Cast rock-solid candleholders you can use indoors or outside.
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Molding a tea light holder using a PVC pipe lets you control the height of the holder, but other objects work equally well. Use plastic or waxed cardboard containers with at least a 3-inch-diameter top. Examples include peanut cans, quart-size milk cartons, some yogurt containers and soft drink bottles, and lengths of vinyl downspouts. Avoid metal containers that will stick to concrete.
Use a handsaw to cut a section of 3-inch PVC pipe to the height you want the candleholder. Then saw the pipe in half along its length Duct-tape the two halves together and seal one end so the concrete can’t leak.
You’ll need to cut thick material such as PVC to make it easier to remove the mold after casting the concrete. You can simply cut away thin materials, such as plastic and cardboard.
Wear eye and breathing protection plus rubber gloves and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to gradually add water to enough sand mix concrete to fill the mold. When squeezed, a handful of concrete should hold its shape but not crumble.
Adding extra water to the mixture may make it easier to pour into the mold, but will weaken the finished project.
Fill the mold to the top and gently bounce the mold on a firm surface for about 30 seconds to release trapped air in the concrete.
Center a closet door pull on the top of the mold and press it into the concrete. Wipe away any surplus forced out at the top of the mold or inside the door pull. If necessary, add tape over the top of the mold to hold the door pull in place. Allow the concrete to cure for 48 hours.
Remove the PVC mold by pulling off the duct tape and separating the mold halves. For other molds, carefully cut the mold with a utility knife and peel it off. Allow the candle holder to cure for another 24 hours.
If necessary, smooth any rough edges with 80-grit sandpaper.
Make a single candleholder in the height you like, or group them to form a centerpiece. You can make a half-dozen for about $30.