If you caught my spring mantel update earlier this week, you may have noticed these gorgeous wood and faux marble candles. I keep catching myself staring at them sitting on our mantel. They were pretty easy to make too!
I wanted these candles to be big and chunky and square. I decided to usea scrap 4×4 left over from our washer and dryer stand. After cutting them down into cubes, I sanded them with 80, then 220 grit sandpaper, then used 320 grit sandpaper on the cut ends. I recently learned that if you sand the cut ends with a finer grit than the rest of the wood, the stain on the ends is the same color as the rest of the piece! Amazing! Aaaand now I’m fighting the urge to sand down and re-stain everything I’ve ever built…
After sanding, we made a quick jig to hold the block in place. We drilled a 1 ½” hole half an inch deep into the middle of one end of the block. Then, I sanded around the hole to ensure the surface was smooth.
Some of the cubes had cracks and knots, and I loved the idea of how the cracks and knots would look with some stain on them. I used refinishing oil on the ‘flawed’ pieces and decided to cover the remaining pieces with marble contact paper.
To plan out how much contact paper I would need to cover this thing, I placed the block centered on the paper. I made sure that there would be enough contact paper to go up each edge of the block. Then, I traced around the block. I flipped the block onto its side and traced another mark about an inch from the block.
After cutting the paper off the roll, I drew lines diagonally from each corner. This gives me enough room to peel off the paper, smooth it up the side of the block and fit some over the edge onto the next surface so there is no visible wood.
To start adhering the vinyl, I peeled the backing so that only one side and the bottom were uncovered. Then I centered the block on the bottom square, and stuck it down. I found it was easier to stick one edge of the block down, then smooth the vinyl across the bottom surface.
After adhering the bottom of the block, I started attaching the vinyl up one side. I started at the bottom, pressing out any air bubbles with my fingers and worked my way to the top. Then I cut the paper overhanging the side down to about ¼” and smoothed it around the corners.
On the next side, I repeated the same process. I had ¼” overhang on one side and I cut the paper flush with the edge on the other side.
Once I was finished, I realized that I should’ve started with the block hole-side down. This would’ve given a clean finish on the top, while all the extra would’ve been on the bottom. (I make this same mistake every single time I’m wrapping presents, too!!)
I made this alteration on the next two blocks, and the tops came out perfectly! Since I covered over the candle hole, I needed to remove the vinyl covering the hole. I started by pressing the vinyl down so I could tell where the edge of wood was. Then, I cut away the vinyl leaving about ¼” to press down into the cutout to finish off the edge.
Now they look like marble blocks that were cut into tealight holders!
Guys, these look so stinkin’ cool! I absolutely love them. I’ve been planning these babies and visualizing them sitting on our mantel for a while now, and I am so excited with the way they turned out. I don’t think I’m done with this marble vinyl. I have a feeling that it’s going to be popping up in a few more DIYs before I’m through with it!