Step 1: Materials
Before you begin, you need to assemble your materials. Here is what I used:
Pencil -- mark candle positions (already in possession, so cost is $0)
Tape measure -- to measure for candle positions. (already in possession, so cost is $0)
Base -- Two 24" boards form the base of the candelabra. I purchased a 2x4x8 piece of cedar decking from Lowe's for $7.22. I knew I was not going to sand it down, but I was able to select a board that wasn't too rough, and had an interesting wood-grain/knot pattern. Also, I had the board cut into two 24" inch lengths at Lowe's (for free). This gave me 2 boards that were 24" long, 3.5" wide, and 1.5" high. (Note: I'm saving the remaining 4 foot piece for a rainy day.)
Votive holders -- Twelve Round Oak Casters (2") serve as votive holders on the candelabra. I purchased mine from Lowe's: Three 4-packs @ $4.97 each for a total of $14.91.
Liquid Nails -- for adhering the casters to the wooden base (4oz bottle for $2.66 at Lowe's)
Wood finish -- A sealant, coat, or stain to protect your candelabra. I used "Polycurethane" from Michael's at $11.99 for the can.
Felt pads -- These are for the bottom of the candelabra, and they protect the surface on which you place the finished candelabra. I had "Scratch Guard" self-adhesive felt blankets leftover from a much older project so my cost is $0. For you folks keeping taps at home, a similar item is available at Lowe's for $3.99.
Votive Candles -- (not pictured) You will need 12 candles, one for each day of Yuletide. I opted to purchase a 12-pack of unscented votives from Michael's. They were on sale when I purchased them, so I am not sure of the price.
Total material cost (without votives or tax) = $40.77
Step 2: Set Votive Positions on the Base
Starting with the first base, mark the centerline. The base is 3.5 inches wide, so use your pencil and tape measure to scratch a hash mark 1.75 inches from the long edge as shown in the first image.
Make several more hash marks as shown in the second image and connect them with a faint line (you must be able to erase this line later).
Next, mark the center point of each caster (see 3rd image):
-- Measure along the center line and make a hash mark 2 inches from the leading edge.
-- Continue measuring along the center line, and make 5 more hash marks along it, each one 4 inches from the previous one.
Finally, mark the upper and left "edge" to define each caster's placement. Using the first center point as an example (4th image), measure 1.25 inches to the left of the center. Then measure 0.5 inches from the upper edge in line with the center point. Repeat for the remaining 5 caster center points on this base.
[Then repeat this entire step for the second base. The final image shows how the first and second caster's will line up with your hash marks.]
Step 3: Erase the Centerline
The image below is a sample illustration showing the first three centerpoints and their hash marks after the centerline has been erased.
Step 4: Adhere Casters to the Base
Take the first caster, turn it over, and place a dollop of Liquid Nails on the center bottom. Dollop should be no more than a dime in width. (See second image).
Using your index finger, spread the adhesive as evenly as you can across the bottom of the caster. (Third image).
Next, gently place the caster in position using the upper and left hash marks as your guide. As shown in the fourth image, I used my thumb and index finger to grip the caster while my pinkie and ring fingers rested on the base. (My index finger was covered in adhesive. I chose to not clean it off after applying adhesive. This saved me some time. Your mileage may vary).
Note: Liquid Nails allows for repositioning within 20 minutes of application. So set each caster in place and then make minor adjustments as necessary.
Step 5: Place All Casters and Let the Adhesive Dry
Step 6: Apply a Finish (Optional)
As mentioned in the material list, I used Polycurethane which I purchased from Michael's Crafts. You are free to apply whatever finish you desire. Just be certain to do so in a well-ventilated area and follow all directions for your chosen material.
I applied two coats of the sealant. The first coat was applied the evening I started the project, and the second coat was applied first thing in the morning. I think it really helped to birng out the grain in the wood.
Step 7: Add Protective Pads
Step 8: Finishing Touches -- Blessed Yule!
Now that the candelabra is complete, and you have your votive candles, you are ready to put it to use.
Set out an altar cloth (if you choose) or place the candelabra bases directly on the surface of choice. Set a votive candle on each holder (the casters), and set some decorative greens around it (evergreens, holly, etc.).
Take care that none of your decorative flourishes get close to a lit candle. And do be certain to observe all the necessary candle safety rules.
Here are a few sources for Yule devotionals:
A very blessed Yule to you and yours!