What Can You Do With a Thrift Store Candleholder?

You make a succulent garden or birdbath! A couple of weeks ago I stopped at a Salvation Army thrift store to see if they had anything interesting I could put to good use. As I was walking around I spotted this freestanding candle holder that was made of metal and instantly knew I could do something with it. It was bent up a bit and the price was a little steep for me at $4.95, but I snatched it up anyway and took it home. Here is what it looked like:
After thinking about it for a couple days I decided it would be perfect as a stand for a succulent garden. I had thought of using it as a birdbath stand but wanted something I could bring in to the house when it gets cold out. Here is what it looked like finished:
1. My first step for this project was to make a lightweight concrete bowl for the top-it is a recipe that contains mostly perlite so it is lighter than standard concrete (I can't remember my exact measurements for this recipe-I experimented with quite a few to get what I needed). Here is a pic of the bowl-you can see how much perlite I used:
(Note: I let the bowl cure for at least a week before planting in it)
2. My second step was to remove the candle holders on the top of the stand-this took the work of my husband who got them off quite easily (all except the middle one). I also bent "feet" and "arms" to level them out.
I ended up using a cutting disc for my drill to grind off the middle piece but a hacksaw should work fine-I made sure to cut of the candle holder but left the rod to hold the bowl.
3. Next step was to use sand paper and rough up the surface for the spray paint.
4. After I sanded it I gave it 3 coats of spray paint-I used Hammered Copper from Rustoleum (make sure to let dry completely between coats):
5. When the copper is dried I used spray paint to create a faux patina (I will give instructions for the faux patina in my next post). Here is what the patina looked like:
6. After the stand was completely dry I sealed it with a matte top coat to preserve the faux patina.
7. In order for the bowl to sit on the top of the stand and be stable I drilled a hole that would fit the rod I left in the middle:
Start with a smaller bit and drill the hole then move to a larger bit to make the hole bigger-this helps to prevent cracks and chips when drilling:
8. Plant up the bowl with some succulents, I used non-hardy succulents so that I can bring this in in the Fall:
Here is the finished project-I love they way it looks on my deck:-))
I am very happy with the way this project turned out-it is amazing what a little paint and handywork can create from someone else's "junk". I went with a faux patina because I have copper yard art that has a patina and I wanted to simulate that effect. You can just use 3 coats of regular spray paint if you do not like the patina look-here is what the stand looks like before the patina effect:
For more detailed instructions visit my blog at:

Rhonda B
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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