Introduction: Shabby Chic Spoon Tea Light Holders

OK, so this is my first Instructable so please bear with me. My wife has our bedroom kitted out in Shabby Chic and as the woodworker of the family, decided to have a crack at something to complement her style in the bedroom so I made her some Spoon tea light holders.

To make this project you will need :-

1) 2 lengths of 20cm pallet wood

2) 2 contrasting colours of paint (any paint will do as long as it's not too watery)

3) Inkjet Printer and paper

4) 2 Spoons big enough to hold a tea light, I used soup spoons

5) 2 Tea lights

6) Sand paper (60 & 120 grit)

7) PVA glue & Epoxy Glue/Resin (+mixing stick)

8) Paintbrush and cup of water

9) Clamps & knife

10) Pencil, ruler and barrel marker pen

11) Silver spray paint (optional)

12) Vice (Useful but not essential)

13) Masking tape

Step 1: Wood

I cut down a piece of pallet wood into 2x 20cm lengths as this was the size that looked ok with my spoons, but as a hint, put your spoons against the wood to guage your correct length.

I then sanded them down to get rid of the loose edges and burrs but also to remove the top surface of wood which will allow the paint to stick to it better. As this is a Shabby Chic look you're going for, try not to get them to match, if you want to sand down one corner more than another then go for it. Once I was happy with the pieces, I moved onto paint.

Step 2: Paint

So you've chosen your 2 contrasting paints (I went with pink and white) so decide which colour you want to see the most and use it last as the fist coat is the highlight colour.

I started with the pink, which was a small pot of silk emulsion i had left over from my daughters bedroom. I gave it 1 coat as it was quite thick but as I said previously, it's going to get sanded so don't worry if you can still see the wood.

As as option, i lightly sprayed the pink paint with silver spray paint. I got this from Poundland and it's car automotive paint. I only dusted the pink for extra contrast but this was purely because I had it lying around and thought it'd look good but feel free to skip this bit if you want, it's not make or break for the project.

Finally, i added the second coat which is the white. The paint I used was silk emulsion (decorating leftovers) and i gave it 2 coats to make sure the pink was really covered up.

While this is drying you can start on the template design....

Step 3: Template Design and Print

Ok, so after Googling some images, I finally found a vintage floral border I liked . As it was square, I had to GIMP(design software) it down to make a rectangle and for fun, I added some vintage bees to the design. I recently recovered a dressing screen I made for my wife with a similar vintage bee pattern so in the words of the Big Lebrowski " it really tied the room together"!

The design templates are slightly smaller than the wood as you want to get as much on as possible bearing in mind that your spoon with be in the center so try to choose a design that is more like a border than a centered picture. Once your template is ready, cut it out and move onto the next step - SANDING


Unfortunately I had a brain lapse and didn't take any pictures of this but thinking about it, it's just sanding right??? I mean, do you really need loads of pictures of a piece of wood that's been sanded??? Ok, so here's the description of what I did.

I took some sandpaper.......

And I sanded the wood! BOOM! :-).

ha ha, ok so it wasn't that simple but it was pretty easy, just really time consuming and I did look a little like the guy in the picture after I've finished. Basically what you want to do is sand it enough that you can see bits of pink and natural wood through the white top coat. The corners and edges are the easiest to do here but the flat center takes a bit of work. I was so tempted to get out my orbital sander but as you're sanding layers of paint I didn't want to risk cutting right through too much white and ruining the whole thing. So i stuck Spotify on shuffle and started sanding, by hand. First with the 60 grit to remove the bulk of it, and then the 120 grit to smooth everything over.

Don't forget, it's Shabby Chic so sand as much or as little as you want to (or can be bothered with), the aim here is to expose the multiple layers and give it a worn look so as I said before, don't make the pieces match, keep a bit of variety in the mix. Once you're happy with it, then we can move onto the tricky bit - Template Alignment

Step 5: Template Alignment

Ok, this is the tricky part which i'm going to explain in 2 sections-the wood and the paper.

The wood - You'll need to find the center of the wood. Put your ruler diagonally from corner to corner and lightly make a line, do this again from the opposite corners and you'll have a cross in the middle of the wood. A light touch is the key here.

The paper - Ok, with the paper you do the same but press on firmly and make the cross a little bigger (but not so it touches the template design. Turn over you paper, where you should be able to see the cross, and go over it in pencil as if you're tracing it. You then need to cut out the center of the cross but not all of it as you need the longer diagonal lines for the next step.

So now you have the wood and the paper with your guide lines, all you have to do is line them up. Place the template face down on the wood so that the cross on the wood, aligns with the lines on the back of the template (see images). Once you're happy that everything lines up, take a small piece of making tape and put it over the hole in the centre, this with temporarily hold the template in place while you get your glue and paint brush (cleaned and free from pink and white paint).

Step 6: Glueing

Quick tip - I do most of my craft stuff on a scrap piece of MDF but to keep it reasonably clean when using paint and glue, I put a few strips of wide parcel tape over an area to create a patch to put glue and paint on etc. This way, I can peel it all off and the board stays clean (ish) and it's dry to put away there and then.

So, I put a glob of glue on my "tape pad", gently lifted up one side of the template and with a brush, applied the PVA liberally to the wood, covering all areas including the curved edges from all that sanding ;-) Once the glue is down, take the barrel marker pen and gently roll it over the back of the template. Not only does this get rid of any air, but you get a nice smooth finish instead of lumps and bumps caused but fingers. Wipe off the excess glue and then repeat on the other side of the template so it looks like the last picture in this step.

Once you've done both pieces of wood, they need to dry for at least 6 hours. I left it for a day but that was purely because I had other things to do that day. All i'll say is that the longer you leave it, the better.

Step 7: Uri Geller the Shiznit Out of the Spoons

Ok, so while the glue is drying you can turn your attention to the spoons. The spoons I picked has a slight curve on the handle so I used a vice to flatten them out as best as possible. I wanted there to be as much surface area glued to the wood as possible and with the curve in the handle I wasn't getting enough. The spoons you choose might be different but it's worth checking your surface area by putting the spoon on the edge of a table with the round end of the spoon hanging over the edge.

All you have to do is then bend the spoon to a 90 degree angle so it looks like a mini ladel. I bent mine in the vice but as this is the weakest part of the spoon you should be ok doing it by hand.

Step 8: Removing the Template

The moment of truth! Removing the template. This is the make or break part of the project and although the process seems simple, it's a little on the tricky side and requires patience and a light touch.

Wet your finger and gently rub over a section of the template. The paper will become instantly transparent and the image with show through clearly. What you need to do is rub your finger gently in circular motions until the the paper starts to bead up. Take your time otherwise you'll end up rubbing off the picture, although there's nothing wrong with removing some of the picture as it all adds up to the overall effect.

As you can see from my last picture, I had more of the template rub off on one side than the other, but that's the whole point of Shabby Chic.

Step 9: Protecting the Wood

Ok, so once you've got the template looking as you want it, put a thin strip of masking tape where you intend to place the spoon (i scribbled pencil lines on the tape so you can see it clearly).

Liberally cover the whole surface with neat PVA and spread it around with a brush. This will seal the image and protect if from rubbing off over time, kinda like a varnish. I put 2 coats of PVA on to get a good finish and then once dry, i gently peeled off the masking tape from the centre.

Once removed, I now have an unfinished area that it free from glue which I can lightly score with a knife ready to epoxy the spoon.

Step 10: Attaching the Spoon

Mix your epoxy resin and apply it liberally to the back of the spoon and the hold it firmly in place for a few seconds while it takes basic adhesion, you can then secure it with the clamps and leave it to dry. The main part of this steo is to try and get the spoon level with the wood, otherwise the candle won't sit properly.

Step 11: All Done!

All done, you can now mount it on your wall by any means you desire, sit back and admire your handy-work.