How to Make a Restoration Hardware Concrete Fire Column

by Diane Henkler on 08/26/2011

Knock Knock…Hack Hack… that is what I have been doing the past few days to create a trio of knock-off Restoration Hardware Concrete Fire Columns. I was inspired by this one I saw in the Restoration Hardware catalog.  I immediately was reminded of the building tubes I used to use to set up store displays and knew I could inexpensively make my own DIY version of one of these concrete fire columns.   Here is the RH version.

FRom-the-REstoration-Hardwa

Here are the three I made – they are not eco-friendly gel fueled, just plain ole candlelight fueled.

Restoration-Hardware-Hack--

Concrete-Fire-Candle-Column

I sit out on my patio in the autumn a lot as it is my FAVORITE time of year. I wanted to get it all ready for the season by adding some ambiance for nights I like to go outside, relax on the chaise, and stargaze into the autumn sky.

Trio-of-DIY-Restoration-Har

 

Restoration Hardware also has a tabletop version.  That was the easiest one to make. I would just glue a round of felt to the bottom so you won’t scratch your table.

Restoration-Hardware-Table-

 

The hardest part of the entire project is picking up the 80 pound bag of concrete. I had my hubby help me with that.  I bought the rocks at the Dollar Tree.

Knock-off-Restoration-Hardw

 

The tall glass hurricane is from Michaels. The two smaller ones I picked up at my local thrift store.

Restoration-Hardware-Knock-

 

When I was buying the stones at the Dollar Tree I also picked up a little bit of Autumn Pixi-Dust in the way of some fake autumn leaves in hopes that the magic of Autumn is soon upon us and the heat of this summer is a thing of the past.

How-to-make-concrete-fire-c

 

How-to-make-a-concrete-fire

 

How-to-make-a-Laguna-Tablet

How To Make a knock off of a Restoration Hardware Concrete Fire Column

 

Supplies Needed:

1 Quick Tube – they sell them in the building supplies areas at home improvement stores. Cost about $8.  I used an 8” diameter one that was about 4’ high

2 80 pound bags of  Commercial Grade Quikcrete.  This was enough to make all three.   This mix has less stones in it and will produce a much smoother surface then the other mixes.  Look for the green and white bag.

Big mixing bucket – I used a 5 gallon paint can that they sell at Lowes.
Stirring stick – I used a leftover piece of PVC pipe, but a 2 x 4 would work
Water
Gloss paint any color – I used spray paint
Piece of plywood or a plastic drop cloth
Level
Coffee Can
Rubber gloves
Eye and nose protection
Box cutter
Sanding block and coarse sandpaper
 

1.  The cardboard building forms look like this. They come in many different diameters. I used an 8” one.  Make sure you are getting one that is at least 1 –inch wider than the glass hurricane you plan to use to put on it.

Building-Form

 

2.  Figure out how tall you want each column.  I gauged mine on the height of my chaise and then cut the other two in  half size of each other.   The smallest one can go on a table by itself when you want candle light for dining.

Cut-quick-tube-to-size-need

 

3.  The directions from QuikCrete said to use a release agent when you want to remove the cardboard tube. The guy at Home Depot told me they didn’t sell it, but told me to spray some gloss paint inside the tube and let it dry. The gloss surface would make it easier to remove the tube when the concrete was dry.  He was right – Thanks Rob W at the Home Depot in Horsham, PA.  You were very very helpful.

Spray-paint-inside-of-tube-

 

4. Make sure the top and bottom of your cut tubes are level.

cut-sono-tubes

 

5.  I then made a bottom for each tube using a foam plate. I used duct tape to secure each plate to the bottom of each cut tube.

Paper-plate-on-bottom

Construction-tubes-ready-fo

 

6.  I then placed the tubes on a big piece of plywood I had.  Make sure the surface you place the tubes on is level.  You don’t want leaning towers of Pisa.  The plywood or plastic drop cloth is to protect the surface you are working on from the concrete.

Filled-Construction-tube

7. This step is the hardest only because the 80 pound bag of concrete is hard to move.  Get your bag of concrete right next to your mixing bucket.  Fill the bucket with 2- 1/2 quarts of water. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands – then use a scoop ( I used a plastic container) to slowly add half the bag of concrete to the water in the bucket.

Supplies-needed-to-make-a-k

 

8.  Mix it gradually and make sure you stir it well before adding more mix.  Do not add the whole bag you will never be able to stir it!  Add slowly a little bit of mix, stir etc. The directions on the bag say to  wear safety glasses and one of those little white masks as you add the mix to the water. The mix is very fine and you don’t want to get it in your eyes or lungs.

You can add a bit more water if needed to get a nice smooth consistency.

Mixed-concrete-should-look-

 

9. Once you like the consistency, use your scoop to add the concrete to the tube.  Push the PVC pipe into the tube once it is 1/3 of the way filled to make sure you are packing the concrete in and getting rid of any air pockets.  Keep filling and pushing the PVC pipe  until the tube is filled.  If you run out of concrete mix.  Start another batch and then continue to fill the tubes.

Fill-tube-with-wet-concrete

10.  To make the indent for the glass hurricane to fit in – press a coffee can into the top. This coffee can just happened to be the perfect size.  You may have to find something that is a bit wider than the hurricane you are going to use.

Center it and gently push down.   This will make some of the concrete come out. You want the coffee can down at least 1/2”  – 1”.

Coffee-Container-to-make-to

 

11.  Smooth around the can with your gloved finger until it is smooth getting rid of the excess that has spilled out.  Gently rotate the can a few times to make sure the concrete on the sides of it are not going to dry to the column.  As the column dries repeat rotating the can during the first few hours of drying time to ensure it doesn’t become a permanent part of the column.

Center-coffee-can-on-top

12.  After a few hours you can remove the can. It will look like this. Let the column dry at least for 24 hours or longer depending on how humid the air is.

Remove-coffee-can

13.  Once the column is dry – use a box knife to cut away the cardboard tube from the column.  Spray it with a hose if needed to help you remove the tube.  Mine came off easily.

Use-Box-knife-cutter-to-rem

use-water-if-needed-to-remo

14. Tip the column to the side to remove the plate from the bottom.

Remove-tube

 

15.  The excess concrete along the bottom edge will come off easily with sandpaper.

Remove-plate

 

16. Put coarse sandpaper on a sanding block and go over the top surface to smooth.

Coarse-Sandpaper

 

17.  You can also use the sandpaper to get rid of any ridges along the bottom and sides of the column as well as any paint or cardboard that might have stuck. It comes right off with the sandpaper.

Remove-cardboard-tube

18. Place your glass hurricane on top.

How-to-make-a-kncok-off-Res

 

It is still very hot here, but

Concrete-Candle-Column

 

I am hoping the Dollar Tree Pixi-Dust I bought does its magic soon.

Outdoor-Decorating-Ideas-fo

 

Crisp cool nights under a blanket gazing at the stars…

Concrete-Fire-Columns-at-ni

Ahhhhh….Bliss xo Autumn

Restoration-Hardware-copy-o

 

 

 

 

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HollyG August 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Holy AWESOMENESS Diane!!! I want those and a glass of wine and some great music – all by sitting by a nice fire outside. Incredible work!

Reply

2 Rachelle August 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm

This is awesome! I have some concrete left over from another project and I am totally trying this with it!

Reply

3 mary beth August 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Wow that was a lot of hard work! I’m tired just hearing about it! They look spectacular and you should really enjoy sitting out on the deck admiring them..I know I would!

Reply

4 nancy August 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm

how cool! thanks for sharing your project! xoxo’s Nancy

Reply

5 Kim August 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Diane, you are so smart. Those look great.

Reply

6 brandi August 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I can feel fall in the air. Diane, this is amazing! I love it! your tutorial was so easy to follow. thank you for sharing.

Reply

7 antiquechase August 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

YOU ARE A GENIUS!!! Way to GO!!

Reply

8 Andrea August 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

What a fabulous idea. Great job on your knock off!!

Reply

9 Pamela Manes August 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

How cool is that? Amazing and amen to stopping the crazy heat.
~Pam
pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

Reply

10 elizabeth August 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Can I tell you your the coolest? Because well, I think you’re the coolest!!!! How brave of you to try and how awesome the way they turned out!

Cheers to cool fall breezes coming to us soon!

Reply

11 Lynne August 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I look forward to your DIY ideas.
Once again you are
AMAZING!

Reply

12 Cap Creations August 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm

What a neat tutorial! Thank you for sharing! Come say hi sometime!
http://blog.capscreations.com/

Reply

13 Madigan at madiganmade August 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

One word: genius!

(love it Diane!)

Reply

14 Rosemary August 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Awesome!

Reply

15 Tammy August 27, 2011 at 4:29 am

WOW! those are amazing, I may have to attempt these for when summer rolls around!

Reply

16 Simple Daisy August 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

Those are awesome!!! You are amazing:)

Reply

17 Tania August 27, 2011 at 9:10 am

Very cool! You’ve done a great job and thanks so much for the tutorial!!

Tania

Reply

18 Aimee Steckowski August 27, 2011 at 11:00 am

LOVE these — they will look great on my new patio. Thanks for sharing!!! :)

Reply

19 Jamie August 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

Wow!! I am totally going to do this for our back patio. They’ll go perfectly with that DIY pallet table I also have to have! I see some heavy lifting in my future….

Reply

20 Stephanie@cre8tive August 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Wow Diane, those are so cool! You never cease to amaze me on what you are willing to tackle. Those would stand up to our high winds at my house, I just might have to make me a couple. Thanks for the tutorial.

I used those same forms for pillars at a wedding! I covered them in fabric and put a 5 gallon lid on top that I spray painted, they worked like a charm.

Super duper hot here in San Diego, I hope we get back to our pleasent weather soon, I am melting.

Reply

21 Mimi August 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Wow what a great tutorial you make me want to do this! I don’t have anywhere to put them but now I want them ;) They look fabulous!

Reply

22 Anneke @ RustiChic August 29, 2011 at 12:25 am

Thanks for the tutorial! I love this, and autumn is my absolute favorite season too!! :-)

Reply

23 melissa*320 sycamore August 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Genius, Diane! I would never be brave enough to work with concrete, but you made it look do-able!

Reply

24 Corinnea August 29, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Fantastic! I am pinning this and will make my own one day. Thanks so much for breaking it down so thoughtfully!

Reply

25 Jennifer August 30, 2011 at 4:04 am

These are great! Putting them on my to do list. :)

Reply

26 Tanya Anurag September 1, 2011 at 1:15 am

Thanks for sharing this great idea. Hope I’ll make it sometime soon.

We have a link-up party going on – Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you’d link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/2011/08/tea-time-thursdays-4.html

Reply

27 gail September 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

wow! fabulous tute! I love your knock-off!
gail
thanks for linking up and linking back, catching you this week.

Reply

28 Rebecca September 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Shut the front door! Those are amazing! I am in love with them. I want to figure out how to do some square or rectangle ones for my front yard. Any ideas for forms? Thanks for such a great tutorial!

Reply

29 Catherine September 2, 2011 at 9:31 am

you could maybe make a form with wood? not expensive wood but nail some boards together for the size you need, it should work.

Reply

30 kelli November 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

use melamine as forms. that is what we did for our counter tops….its glossy so the concrete doesn’t stick.

Reply

31 Diane Henkler November 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I have seen concrete counters made, but can melamine be formed into tubes? I guess you could slide a sheet down inside to form with tube and then pour the concrete in. Thanks for the tip.

Reply

32 Melinda Ke September 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Wow, those turned out great! I will have to try making these and hopefully they will look as good as yours. You make it look so easy, thanks for the great tutorial!

Reply

33 Krissie September 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I took this weekend to tackle this project…thanks to your detailed tutorial, they turned out great! I blogged about ‘em and linked it back to you for info. Hope that’s is ok…. thanks for the inspiration.

Reply

34 Linsey October 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I am astounded at your awesomeness right now! I opened your inspiration links and cannot believe how expensive these are to buy off the shelf. You might want to start selling them!

Reply

35 Amy October 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I’m adding this to my list of holiday projects – they’ll look great on the yoga platform my son’s building in his backyard for my daughter-in-law! (Personally, I would use the platform for my chaise lounge and umbrella drinks instead of yoga…).

Reply

36 jenny December 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Awesome! I was planning on making planters for my new yard (moved from a studio apt to a 4 bedroom house with pool deck and yard) but never thought of how nice it would be with matching lights! Thank you thank you thank you!

Chef Jen

Reply

37 Jigna January 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

This is an awesome piece. I want to make same one for my big backyard. Can we repaint surface of concrete pillars? I want to paint it in Golden/Beige/Silver colors.

Reply

38 Diane January 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

Hi Jigna -
Yes you can paint concrete. I would use Porch and Floor paint that is made
for concrete. Most paint manufacturers make a line of it. It only comes in
certain colors – maybe about 15 or so and there is usually a pamphlet of
all the colors available right next to the paint for you to view. For a
custom color you could also seal the concrete first with a concrete sealer
( sold by the paints) and then use an exterior paint over it.

Reply

39 Caroline January 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

Jigna,
You can color your wet concrete before you pour it in the tubes, or color it afterward with a concrete stain.

Reply

40 Diane January 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Thanks Caroline – I tried contacting Jigna -via email, but it was returned. I hope she comes back to see that she has not one, but two answers. Thank you so much for connecting and sharing your knowledge with us.

Reply

41 Jigna January 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thank you so much lovely Diane and Caroline. I will paint it afterward using exterior stain paint. I am planning to make 3 pairs of Concrete Pillars (3*3=9 pillars) (one pair for my living room with candles, two pairs for my backyard with real fire gel).
Just a quick another question, do you have any pictures of colored pillars? I just want to see how does it look in other colors.
Thanks a bunch.

Reply

42 Diane January 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hi Jigna-
I do not have any photos of colored concrete, but you may want to do a Google search and put in ” Colored concrete” and see what pops up. Pinterest may have a few images also.

Reply

43 GlamGals January 25, 2012 at 8:30 am

My husband is the person in our family that would help me do this! Actually, we saw something similar at a local flower shop to put a potted plant on. My husband built a square form out of old plywood and poured in the concrete like you did. When it was done we had a nice simple pedestal for the pot and surrounded it with a few others at different levels and hung a potted basket above!

Reply

44 Jigna January 27, 2012 at 9:05 am

Thanks Diane. You are a Gem.

Reply

45 Dornett February 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

wow these ideas are fabulous…..cant wait for my house to finish…..i’ll have it looking like a dream. thanks to Diane*****u r awsome!!!

Reply

46 Amanda @ Burlap & Denim March 6, 2012 at 12:54 am

Love, Pinning and would love you to link it up on my website! http://burlapanddenim.com/2012/03/party-on-mondays-1/

Reply

47 Stephanie March 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

LOVE LOVE THESE … found them last year but now own a house to make them for. It is a townhouse and the doors are inset so it’s hard to find someone’s place in the evening. I am going to put them in my front flower bed – making the middle one 1/3 shorter than the tallest one and the shortest one the size of your middle one (guesss I will need 2 forms). On the middle one I am going to insert house number screws on the side of the column (the kind you use to make your numbers stand out from the wall) and when all said and done attach my numbers and place a solar spot light in the garden to light it up. Then I think 2 will get plants or maybe solar lights (the deck post kind) burried in rocks to add an extra glow. Thanks so much!

Reply

48 Diane March 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hi Stephanie – they will look great in a garden or flower bed. I like the idea of the house numbers too, Very clever.

Reply

49 Dominika July 24, 2012 at 2:41 am

It is just a simple truth – all you need is creativity. Some make money on it, others do it (almost) for free. The ultimate advantage is you’ll always have your very own, unique copy. I like your columns very much.

Reply

50 Michelle August 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Love this idea…I will be making these for my garden and yard.
Thank for the instructions. Very clever;):)

Reply

51 Ros November 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

Thank you for such a great project! Can’t wait to try it. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Reply

52 Jill Capaldi February 27, 2013 at 3:53 am

Great idea, love them…must try when the weather warms up, thanks, love your ideas. :-)

Reply

53 Candle Wall Sconces July 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm

These concrete candle holders are really awesome! Thanks for taking the time to create the step by step process.

Reply

54 Victoria November 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Hi,
I am just seeing this now – I have experimented with concrete for garden projects-and if you want a more textered exterior you can do a hypertufa receipe by adding pearlite and pete moss to the concrete it make it much lighter in weight but still too heavy to fall over. You can also encourage moss to grow on hypertufa if it is in the shade. I did not know about the quick tube!! I am so going to home depot after work!!!
Diane you are amazing. Victoria

Reply

55 Diane Henkler November 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Victoria – Thanks for the tip to use pearlite and peat moss.I live where it gets cold in the Winter and will have to try it next Spring when I start doing outdoor projects again.

Reply

56 Donna December 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Those are so nicely done. I’m going to keep an eye out for cheap glass and maybe I’ll make and try to sell these for a bit of extra cash.

Reply

57 anne f February 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Try adding flat paint (left over) or house paint to your cement and get a color or trim contrast for your columns or boxes . Sometimes it comes out marbled but looks great. It doesn’t look institutional then and you make it yours. Take lots of time to tamp as your go LOTS. This takes out the air bubbles and makes it stronger . Water and ice can form in the holes and the cement doesn’t last as long , especially in cold climates where the water freezes and cracks the cement and then it starts to crumble and lets face it , these aren’t something your going to move to the garage in winter. Can be covered tho. Love you project ,very good.. A

Reply

58 Becky April 11, 2014 at 11:07 am

This was amazing, and you made it look very “do-able” Thanks. I am soooo going to try this!! Thank you again!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 14 trackbacks }