I need to construct a pedestal - help needed

tiamariaDecember 8, 2009

I have an idea in mind and was hoping someone could help me figure a way to do it in an affordable method.

I'm designing a tablescape for a wedding. The floral centerpiece is a classic urn that needs to be high enough not to be in guests faces. This will require a riser of some sort.

Basic pedestals are too overpowering so I came up with an idea. Can someone tell me how to approach making my own pedestal?

Basically I need a 6 inch square post that is about 18 inches in height. I'm going to paint it white, trim it on the top and bottom with a molding and apply an applique to give it a classical look. The urn will sit on top. The urn is 10d x 14h with a base of 5 inches. I would love to taper the column/pedestal but I think that is more difficult to pull off.

I'm not a woodworker so I really don't know where to begin.

Hope someone can help with this idea.

Thank you!

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dont laugh, this COULD work I think...not sure how heavy your urn will be, but what if you could use a post (6 inch square seems like maybe it will be hard to find, and expensive unless you can find a scrap piece, so you may actually have to MAKE a 6 inch square base out of multiple 2x4's securred together)

and hat boxes? I think you could make this very creative and choose whatever look that fits with how you are decorating. I've seen octagonal shaped boxes, victorian patterned boxes, just about whatever you want if you dont want it already decorated, I think you can get plain brown ones, especially at the craft stores, and then paint it how you like. Places like Hobby lobby, Michael's for the plain ones, then TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Kohls' etc. would be a place to start for a patterned one.

Stack the boxes up as high as you need them, glue them together and then you could cut out an opening in each of the boxes to match the post width and depth and just use them as a decorative surround.

Or if you are set on a pedistal then I'd think that again, build your own post putting 2x4's together, and then enclose it with molding from top to bottom and then also around the top and base areas. you will be doing what people do when they put columns at their front doors, pvc columns' wrapped with molding.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 9:08AM
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You could buy an eight-foot pine 1x6, cut it into 18" lengths, nail four pieces together at their edges and then apply molding. Seems pretty straightforward.

Construction method aside, I think this thing sounds very top-heavy and unstable -- it's liable to fall over into someone's dinner when the table gets bumped. It would make me nervous to dine in the shadow of such a thing.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 9:22AM
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I'd be nervous too... this sounds like too much temptation for gravity. However, if you are going to do it, I would suggest making it much wider than you need it, especially with a wide base.

I think I'd use lumber laid flat. You could make the base of 3/4 inch plywood, and make it as big as the table will allow you without interfering with place settings. You could even make that round if the table is round. Then stack pieces of wood, maybe a foot long and progressively smaller, laid flat... 2x4 or 2x6, laid side by side, until you get to your height. Screw each level to the previous one. Make the top two layers bigger again to provide a better platform for the urn. Any chance of attaching the urn to the pedestal?

You could reduce the weight a little by using some layers of 2x2s laid as a frame, maybe alternating such frames with a layer of plywood.

Paint it, edge each layer with ribbon or what have you...

Another thought: you might be able to find a little footstool or something that is only 18" tall. Wrap in linen, and bob's your uncle, as they say.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 12:05PM
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As already mentioned, I do think this column runs the risk of being knocked and possibly tipping which would be a disaster!

I'm so glad this was pointed out. How do these big time event designers pull this kind of thing off?

I suppose if I could keep the column on the short side the danger is lessened. I just think it would look better if it were taller rather than squat.

Well thanks for the help. If there is any other way I'd like to know because I love the idea.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 4:04PM
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"How do these big time event designers pull this kind of thing off?"

Either fasten the pedestal to the floor, or fasten a large enough base of plywood on the bottom to limit tipping.

If the urn is heavy or valuable, it should be fastened to the top of the pedestal.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 4:14PM
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Thanks for answering my construction question.
I do think that this could be done as long as I put the pedestal on a base as mentioned above.

Securing the urn is another challenge. The only way to attach the urn which will be made of poly-resin or cast iron would be to utilize the fact that they are hollow at the bottom.

Do you think it's feasible to place a thick screw either in the middle of the top end of the column or at the 4 corners to provide an anti-tipping support? What if I put these supports in the corners and in the center of the post. The screws would stand as high as I could manage based on the interior height of the opening.

The foot of the urn has about 3" of space that I could do this. If I use poly-resin I could drill a hole up the center of the urn and use a taller bolt.

I probably sound ridiculous because I've never built a thing in my life. I really appreciate the help because I would be mortified should the centerpiece be unstable and fall.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 8:15AM
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Or just glue the urn to the pedestal.

Many times things are done as 'one offs' and simply thrown away after use.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 1:29PM
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I think Brickeyee is right - they cheat. Hot glue guns are their best friends. Took me years to figure that out.

Are you suggesting screwing THROUGH the base of the urn into the pedestal? That is the idea, but you'd need a darn long screw and if it's cast iron... well, good luck getting through that. If your screws are just meant to protrude upwards into the hollow base... not so useful.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 8:37PM
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"Hot glue guns are their best friends. Took me years to figure that out."

Please stop letting the secrets out. :-)

I have made all sorts of little things for TV, movie, & stage use.

Very few things are what they appear to be since all you have is an image or view from a distance.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 2:08PM
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I guess it would be wise to purchase the urns that are made of fiberglass or poly resin and not cast iron. They can be drilled according to the manufacturer.

But, hot glue gun should work nicely too.

Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 2:43PM
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