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One of our favorite DIY projects, these easy candlesticks take minutes to throw together and look effortlessly polished in any room of the house. The secret is soaking natural sponges in plaster, so they retain all that beautiful coral texture!Supplies
Step 1: Use your X-Acto knife to make a small hole in the center of each sponge.
Step 2: Hot glue the metal caps into the holes in the sponges (open side up -- this is where your taper candles will go when the piece is finished).
Step 3: Mix enough plaster to completely submerge the sponge (about 2 cups plaster and 1 cup water) in the glass bowl. Mix with your fingers until the mixture is smooth.
Step 4: Dip your sponge into the plaster until it is totally covered. Remove and place on a sheet of aluminum foil.
Step 5: With your fingers, cover any bare spots with extra plaster. Repeat steps 3 through 5 with the second sponge.
Step 6: Let dry for about 24 hours, until the plaster is no longer moist and is cool to the touch.
Step 7: Insert your taper candles and light up any room in the house!
This intricately patterned wooden tray looks professionally made, but don't be fooled! With a few cuts and some gluing, you'll have your very own in no time -- without breaking the bank or raiding the hardware store for heavy-duty tools. We love how the herringbone pattern dresses up an ordinary tray and takes it to the next level of glamorous!Supplies
Step 1: Paint half of one of your balsa sheets turquoise. Stain the rest of that sheet and the other two sheets with the wood stain and let dry (You only need to paint or stain one side of each sheet).
Step 2: On the back side of each sheet, draw a vertical line down the center (it should leave you with two inches on either side). Then use your ruler to mark every 1/2 inch down the length of the wood -- draw lines across horizontally.
Step 3: Use your utility knife to slice out each rectangle strip, keeping the size and shape as even as possible. Once you have all your strips, you're ready to begin gluing.
Step 4: Arrange your strips in a herringbone pattern (basically a zigzag pattern where the end of one strip overlaps the other). Start on one end of the tray, and create a zigzag line with your wood-tone strips that touches the sides of the tray. Make sure your angles are correct -- the lines of strips meeting should be straight. When you are happy with the first row, you can glue it in place. Dab wood glue on both the tray and the strip, and make sure the ends of the strip are glued down so they don't curl up later.
Step 5: Continue by adding rows down the tray. After about halfway down the tray, you'll want to put a book down on the section you've glued so the strips don't lift up as they dry. Once you're about 2/3 down the length of the tray, use the turquoise strips instead of the wood strips for two rows. Then do another row of wood, one more in turquoise, and then continue in wood until you cannot complete another full zigzag. Pile on several books and let dry for a few hours.
Step 6: Now that the center is full, you just have to fill out the edges. Hold a strip up to the spot where you would next lay it, and use your pencil to mark where you need to cut it to make it fit.
Step 7: Cut it and glue it in place. Continue until the sides are full. Lay books down again, and let it dry. Your tray is ready to serve!