How to Build a Self-Standing Column for a Wedding

Written by samantha kemp
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How to Build a Self-Standing Column for a Wedding
Make decorative columns to make your wedding elegant. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Columns add an elegant touch to your wedding, but each column can add hundreds of dollars to your budget. Fortunately, you have the option to make your own columns at a fraction of the cost. A simple box with added moulding is the general template for your column. Alternatively, you can use a building form and plaster of Paris. Finish up with the appropriate paint technique that gives you the image that you desire.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 1/4-inch plywood
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Nail gun
  • Moulding
  • White paint
  • Building form with 10-inch diameter
  • Saw
  • 2 building forms with 8-inch diameter
  • Duct tape
  • Insulation foam
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Plaster of Paris
  • White sheet

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    Rectangular Column

  1. 1

    Cut four pieces of 1/4-inch plywood. Use a table saw and make 90 degree angle cuts to the size that you want your column. Subtract the height of the column's top and bottom moulding from your measurement.

  2. 2

    Attach two pieces of plywood together to form a corner. Use wood glue and nails to connect the two pieces together.

  3. 3

    Add another plywood piece to the other two to make the second corner. Use wood glue and nail in place. Add the final piece of plywood to form a rectangular box.

  4. 4

    Apply fluted moulding if desired. Fluted moulding usually comes in 8-inch sections and adds texture and architectural detail to your column. Saw the moulding into two equal sections for each side of your column. Apply wood glue to your box and attach each piece of moulding with your nail gun, working on one side at a time.

  5. 5

    Saw off eight pieces of baseboard that are 3/4 inches wider than the column. Mitre the baseboards at 45 degrees, with one side of each baseboard being a right mitre and the other side a left mitre. These baseboards will provide the moulding detail for your column.

  6. 6

    Add a layer of wood glue to the baseboard sections. Line up the mitred ends and place the flat bottom edge flush against the top of the column and the bottom of the column. Nail in place.

  7. 7

    Paint the column and moulding. White paint is ideal for weddings. Apply a crackle finish with a crackle medium after your white paint has dried to give an aged look to your column.

    Round Column

  1. 1

    Place a building form with a 10-inch diameter on your working station. You will use this material for the top and bottom of your round column. Saw off two pieces of building form of about 1-foot sections and set aside.

  2. 2

    Place one piece of building form that has an 8-inch diameter on top of another building form of the same size. Bind the two forms together with duct tape where they meet.

  3. 3

    Attach strips of insulation foam to the column. Each section should be about 6 inches wide and stretch the length of the two attached building forms. Staple the insulation foam to the column in strips about every 4 inches. The insulation form is used to create texture for your column. You can use other available supplies, such as batting, newspaper or plastic sheeting as an alternative.

  4. 4

    Place the 1-foot wide, 10-inch diameter round on top of the two attached building forms. Wrap insulation form around the entire top. Staple in place. Repeat the process with the other 10-inch diameter round for the column's bottom.

  5. 5

    Tear a white queen-size bed sheet into four equal pieces. You will dip the sheets into plaster, so be sure that you are using a clean white sheet so no stains or colour are visible.

  6. 6

    Mix your plaster of Paris according to the manufacturer's instructions. Saturate one piece of sheet with the plaster. Adhere the sheet to the column. Rub the sheet so that there are no air bubbles.

  7. 7

    Add your other strips of plastered sheets to the column. Add sheets to the top and bottom of the column. Let dry.

  8. 8

    Place the column in the location of your choice. Add a bag of cat litter or beans underneath the column. This will help support the column and make it self-standing.

Tips and warnings

  • Use disposed tubes that hold carpet for a green alternative to the building forms.

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