For wedding and housewarming gifts for some of our dearest friends, Mike and I like to give handmade sconces. We started this tradition by finding a scalloped antique silver tray, hacksawing off the arms of a candelabra so that only the candleholders and their short connecting branches remained, and then screwing the two together for a shimmering, candlelight fixture. Since then Mike and I have dabbled with other tray materials and shapes–but the one element that always stays the same is a Jamali nickel-plated brass candelabra.
Good-looking, inexpensive and easy to dismantle, its scrolling silver arms have become an integral part of our sconce project–but the center candle? Junk. Though this shiny, shapely, armless remnant could easily function as a candlestick, it is too awkwardly disproportionate to display, though it’s also too well made and intriguing to chuck. So, what to do with our mounting collection of gawky silver pillars? Turn them into paper towel holders.
This may seem like a bizarre train of thought, but after seeing Umbra’s Baluster paper towel holder (right), the idea made perfect sense to me. Umbras curvy, luminous kitchen accessory showed us that a relatively mundane device doesn’t have to look the part. Our re-purposed candlestick proudly displays its shiny base and finial, while the paper towel roll covers its funny neck–plus, it’s a pleasant surprise to see the holders curves and detail each time you replenish the towel supply.
So now if you ever receive a sconce from me, you can also look forward to a complementary paper towel holder.