DIY Project: Surya Candlestick Table

While sitting on a sofa, do you ever set a drink on the floor, then knock it over? Or set a bowl on the floor after eating pasta, with some red pasta sauce still in it, then stand up and stick your foot in the bowl? Yeah, I have done that! That’s why I love having a tiny table near chairs and sofas. Here’s the table for today’s DIY project:

Candlestick Table to Hold Drinks

DIY Candlestick Table Tutorial

I’ve made a tiny table before — this table I made a few years ago for our family room:

DIY Candlestick Table

That little table was so convenient, I made another one for our apartment in India which is shared today. While going through photos for this post, I see I failed to photograph the process as I went through it step by step. So, consider this more of an idea/inspiration post with a supplies list. I’ll embed a few videos that show how to do some steps. Sorry about that – it’s been a busy year!


Here are supplies to make this table:

  • Tall candlestick (mine is about 2′ tall, found at Joann 50% off sale)
  • Three wooden rounds, two 10″ round and one 12″ round (I found these hard to find – ordered mine from eBay seller morezmore)
  • Wood filler
  • Wood glue
  • Screws and drill
  • Paint
  • Optional: Stencil if you want to add designs on it
  • Optional: Grafix Dura-Lar if you make custom stencils – I’ve found it at Amazon and Blick Art Materials
  • Optional: I added silver leaf to my wooden rounds because the candlestick has a silver leaf look

I used one 10″ round for the tabletop, and glued 10″ and 12″ rounds together for the bottom. There were some gaps so I filled those with wood filler:

Wood Rounds Glued Together

TIP: I will warn, try not to buy a resin candlestick.

If the table falls over on a hard floor, the resin can break. I set my feet on the little table I made previously, and the resin candlestick cracked in half in the middle! Look for a solid wood candlestick. You also want a candlestick with some heavy weight to it, with more weight at the bottom than at the top. You don’t want your table to be top-heavy because it could tip over.

You can paint your table any color(s) you want. As an optional detail, you can add stenciled designs. I’ll show you what I did: a silver-leafed table with two layered stencil designs. I wanted a silver table like the table in this moodboard for our India apartment:



I first found the 2′ tall candlestick for half off at Joann, for about $20-25. So I needed to make the wooden rounds match the candlestick. Because the candlestick was metallic silver leaf, paint wasn’t going to match it well enough. So I silver-leafed the wood rounds.

This video has good tips showing how to apply metal leaf:

It’s long, but you can skip ahead to areas where she shows tips. I’d say our time and materials are a cost, so it’s worth it to invest time to learn.

Where I went wrong was in not following her instructions, and I got sizing glue on my tools and fingers.

TIP: Use the wax paper, as she recommends!

If you follow these instructions and practice, you should be fine. But what happened to me was, I wound up re-doing the silver-leafing three times because twice it became a gunky gluey mess. My mistake — I got the sizing glue on my fingers and my gluey fingers ruined the shiny surface. Once I made sure sizing didn’t get on tools as I applied the silver leaf, I was happy with the final result.

In the video, she advises to clean off excess leaf outside or over a trashcan. Yes, do that! Don’t do it in the middle of your living room as I did. There was silver leaf in my nose, on my eyelashes, everywhere. It makes a pretty mess in a canister vacuum — there were pretty layers of silver specks mixed with layers of cat hair and dust!


As an easier alternative, don’t do any leafing. Paint the candlestick and the rounds any color you want. You could paint with a silver metallic paint and get a beautiful metal-like effect, especially if you use Modern Masters metallic paints.


If you want to add a pattern, you can use any stencil you like. You can find stencils online and in craft stores. I’m a fan of Royal Design Studio stencils, and use them a lot. For this project, I got a vision that led to making a custom stencil. I made a simple geometric sun shape — a “surya” in Sanskrit– in Photoshop. It’s just long skinny rectangles and a circle arranged in Photoshop. I know that the chairs and sofa in our apartment will eventually be covered with many patterns, and I wanted a simple bold design on the table. I cut the design in a Dura-Lar sheet with my Cricut Explore to make a stencil. Here’s a video showing how to cut a stencil with a Cricut Explore cutting machine:

I wanted to add another layer of pattern. I had an electronic image of a love poem, written in the 14th century in South India. That script image was used in an artwork gift for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. The poem is written in Tamil which is a beautiful loopy script. Tamil is also the native language of the city and state where our apartment is located in India. I made another stencil with this script, by cutting it in a Dura-Lar sheet with the Cricut Explore.

I painted the Tamil love poem on a 10″ silver-leafed wood round, with French Linen Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. As you can see in the stencil below, there’s big open spots where little circles in the script will fall out of the stencil. So with a tiny brush, I hand-painted those little circles back into the script.

Tamil Script and Surya Stencil

Then I stenciled the “surya” sun shape over the Tamil script with Flat Black Stencil Creme from Royal Design Studio. The Stencil Cremes are made for stenciling, and with the high contrast of black and silver, I wanted a nice paint to do a clean crisp stenciling job. To soften the black, I stippled some metallic paints like antique gold, bronze and copper through the stencil.


Then, all the pieces went to India in a suitcase. Actually that’s not true. The candlestick went to India with my husband during a previous trip. When I was silver-leafing the wood rounds in Chicago, I was using my memory of the candlestick for guidance.

Once the wood rounds and candlestick were together in India, it was obvious that the candlestick was a much warmer silver. They looked like totally different silvers:

Silver Leaf Rounds and Candlestick

No problem! This can be fixed. You can add some yellow to warm it up. I mixed water with a golden paint, and lightly smeared the gold wash over the wood rounds. I also used a bit of watered-down brown to “dirty them up” a little bit because the candlestick is darker and a bit distressed. The pieces now look really similar.

Warming up the Silver Color

Our carpenter glued and nailed/screwed the pieces together, and that was it! Assembly is super easy. I am sorry I didn’t get pictures while the carpenter was assembling it. For instructions on how to assemble a table like this, visit my guest post at where I show you step-by-step details from a previous DIY table.

We now have a little table to hold drinks, iPhones, light dishes, books, etc.! It’s next to a curvy teak South Indian chair so we can look out the window at trees and the sky. The chaos of the street below (lots of various traffic mixed with goats and chickens down there) is out of view.

DIY Embossed Wood Sconce

Candlestick Table Top

India pied-a-terre Candlestick Table


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5 Replies to “DIY Project: Surya Candlestick Table”

  1. Love Love Love your candlestick tables. I remember the one you did a few years back. You Inspired me to create one of my own, which now sits in our master bath. Thank you so much. I plan to make another.

    1. That’s great to hear, Linda! I’m so glad you made a table! And I visited your blog – I have the same beaded table runner from Pier 1 – it’s beautiful! Deb

  2. That’s great to hear, Linda! I’m so glad you made a table! And I visited your blog – I have the same beaded table runner from Pier 1 – it’s beautiful! Deb

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