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DIY Sculpted Branch Candelabra | Centsational style

As I have mentioned several times, my newest passion is sculpting with clay. My eight week ceramics class inspired my newfound hobby, so getting my hands on clay to shape into molds is a bit of an obsession right now.

I wanted to create a candelabra for future festive table settings that is simple yet organic in its form. I used a branch as a base and sculpted the shape with air dry clay.

Grape vine branches cost $40 or more, so instead I bought a pair of small bird perches and attached them with hot glue. Using existing branches as a base saved me the stress of sculpting my own branch.

The branches were wrapped in clay and shaped inch by inch to create the random organic structure.


Deliveries: 2.2 pounds of modeling clay; rolling pin; thick curvy branch; Water; ¾ inch copper cap fittings (for holding candles); white spray paint; Hot glue; taper candles.

The project is quite simple but will take an hour of your time. Find a thick branch with some movement. Cut air-dried clay into long strips and thin out with a rolling pin. Use these strips in pieces to wrap around the branches. Sharper corners or edges require an additional layer of clay.

Once the branch is wrapped in clay, use your fingers to shape it around the edges of the branch. To create a smooth surface, dip your fingers in a small amount of water and work the moisture around the surface of the clay. It took me about 45 minutes to fully shape the elongated branch so be patient with it and enjoy the process, it feels good! Reserve a few ounces of plastic-wrapped clay for patching, if needed.

Allow the branch to dry in a warm, dry place for a full 24 hours. Once completely dry you can observe a few cracks where the clay has shrunk as the moisture evaporated. Fill in any cracks with remaining clay, smooth as before and allow to dry.

The taper candle caps are copper fittings found in the plumbing section of a hardware store (see link above). I spray painted them white and attached them to the shaped branch with hot glue. I also used the bubble level on my phone with the candle in the cap fitting to make sure they were going to burn straight!

All these efforts will bring you the most unique candelabra for your festive tablescapes!

If you want to make your centerpiece stand out even more, below are some sources for unique stick candles in really pretty colors.

fancy tapers / beeswax dipped

hand-dipped pastels/swirl tapers

gradient set

Swirl cone / square cone

light pastels

earthy colors / custom colors

fancy tapers – multiple colors

soft pastel colored tapers

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