Looking for some industrial decorating ideas? Steel pipe candle holders will give your home rustic and functional charm in the kitchen or living room. This fun DIY project is a great way to get the kids involved, utilize steel pipe scraps, or stay busy on a rainy day.
Steel Pipe Candle Holder DIY Ideas
Any steel pipe will work for this project, such as stainless, galvanized or black steel. However, we prefer to use black steel pipe, since it looks great, is affordable, and is readily available at most hardware stores.
We recommend sticking with the precut and threaded steel pipes that are available at the hardware store. Some stores will even cut and thread pipes for you if you know what size you want (and you buy the pipe from them). Otherwise, you would need a steel pipe threader and cutter to get custom sizes, which would quickly drive up the costs of this otherwise affordable DIY project.
If you’re using leftover steel pipe scraps from a plumbing project, you may need to cut and thread the pipes yourself. You can buy a pipe cutter and threader at your local hardware store; expect to spend at least $125.
DIY Candle Holder Supplies
Once you arrive at the hardware store to buy supplies, you’ll quickly see how many options there are. If you’re not sure how you want to begin, select a variety of fittings to experiment with, and return what you don’t use. Better yet, experiment right there in the aisle!
Select a pipe diameter that is closest to the size of the candle you’re using; common sizes are 3/4-inch and 1/2-inch pipe. If your candle won’t work with those sizes, find different tapered candlestick or use couplings, which are designed to join different-sized pipes.
Besides the pipe, you’ll also need pipe fittings to complete the project—T-pipes, couplings, nipples, bushings, unions and elbows allow you to change the direction of the pipe, join different-sized pieces, and hold larger candles.
Steel Pipe Candle Holder Design
For a simple candle holder, all you need is a floor flange and a steel pipe. For more elaborate designs or perhaps a candelabra style, use different steel pipe fittings and accessories to incorporate more candles or design elements. Use a combination of pipe fitting parts to find the style you need. Get creative—the options are endless!
A floor flange will function as the base of your candle holder. But you may also consider using a larger and heavier 2-inch pipe fitting as a base and a combination of bushings and couplings to taper it down to the size of the pipe you’re using.
How to Assemble Your Steel Candle Holder
Once you’ve settled on a design and purchased your pipes, remove any tags and wash the steel pipes in soapy water. This is important for removing any greasy residue and adhesive left over from stickers or tags.
Screw the steel pipes together by hand. Leave everything hand tight for now.
Then comes the candle! If you have a candlestick that just won’t stay upright, heat the bottom with a lighter and drip some hot wax into the holder. Then quickly insert the candlestick, and the hot wax should act as a glue. Just be careful! Another option is selecting a candlestick that is slightly smaller than a female-threaded coupling and screwing it into the threads.
Before lighting your candles, make sure the candles and holders will stay upright through mild disturbances like people walking around or setting glasses down on the table. Once you’re confident the design is safe, snug up all the fittings firmly by hand or with a pipe wrench.
Finish Your Steel Candle Holder
Spray paint the candle holder if you want a different finish or color. Wipe the steel down in mineral spirits before spray painting. Only paint in a well-ventilated area. Several light coats are better than one heavy coat. For an edgier or rustic look, you may also wrap the holder in copper wire or rub the dry spray paint finish with steel wool.
These candle holders are good for more than the tabletop! Use the holes in the floor-flange base to screw the holders into a wall or bookshelf.
Before you light your new creations, follow safe candle practices. Always trim the wick to a quarter inch long, and allow a full pool of melted wax to form before you extinguish large candles. Never light candles near flammable materials, and never leave them unattended. Finally, avoid touching hot wax, and keep candles out of reach of children.
More Than Plumbing Experts
We know a thing or two about steel pipes. Find more DIY projects and tips for maintaining your plumbing system on the Mr. Rooter blog. And when you need professional plumbing services, our expert plumbers are here to help. Give us a call at 855-942-2028, or request a job estimate online.
Did you know that scented candles can leave unsightly black spot on walls, ceilings, furniture, and HVAC filters? According to Rainbow International, this is known as black soot disposition (BSD). You should always take these precautions when burning scented or decorative candles. Rainbow International is a part of Neighborly’s network of trusted home service providers.