Candle Sticks From Yard Glasses

3 Materials
2 Hours

You would never guess that these elegant candlesticks are made from plastic soft-drink holders.

Most people that call themselves up-cyclers have it far too easy. It’s really not a challenge to up-cycle old wood or metal that is by definition biodegradable. Besides, the stuff that gets up-cycled always has vintage, cutesy look to begin with. So, where’s the challenge then? This is not the case with plastic, it is so ugly and industrial looking. Not only is there so much of it around that you really need to think of ways to up-cycle it but you also really have to stretch yourself to make it look expensive.

Take these giant soft-drink holders (UPDATE: also called YARD GLASSES) for instance. Buying them seems a cheap, fun idea at the time but afterward you are stuck with them - forever too big for the Tupperware cupboard. My solution was to turn them into candlesticks.

To make sure that they don’t topple over, I mixed a bit of cement and water and filled them up to about the narrow neck. I left them out to dry (in this case for a couple of months since I started this project in December and then left them at our holiday apartment). By May they were nice and dry and I could tip them over to get rid of all the thin pieces that would loosen and rattle around once they were sealed.

I stuck the lids on with a glue gun. A word on the glue: hot glue doesn’t work particularly well on plastic of this type and you really should be careful that the glue doesn’t come loose and the candlestick topples over with a burning candle. In this case, I only used hot glue to stick the lids and not to stick the plastic shot glasses.

When it came to the shot glosses that I used as cups for the candles, I used contact adhesive because I think it is a lot stronger. You can also use plastic cement.

I placed contact adhesive on both surfaces, waited the required time and then stuck the shot glasses over the holes of the lids.

Next came some plastic primer.

Followed by two coats of chalk paint and some sealer. Even though they are going to stand in a seaside apartment, I didn’t want to use the obvious blue but went for green instead. And I just know that everybody else will be dying to put a bit of twine, beads or shells or some other decoration on them. Feel free to do so, it’s just not my vibe.

The only other thing that was still needed was to drop some hot wax into the cups so that the long candles would stand upright. Don’t they look great against the seaweed artwork in the background?

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4 of 24 comments
  • Susan Gibbs Susan Gibbs on May 22, 2022

    I cannot find these anywhere on Amazon. I can see these being made by turning the holders upside down. They look great.

    • Thea Thea on May 22, 2022

      You could and you should be able to find them, that’s where I finally found the right name.

  • Connie Owens Connie Owens on May 30, 2022

    I would like to do this project but I am totally confused about the materials and the procedure.

    • Thea Thea on May 31, 2022

      Stick the plastic parts, spray to prep then paint and seal. The parts are plastic yard and shot glasses. If the different glues confuse you, use contact adhesive only. Apparently is works better on plastic than hot glue.