How to Make Columns for Wedding Decorations from Carpet Tubes

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Columns can add an elegant, dramatic touch to any wedding. They can be used as the focal point for the ceremony or strategically placed to create a regal setting. Columns can be wrapped in ivy and twinkling lights or used as stands for flower arrangements or other decorations. Rented columns can be costly and limited in color and style. Using cardboard carpet tubes, you can make affordable wedding columns designed to fit the theme of the ceremony.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard carpet tube
  • Handsaw
  • 2 - 9-inch-by-9-inch pieces of plywood
  • Ruler
  • Table saw
  • Electric drill
  • Pilot bit
  • One 2-inch by 4-inch x 8-foot board
  • 2 - 1-inch wood screws
  • Drop cloth
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • Spray paint in the color of choice
  • Obtain cardboard carpet or linoleum tubes from a local carpet or hardware store. Depending on the policy of the store, they will either give them to you or charge you a small fee.

  • Use a handsaw to cut away any damage from both ends of the tube, leaving both sides flat and even. Measure the tube from top to bottom and keep this measurement for the 2-inch by 4-inch (2x4) board.

  • Measure two 9-inch by 9-inch pieces of plywood. Mark your lines with a pencil and use a table saw to cut them out.

  • Lay the plywood on a flat surface. Place the ruler along the top of the plywood and mark the center. Repeat at the bottom. Use the ruler to draw a straight line down the center of the plywood connecting both marks. Do this for both pieces of plywood.

  • Place the ruler on the side of the plywood and mark the center. Repeat on the other side. Use the ruler to draw a straight line through the middle of the plywood from mark to mark. Do this for both pieces of plywood. The point where the two lines meet is the center.

  • Use an electric drill and pilot bit to drill a hole through the center of each piece of plywood.

  • Use a table saw to cut a 2x4 to the length of the carpet tube.

  • Place the cut 2x4 on a table with one end hanging off the edge of the table. Use a 1-inch wood screw and electric drill to attach one of the pieces of plywood to the bottom of the 2x4. Screw through the hole you drilled into the center of the 2x4.

  • Slide the carpet tube over the top of the 2x4.

  • Use a 1-inch wood screw and electric drill to attach the second piece of plywood to the top of the column. Screw through the hole you drilled into the center of the 2x4.

  • Place the column on a flat surface with a drop cloth underneath. Apply a liberal coating of joint compound to the tube and all exposed areas of the plywood. Use your hands for more-even coverage. Allow the joint compound to dry.

  • Roll the column over and coat the exposed plywood in joint compound. Inspect the tube for any uncoated areas and apply joint compound. Allow the joint compound to dry completely according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • Use 220-grit sandpaper to sand the joint compound to a smooth finish.

  • Wipe the column down with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust.

  • Place the column on a drop cloth in a well-ventilated area. Apply spray paint in the color of choice to all exposed areas of the column. Allow the spray paint to dry according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • Roll the column over and apply spray paint to any uncoated areas.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cardboard carpet tubes typically come in lengths of 12 feet, but can be cut shorter to meet your needs.
  • Wear safety goggles when operating a table saw and applying spray paint to protect your eyes.

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References

  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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