

About Baluster Candle Holders

Balusters are the wooden posts that are used on a staircase, to hold up the hand rails. They are usually quite decorative, with varying shapes and carvings, and can be found in a variety of different types of wood in various stages of wear. These can be cut and added to a solid base, then used as decorative wooden candle holders.

The beauty of using balusters to make candle holders is that the wood can be freshened up to look contemporary, or distressed for an antique finish. You can also feature different sections of the styled wooden spindles by cutting them in different places, resulting in a selection of unique candle holders from a single set of balusters.

How to Make Baluster Candle Holders

Figuring out how to make baluster candle holders isn't difficult, but you do need to know how to do a few simple things with a mitre saw and other tools. If you're unfamiliar with these tools, ask a knowledgeable friend to help you with this prep work. The decorative molding is optional, but makes for a beautiful finished product.

Materials Needed:

  • Old balusters
  • Scrap wood, about 2x6 inches
  • Wooden molding
  • Jigsaw (or hand saw)
  • Mitre saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill with a 1-inch bit
  • Brad nails
  • Strong adhesive glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Wood screw
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint or other finish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Measure the length of baluster you want to use for your candle holder and, using the jigsaw, cut the baluster to this length where you think it will look best.
  2. Sand both ends of the cut baluster until smooth. Decide which end will be the top.
  3. Using a drill, place a hole in the top of the baluster about 1 inch in width, and 2 inches deep.
  4. Decide how big you want your base to be, considering that a larger base will make the candle holder sturdier. Measure the scrap 2x6 wood to your desired size and cut out the base.
  5. Measure the molding to fit the base, and cut it using the mitre saw. (A mitre saw will cut the molding in the correct angles so that it will surround the base without corner gaps.)
  6. Trace the bottom of the baluster onto the center of the molding using a pencil. Apply glue to the outline and middle of the traced shape, and affix the baluster. Glue the pieces of molding to the base as well.
  7. Once the glue has dried completely, use a wood screw through the bottom of the base to secure the baluster to the base. Secure the molding with brad nails.

You can now paint or distress the wood to your liking, if desired.To use your baluster candle holder, melt the bottom of a taper candle so the wax is soft and dripping, letting the wax drip into the hole in the top of the baluster. Quickly place the candle into the hole and light the wick.

Other Options for Baluster Candle Holders

Here are a few options to make different types of candle holders from balusters.

  • Instead of drilling a hole in the top of the baluster, glue a glass votive candle holder or tea light holder on top. To use, simply place a votive or tea light candle inside the holder.
  • Use a long length of wood for the base, and attach several cut balusters in a row.
  • Affix a decorative plate to the top of the baluster so that you can use a pillar candle on top. Be careful with this option, as the base will have to be considerably larger to accommodate the extra weight on top.

Safety First

Since a baluster candle holder is a large, free-standing structure, you'll have to use care when using it. If there are children or pets in your home, make sure you are always nearby when the candle holders are in use, since they could be accidentally knocked over. Never leave a lit candle unattended.

How to Make Baluster Candle Holders