Build A DIY Bistro Table Set Using A Hurricane Candle Holder

How to build a DIY bistro table set using a hurricane candle holder and upcycle second-hand bistro chairs to match.

Several weeks ago I purchased two metal cafe chairs for a song at an online auction. Unfortunately, they didn't come with a table. Instead of spending months searching for a metal bistro table to pair with them, I had another idea in mind.

One of my creative passions is to reimagine secondhand finds into reloved treasures and give them a new purpose. I knew with a little imagination, I could repurpose my old glass hurricane candle holder into the perfect bistro table to go with my newfound chairs!

How to turn a hurricane candle holder with metal base and thrift store bistro chairs into a unique one-of-a-kind DIY Bistro Table Set for summer.

DIY Bistro Table Set From Hurricane Candle Holder

The motivation for this project is that I recently joined the Power Tool Challenge Team and the power tool theme this month is a jigsaw. My upcycled hurricane candle holder base turned bistro table needed a top and that's where my jigsaw came in.

If you've never heard of the Power Tool Challenge Group it is a team of tool-savvy female DIY bloggers who come together each month to share a handmade project using a specific power tool.

The goal of this group is to motivate, inspire, teach, and empower our female readers to pick up a power tool and create something with their own hands.

How to build a DIY bistro table set using a hurricane candle holder and unifying second-hand bistro chairs to match.

Before we begin, let's take a look at my inspiration piece; the metal and glass hurricane candle holder.

How to upcycle a hurricane candle holder and turn it into a one-of-a-kind DIY bistro table.

Can you see my vision for how it would make a perfect base for a bistro table?

Realizing not everyone has access to a metal hurricane candle holder. Alternatively, you could use a metal plant stand, an umbrella stand, or even a wine barrel as a bistro table base. Let your imagination run wild with a table base potential.

How to build an upcycled hurricane candle holder bistro table.

I built the tabletop so it is portable and can be easily removed to display interesting objects inside the glass hurricane candle holder.

You'll see in the photo below that I filled it with sand and seashells to give the bistro set a coastal vibe. But it would be fun to change it for the seasons year-round and I've included some suggestions further down in the post.

How to build a coastal DIY bistro table with a hurricane glass base for summer.

These are the metal bistro chairs found at a local auction. All they need is a little refresh but the wooden seats became the inspiration for the DIY bistro tabletop.

Second-hand DIY bistro table chairs before a coastal makeover.

The paint was a little chippy and the feet a little rusty but nothing a new coat of spray paint can't handle. The worn wooden seats were just waiting for a pop of color.

How to turn a hurricane candle holder with metal base and thrift store cafe chairs into a unique one-of-a-kind Coastal Bistro Dining Set for summer.

What You'll Need To Make It

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from any qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Supply List

Glass Hurricane Candle Holder (had on hand)
25" Piece 3/4" plywood (salvaged) (Home Depot sells offcuts in smaller sizes)
1" x 1" Nailing Strips (salvaged)
Blossom White Spray Paint
Aqua Spray Paint
Clear Coat Sealer
Jigsaw and Wood Jigsaw Blade
Mouse Sander
Power Drill
Wood Glue
1 1/4" Nails

Steps To Make A DIY Bistro Table Set

Don't let the numerous steps in this tutorial intimidate you, making this bistro set is easy. I wanted to be very thorough in outlining the step-by-step process for you.

How To Build A Scalloped Plywood DIY Bistro Table Top

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make the DIY bistro table set, let's talk a little bit about safety. Please read the infographic below before starting this project.

Making Bistro Table Top Template

Step 1 - Creating a Scalloped Table Top Template

In PicMonkey, I created a template for the design using the spirograph overlay. With the erase tool, I removed the detail inside the graphic.

DiY bistro tabletop design with scalloped edge.

Step 2 - Enlarging Scalloped Table Top Template

In Block Poster, set the size of the scalloped graphic to 24" x 24" and upload it on your computer. The poster will print on six letter-size sheets of paper. Tape them together and cut out the template.

Scalloped edge template to build a DIY bistro table.

Step 3 - Trace Scalloped Pattern Template Onto Plywood

Next, tape the template onto the WRONG side of the plywood.

Pro-Tip 1

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

Transferring scalloped template design on to plywood for DIY bistro table.

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

Pro-Tip 2

A jigsaw creates a lot of sawdust build-up which makes a pencil line difficult to see. Using a black marker makes the line more visible during the cutting process.

Cutting Wooden Bistro Table Top With A Jigsaw

I was almost too embarrassed to take a picture of my relic jigsaw but it works.

Cutting scalloped design with a jigsaw for a DIY bistro table top.

Step 1 - Helpful Tips When Using A Jigsaw

  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. Wait until the blade stops before lifting it out of the wood. This helps avoid bending or breaking the blade.
  7. 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 (pictured below).
  8. To turn the jigsaw around corners and curves, pre-drill holes with a power drill in the corners and divots but make sure you stay outside of your sharpie mark. This allows you to pivot the blade while you are cutting.
  9. There are great tutorials available online and if you are still feeling a little nervous, I've included a helpful video that I found on YouTube.

Step 2 - Sand Rough Edges

Once the scalloped wood tabletop is cut, smooth all the edges with either a mouse or palm sander. You could sand the top by hand with 150-grit sandpaper followed by 220-grit sandpaper. But it is a lot easier on the arms and goes much quicker with a power sander.

A scalloped wood DIY bistro table top after sanding it smooth to prep for paint.

Building Wooden DIY Bistro Table Top

In order to secure the wood tabletop onto the hurricane base but also make the top removable to change what is displayed under the glass, here's how I did it in the steps below.

Step 1 - DIY Brackets To Hold Table Top Onto Base

Place the metal candle holder base upside down onto the underside of the scalloped top. Mark a pencil line on each side of the three scrolls that form the legs. With 1 x 1 nailing strips, wood glue, and 1 1/4" nails attach blocks on each side of the marks (like pictured below). This will prevent the tabletop from moving around.

Installing 1 x 1-inch nailing strips on the bottom of the plywood DIY bistro table to hold the top in place.

Step 2 - Create Design On Bistro Table Top

In this step, I'll show you how to echo the pattern of the bistro chair seats onto the tabletop. To do this, measure the top to locate the center and place one of the wood seats onto the table. Poke an Awl through each hole in the design and press firmly so the pattern transfers onto the plywood.

Put the Awl back into the top hole and simply pivot the seat onto the opposite side and repeat the process.

Using a drill bit to match the pattern of the bistro chair seats onto the wooden DIY bistro table top.

Use a drill bit the same diameter as the holes on the chair seats and drill where you created the design with the awl (as pictured below).

A unique handmade wooden DIY bistro table top.

Now that the DIY bistro table is built, let's move on to the makeover of the bistro table chairs and how to unify them with the new bistro table.

Upcycled DIY Bistro Table Set Chairs

Step 1 - Unifying Chairs With DIY Bistro Table

To unify the metal table base with the metal bistro chairs we'll spray paint them the same color. I used gave them several light coats of semi-gloss white Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Paint Primer.

Giving second-hand bistro chairs a makeover to go with the DIY bistro table.

Step 2 - Adding A Pop Of Color

Next, I spray painted the wood scalloped bistro tabletop and the bistro chair seats with several light coats of satin Aqua, a pretty turquoise spray paint.

A one-of-a-kind turquoise and white DIY bistro table set.

Step 3 - Protecting The Finish

To protect the painted finish on the painted metal hurricane base, tabletop, and bistro chairs I sprayed three light coats of semi-gloss clear spray sealer (see supply list).

Can you use this DIY bistro table set outdoors?

The laminate wood seats on the chairs would not do well exposed to the elements BUT if the DIY bistro table set was under a covered patio or porch, they should be fine. Alternatively, the chair seats could be replaced with solid wood seats.

A unique coastal DIY bistro table set with handmade table top, hurricane candle holder base, and upcycled second-hand bistro chairs.

The coastal DIY bistro table set would also be lovely in a sunroom or breakfast nook. With the white and turquoise paint colors, I think they'd be fun in a small retro kitchen too.

How to turn a hurricane candle holder into an inexpensive handmade DIY bistro table with upcycled second-hand bistro chairs to match.

Decorating Inside Glass Hurricane Bistro Table Base

Last but not least, the fun part, decorating inside the glass hurricane base. Besides filling it with sand and seashells like I did, here are some other ideas for how to decorate the glass hurricane table base year-round.

Ideas For Decorating Glass Hurricane Base For DIY Bistro Table Set

  1. Patriotic Decor for Canada Day, Memorial Day, or 4th of July.
  2. Fairy Garden with a moss base and fairy garden miniatures.
  3. Summer Beach with sand, miniature Adirondack chair and umbrella, seashells, beach pail, and sandcastle.
  4. Camping Diorama with a fun miniature campground scene with bottle brush trees, a miniature vintage camper, a miniature tent, and a campfire.
  5. Illuminated At Night fill it with sand, small pebbles, or tiny seashells, and a flameless pillar candle on a timer.
  6. Succulent Garden with faux succulents and moss.
  7. Spring Garden with a moss base and a small birdhouse or bird nests with miniature robin eggs.
  8. Easter Display filled with colorful painted Easter eggs.
  9. Fall Display fill it with miniature faux pumpkins and gourds, or beautiful fall leaves and acorns.
  10. Winter Diorama filled with faux snow, bottle brush trees, miniature snowman, and snow-capped houses like my Christmas Snow Jars that I displayed on our fireplace mantle.
  11. Winter Display fill it with pine cones and fairy lights to illuminate in the evenings.
  12. Christmas Display filled with Christmas balls in assorted colors or finishes. Or a lighted miniature Christmas tree on a bed of snow. Fill it with small beautifully wrapped boxes and fairy lights.
  13. Christmas Diorama something like my North Pole Christmas In A Jar

I hope my tutorial on how to build a DIY bistro table set using a hurricane candle holder inspired you to think outside of the box for table ideas. But I also hope that it offered just the motivation you needed to make something, big or small, with a jigsaw!

How to turn a hurricane candle holder with metal base and thrift store cafe chairs into a unique one-of-a-kind Coastal DIY Bistro Table Set for summer. #bistrotableset #diyfurniture #repurposedfurniture

If you loved the pretty aqua color I painted the bistro set, I used the same paint to refresh this Metal Plant Stand and these Vintage Metal Nesting Tables.

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Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by this bistro dining set idea. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this unique coastal DIY bistro table set idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your favorite board on Pinterest.

How to build a DIY bistro table set using a hurricane candle holder and upcycled second-hand metal bistro chairs unified to match. #diybistrotable #coastalfurniture #repurposedfurniture

Now let's take a look at what my talented friends made with jigsaws. Click the link below to see all of their projects with links to each tutorial. Enjoy and I hope you find inspiration here!

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



  1. Hi Gail, thank you so much! This was one of those projects that came together nicely AND hard to part with.

  2. This is so fabulous Marie. What a great idea and re make. Love it! Happy Friday sweet friend.

    1. Thank you Kris, I'm glad you like it! I would've loved to put this bistro set in a sunroom or screened porch but there isn't a sunroom or a porch to be had in our little house so it went to a new forever home.😢 Happy Friday back to you my friend. xo

  3. I love love love your creativity with the table and chairs. What a cool set you created. Love visiting your blog Marie.

    1. You just made my day! So glad you like what you see here in my little corner of the blogosphere 😊 I'm glad you like my little repurposed bistro set too. It was hard watching it go to a new forever home. Thanks for the sweet comments and visit. 🤗

  4. The curve of the legs on the hurricane lamp base match the chairs so well, I honestly would have thought it was a set!

    1. I know, right! I couldn't have found better chairs to go with the candle holder. They were meant to be married together.

  5. Hi Marie!
    This is such a neat idea! I love how you created a design for the tabletop that matches the chairs. I like the aqua color you used too! Thanks for sharing at Homestyle Gathering!

    1. Thank you Kim. Its like the chairs and candleholder were meant to be. Such a fun project too!

  6. I absolutely love the creativity and style of this makeover. Really good job. I am inspired for the day! Thank you!

    1. The fact that you've walked away inspired made my Sunday! Thanks for the visit and the sweet comments. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!

  7. Love, love, love this idea. I have a metal plant stand that I've been wondering what I could do to it. Now I know! Thanks bunches!!!!

    1. AWESOME! So glad you found inspiration for your metal plant stand. Have fun!!!


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