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Twisted Veneer Candleholders and Garland How-To

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2011

Rather than an explosion of petals, consider a sculptural arrangement of veneer figure eights. 

Tools and supplies:

  • Design Your Wall colored self-adhesive contact paper in white glossy or orange jaffa (18-inch-by-49.5-foot roll)
  • Northern Sheer Veneer white birch veneer, laminated to 7 pt craft paper, 24-by-36-inch sheet
  • Craft knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Hot-glue gun

Basic How-To:

Cut the veneer and the contact paper into manageable pieces the same size (about 18 by 24 inches) using the craft knife and a metal ruler. Peel the backing off the contact paper, and adhere the paper to the back side of the veneer. We used white for the figure-eight balls on the tabletop, and orange for the garland.


Use a craft knife and a metal ruler to cut the contact-paper-backed veneer into strips. For flexibility, cut veneer lengthwise in the direction of the grain. Use the following dimensions:

  • Small figure-eight ball: 1/2-by-12-inch strips (7 per ball)
  • Medium figure-eight ball: 3/4-by-15 1/2-inch strips (7 per ball)
  • Large figure-eight ball: 1-by-24-inch strips (7 per ball)
  • Garland: 3/4-by-24-inch strips (12 for each 3 feet of garland)

For both projects, you'll need to form the strips into figure eights. Here's how: Use a permanent marker to make a small dot at the center of the strip on the contact-paper side. Apply a dot of hot glue on the mark, and bend one end of the paper around to attach it at the dot, contact-paper-side up and crossing the center of the strip at an angle. Apply another dot of hot glue, and bend the other end around in the opposite direction to attach in a similar position. Hold until glue is completely set (about 15 seconds).

To make the balls: Hot-glue seven figure eights together side to side, as shown; then glue the first and last figure eights together to form a circle.


Garland

Rather than jasmine, this garland is fashioned from wood veneer backed with contact paper.

To make the garland:

Bring the ends of the first figure eight together to meet, then slip a second figure eight through the loops of the first one. Fold the ends of the second figure eight together, and slip a third figure eight through the loops. 

Continue until the garland is the length you desire, and tie the loops of the last figure eight together to keep the strand from unraveling. 

To add a decorative end to the beginning of the strand, slip another figure eight through the center section of that first figure eight, and tie its loops together.


To make the florets at the corners, hot-glue two figure eights together back-to-back, then glue them to the garland at the corners after it is hung in place.