DIY Golden Lampstand: Make It Monday

by - April 21, 2014

How to make a Tabernacle Lampstand, Menorah, DIY

Google is fallible. 

Discovering this caused just a wee bit of stress.

As part of the Good Friday Service Creative Team I was tasked with providing the tabernacle lampstand. {As a church we're on a chronological journey through the scriptures and Good Friday happens to fit right in the midst of Leviticus and all that crazy tabernacle business - Praise the Lord for 2014!}

I asked Google how to make my own lampstand.

Google just shrugged and said, "Sucks to be you!"

So I stewed in my stress and let two weeks pass and then realized I needed a plan and I needed it now!

I consulted an artist friend who helped me come up with a thin game plan.

So, armed with little more than my wits {and a dining room table full of 'I-really-hope-this-works' supplies} I tackled my project and ended up with a functional - albeit wonky - tabernacle lampstand.

And, because I would hate Google to embarrass herself again, I'm sharing my method on the off chance some weirdo like me will find themselves looking for a good old 'How To'.

You Will Need:                                Tools:

1 wooden dowel - 1 inch diameter                                Saw
6 feet 10/2 electrical copper wire                                Drill
   {orange jacket}                                                         Sandpaper
1 8 inch electric range pan                                           Glue gun
1 Styrofoam cup                                                           Wire cutters
1 screw                                                                        Scissors
Heavy cardboard
Plastic shopping bags
Flour & Water
7 shot glasses
Heavy nylon string
Gold spray paint
7 tea lights

1   Attach the Styrofoam cup - top down - to the 8 inch electric range pan with a glue gun. 

Cut a cardboard base the same diameter as the electric range pan - make a small hole in the center - and glue to the pan.

Make your own Tabernacle Lampstand, Menorah, DIY

3  Cut your dowel to a height of 2 feet and then sand the rough end until it's smooth and level.  Drill a small hole in one end.

Cut a one inch hole in the bottom of the Styrofoam cup .

5  Put your dowel through the Styrofoam cup and line up the drill hole with the hole in the cardboard. Use a small screw to secure the dowel in place. {The screw can be removed later when everything is dry - I couldn't find a flat-headed screw so it threw the balance off slightly until I took it out later.}

Make your own Tabernacle Lampstand, Menorah, DIY

6  Create four doubled lengths of cardboard, two inches wide. {My longest length was a piece of wood because I had it lying around but cardboard does the job too.}  Lengths of approximately 3 inches,  4 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches - and cut a one inch circle in the center of each.

7  Using wire cutters, cut the electrical wire into lengths of 2 1/2 feet, 2 feet, and 1 1/2 feet and bend into 'U' shapes {see photo below}

8  Feed the longest cardboard length to approximately 7 inches down from the top of the dowel - make sure it's level and then glue in place.

9  Glue the largest 'U' wire onto the cardboard on one side of the dowel - hold it straight and steady while it drys.  Then feed the next largest cardboard piece and glue it on top before placing another wire {on the opposite side of the dowel} and continue for the third piece.  Trim any extra wire from the top so that your points are relatively even.

Make your own Tabernacle Lampstand, Menorah, DIY

10  Using the diameter of the dowel as your guide, wrap the wires in plastic shopping bags to create the same thickness.

11 Cut six 1 inch circles from cardboard - these will serve as level stands for your shot glasses. {The dowel is already flat, so it doesn't need one.}

12  Cut old newspapers into long strips.

Make your own Tabernacle Lampstand, Menorah, DIY

13  Mix flour and water together to the consistency of very thin pancake batter.

14  Paper mâche the entire piece. {Dip a strip of newspaper in the flour/water mixture, pull it between your fingers to take off the excess then place it on the structure, smoothing out any bubbles as you go.} When you reach the top of each wire, place the cardboard circle so it is central to the wire and set a shot glass on it. Continue the paper mâche to the rim of the shot glass.  {This paper mâche process will feel like it takes FOREVER so put on some good music and prepare for a long, slow go.} I did one layer - let it dry for a day and then did another.  During the drying process my shot glasses shifted a little and I ended up with a few that were tilted - if I was doing it again I would probably secure them with duct tape before the paper mâche.

How to make a Tabernacle Lampstand, menorah, DIY
{I paper mâched myself! That's me on the left of that piece of newspaper!}
15   To create a unified texture I wrapped the entire piece in heavy string - attaching with the glue gun.  I used what I could find so it's part cotton, part nylon, and part garden twine.  The cotton was easiest to work with but the nylon maintained it's shine when it was painted and when you're going for 'Golden Lampstand' shine is a good thing.

Make your own Tabernacle Lampstand, menorah, DIY

16  Spray paint it - outside. {I used BeautiTone Acrylic Gold Gloss Lacquer.}

17  Put a tea light in each shot glass holder.

How to make a Tabernacle Lampstand, Menorah, DIY

And that's it. You'll be left with a 26 inch, five pound thing of homemade beauty!

 This was not simple but it was a fun challenge and it made a lovely prop piece for the Good Friday service.

The terrible truth? This took just under 10 hours to complete!

PS  You're welcome, Google!

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  1. I think it's beautiful! Especially the pretty little one watching in the back ground. Way to go. I wouldn't take that crap from Google either!


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