DIY French candle sconces

After Christmas, I went looking around on ebay for wood and iron candle sconces. 

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I found a pair of these for less than $20. They are plentiful on ebay in all price ranges. I think they’re from the late 1980s, but not sure.

Here is a recent listing from ebay, and this one has the original glass votive holders.

In any case, it needed a makeover.

I had in mind something similar to these French Pinot sconces.


I started by spraying them with gray primer. I thought I had a photo of that stage, but I must have deleted it. I then brushed on a lighter gray craft paint, let it dry, then sanded the high spots. I didn’t like the color, nor did I enjoy trying to hold the sconce with one hand and brush paint into all the crevices, so I spray painted flat white over the whole thing, then sanded again after it dried. 

I then, rubbed on a coat of dark finishing wax and rubbed it off. I was pretty happy with the finish, then I realized something was missing. 

I have seen French candle sconces with wood beads, so I searched everywhere for long wood beads. I looked online and at Michaels in the jewelry and wood departments, but could not find what I wanted. I finally went to the craft department at Walmart and found a couple of options to choose from. 

I thought these beads might work, but they were not really long enough for the look I wanted.

I then saw these wood caps and thought I might be able to make them work. 

There were four of each size, so I decided to glue them together, since I needed four.

After applying the same paint treatment I did to the sconces, I used an awl to make a hole, then dipped a shortened wire ornament hanger into the glue then inserted it into the hole. 

And…voilà, French candle sconces!

I love how they turned out! I did plan on switching out the candle cups for smaller brass ones, but I thought that would just be overkill and more work than I really wanted to do.

I’m still not sure where I’m going to put them, since I have two, but for now, one is here on the old door in the music “room.” 

Not bad for less than $20:-)

I’ll be joining:

Wow us Wednesdays


  1. Julie
    April 7, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    Looks fabulous. Great job. The beads are the perfect addition. 🙂 Julie

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:07 am

      Thank you Julie!

  2. Something Nice and Pretty
    April 8, 2015 / 12:11 am

    You wouldn't by looking at it that had been from the 80's, great job on it and I love the finish!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:08 am

      I know..paint can do amazing things! Thank you:-)

  3. April 8, 2015 / 12:21 am

    Wow!!!…they are stunning!…Now there is going to be a run on eBay for old 80's sconces!…so, so beautiful and such a great idea Anita! it!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:09 am

      Thank you Shirley!! There are sure plenty of them out there too!

  4. April 8, 2015 / 12:53 am

    these look like the real things, love the makeover!!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:09 am

      Thank you Debra! The real ones are ridiculously expensive…or at least the ones I have seen online.

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:10 am

      No kidding! I love a bargain! Thanks for stopping by:-)

  5. ℳartina @ Northern Nesting
    April 8, 2015 / 1:41 am

    LOVE THEM!! Great makeover!!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:10 am

      Thank you so much Martina!

  6. Kelly
    April 8, 2015 / 2:44 am

    Love this project! What a great look you gave those candle sconces. I never would've guessed that they looked the way they did when you first got them. Thanks for the inspiration and the tutorial!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:11 am

      Thanks so much Kelly! They were pretty dated, for sure:-)

  7. Pinky at Designs by Pinky
    April 8, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Fabulous! They really look like the real deal! Love them!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:11 am

      Thank you Pinky…and at a fraction of the cost!

  8. Robin Johnson
    April 8, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    It looks fantastic! I love how you've transformed it into something that you will now love.

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:11 am

      Thanks Robin! I do love them this way:-)

  9. lynn cockrell
    April 9, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    What a great job on those sconces, Anita! They really are lovely.

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:11 am

      Thank you so much Lynn!!

  10. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here
    April 9, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    Great project and I love the results.

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:12 am

      Thank you so much Sherry!

  11. Kim @ Savvy Southern Style
    April 10, 2015 / 1:32 am

    Those look great, Anita. How smart are you!

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:12 am

      Thank you Kim, and thanks for stopping by!

  12. Unknown
    April 13, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    WOW!!! You nailed the look! Now I am going to search for 80's candle holders. Been keeping my eye on the real thing, and gasping at the price…
    EBay here I come.

    • Anita Diaz
      April 15, 2015 / 12:13 am

      I know Gee…there were several out there too. Look for "homco wood and iron candle sconce" or "Wood and iron candle sconce," and they should come up. Thanks so much!!

  13. aarond
    April 16, 2015 / 10:25 pm

    I found one just like this in an antique shop/flea market for $5.00. I did mine in black.

  14. Lori T.
    April 19, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    I love how you transformed those dated candle sconces and made them look fabulously french.