Hurricane Candle Holder Repurposed Into A Small Bistro Table

I've joined forces with several tool savvy, skill sharing blogging friends to encourage and empower our female readers to step out of their comfort zones and try simple projects they can make themselves using a power tool. This month our featured Power Tool for the One Power Tool Challenge is a Jigsaw.

Several weeks ago I purchased two metal bistro chairs for a song at an online auction. Unfortunately, a bistro table didn't come with them.

When racking my brain trying to figure out what I could make using a Jigsaw, I remembered deep in the bowels of my storage room was a metal and glass base hurricane candle holder that I refused to get rid of. Low and behold, the metal was a perfect match for the chairs!

Now you're probably wondering; Marie, what the heck does a Bistro Table have anything to do with BACK TO SCHOOL?
absolutely noth'n

When reading the rules for this months challenge my menopausal brain saw the word JIGSAW, and Jigsaw only.

Back to School days are so far in my rear view mirror now that I'm in the Grandma phase of life that my brain leaped right over those three words.

Words that used to give me hives!

I hated back to school shopping, I found it worse than Christmas Shopping. My kids didn't need a timeout during those shopping trips - I did!

So it must have been a Freudian slip that my brain bypassed that tidbit of information.

So here is my Not So Back To School Hurricane Candle Holder Repurposed Into A Small Bistro Table.  A table that took longer to paint than it did to assemble!

Turning a hurricane candle holder into a Bistro Table

Materials List

  • 3/4" plywood (25" square) (Home Depot sells off cuts in smaller sizes)
  • 1 x 1 lumber
  • Jigsaw
  • Jigsaw blade for wood
  • Mouse Sander
  • Power Drill
  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Wood glue
  • 1 1/4" nails
  • Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Paint & Primer Semi-Gloss White
  • Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Paint & Primer Satin Aqua
  • Rust-oleum Semi-Gloss Sealer Clear
This is what the candle holder looked like before...

Hurricane Candle Holder Before

How To Make A Table Top Using a Jigsaw

Step 1: Creating a table top template

In PicMonkey, I created a template for the design using a Spirograph overlay. Then using the erase tool, I removed all the detail inside the graphic.

Pattern to make a Bistro Table Top

Step 2: Enlarging the graphic

In Block Poster, I set the size of the poster to 24" x 24" and saved it on my computer. The poster printed onto 6 sheets of paper.  I taped them together and cut out my template.

Template for making a bistro table top

Step 3: Tracing the table top pattern onto plywood

Next, I taped the template onto the wrong side of the plywood.

TIP: By working on the wrong side you avoid chipping out (rough cut splitting of the wood) and will get a nice clean cut on the good side (top).

Tracing template onto plywood for making a bistro table top

Using a sharpie marker (unlike my pencil mark) trace the template onto the plywood.

TIP: a jigsaw creates a lot of sawdust build up which makes a pencil line difficult to see.  A dark sharpie mark makes it more visible.


I was almost too embarrassed to take a picture of my jigsaw.  It's a relic from decades gone by, but it works.

Cutting a bistro table top using a jigsaw

Step 4: Cutting the table top pattern

Now it's time to cut the pattern using a jigsaw but first I want to provide a few helpful tips.
  1. Wear safety glasses.
  2. ALWAYS unplug the jigsaw before changing or adjusting the blade.
  3. Ensure the blade is not touching the wood when starting a cut.
  4. Cut along the outside edge of your sharpie mark.
  5. Keep the metal plate level with the plywood while cutting.
  6. To turn the jigsaw around corners and curves, drill holes using a pilot drill bit on your power drill (staying outside your sharpie mark).  This allows you to pivot the blade while you are cutting.
  7. Let the blade stop moving before lifting it out of the wood.  This helps avoid bending or breaking the blade.
  8. Don't worry if your cuts are not perfect, you can always go back and remove any excess wood and clean it up like I did.
There are great tutorials available online and if you are still feeling a little nervous, I've included a YouTube video for you HERE.  

Cleaning up around the jigsaw cuts for a bistro table top

Step 5: Sanding the rough edges

Using a sander (I used a mouse sander) smooth all the edges.

Sanding jigsaw cuts on a bistro table top smooth using a power sander

Step 6: Making guides to secure onto base

This is how I secured the table top onto the candle holder allowing the top to be removed to change the display inside the glass hurricane.

I placed my candle holder upside down onto the underside of the top.  I marked a pencil line on each side of the metal scrolls.  Using 1 x 1 lumber, wood glue, and 1 1/4" nails, attach the blocks on each of the marks.

Wood guides to secure bistro table top onto the candle holder base

Step 7: Match pattern on chairs onto table top

I wanted to repeat the pattern on the wooden seats onto the table top.  To do this, I measured the top to locate the center and placed a seat onto the table.  I poked an Awl through each hole and pressed firmly so the pattern would be marked onto the plywood.  Then I put the Awl back into the top hole and simply pivoted the seat onto the opposite side and repeated the process.  To make each hole the same size as the ones on the seats I used a pilot hole drill bit.

Recreating the pattern from the bistro chairs onto the bistro table

Bistro Table finished and ready to paint

Now for the pretty!

Step 8: Spray painting the base

I sprayed the metal candle holder with several light coats of Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Paint & Primer Semi-Gloss White.

Step 9: Painting the table top

I sprayed the table top with several light coats of Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Paint & Primer Satin in the color Aqua.

Bistro Table Top painted in Aqua color

Step 10: Protecting the finish

The base and table top were both protected with three coats of Rust-oleum Semi-Gloss Clear Sealer.

Step 11: Filling the hurricane base

I love how the glass hurricane can be changed for the seasons.  I filled mine with decorative sand and seashells for Summer.  During the holidays, I might fill it with faux snow and a large ornament.  The possibilities are endless!

Filling the glass hurricane base with sand and sea shells

Bistro Table Top secured to the hurricane candle holder base

I like it much better as a Bistro Table than I did as a hurricane candle holder!

Hurricane Candle Holder used as a base for DIY Bistro Table Top

So while my Bistro Table has zero connection with the Back To School theme unless it's being used as a respite for Mom while the kids are in school, I did use a Jigsaw.

I hope my project inspired you to pick up a jigsaw and make a table top for yourself.  For the base, you could use a tall plant stand, an umbrella stand or even a wine barrel.  The contents of the later could be enjoyed around your table after the kiddies are all nestled in their beds.

I'll be sharing the Bistro chairs next Tuesday but in the meantime here is a sneak peak...

Hurricane Candle Holder to Bistro Table for One Power Tool Challenge

Now let's go see what each of the talented group of bloggers created.  If you like what you see please Pin directly from their blog rather than the links below.

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