Candles are a terrific way to bring a little romance to your patio or porch, but they need protection from wind and dirt. This weekend I’m giving my outdoor candles a little style with former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger’s simple, cheap candleholders using inexpensive galvanized metal mending or tie plates, available for less than a dollar from the hardware store. These go together in seconds, and they’ll add a nice little twinkle when we dine al fresco.
When grouped together, the candleholders look like a city skyline. Photo by Susan Wasinger
Tools and Materials
Mending or tie plates, in varying sizes
Nuts and bolts (for tealight covers)
1. Mending plates or tie plates, available at the hardware store for less than a dollar, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The holders pictured used plates that were 3 or 4 inches wide and 5, 7, or 9 inches tall.
2. Connect three or four plates using a short length of wire. Using needlenose pliers, thread the wire through adjacent holes on two different plates. Send the ends of the wire back through the opposite hole and double the circle of wire around on itself until you’ve made a ring with overlapping ends like a key ring. Alternatively, twist the wire around itself like a twist-tie.
3. Connecting 3-by-5-inch plates into a triangle shape makes a perfect cover for a narrow votive candle. The taller 3-by-9-inch plates, connected into a four-sided column, are a good fit with a pillar or a short taper candle.
4. For the long, narrow tealight cover, use nuts and bolts to position the sides at an angle. For the bottom, we used two 3-inch #6 bolts (make sure before purchasing that they go through the holes in your mending plate). For the top, we used two 11/2-inch #6 bolts. Thread the bolts through the holes in the four corners of each plate, leaving enough of the bolt exposed to fasten on the nut. This cover looks lovely with three tealights nestled inside.