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"How-to" Build Your Own Event Pillars

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

During the pandemic the price of processed wood SKYROCKETED! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, “wholesale prices for plywood increased from $400 to $1500 per thousand square feet (roughly equivalent to retail prices of plywood increasing from about $12.80 to $48.00 per sheet).” The cost tripled.

Bump that. At that price, we almost said forget about a decorative table. Let’s just throw the damn cake on the kitchen counter and call it a day. But that wouldn’t get the Solely Stamp of Approval now would it? We don’t practice defeatist attitudes over here. Instead we hurried over to Home Depot in search of a better solution.

Particle board it was!

Yep, we’d heard the horror stories. It’s cheap. It’ll chip. The paint doesn’t stick. Don’t even waste your time. However, that’s what Solely by Tisha Starr is all about – taking items from dimmer to shimmer for a fraction of the cost.

Price of Particle Board
Home Depot Particle Board

How to Choose Your Wood

OUR money and YOUR money are two different things. Buy what your money can afford. That’s it. That’s all. If it’s high end wood - we ain't knocking that, But we’ll always explain other cost effective ways to shine.

Here are a few options.





Particle board

I personally don’t recommend plywood if a smooth finish is desired. Plywood is doable. We’ve done it! But, it takes lots and lots of sanding to get the results you want.

Since this ain’t wood shop, we won‘t delve into each specific type of wood. So lets just move right along.

How to Choose Your Tools

The tools needed are as follows:

Wood Glue

Wood Working Clamps



Sanding Paper

Sanding Sealer



Did you recognize we failed to mention a cutting tool? That’s because you can ask a store associate at your local hardware to cut the wood when you buy it. Home Depot did ours. They didn’t guarantee precise cuts but they did cut it for us, which made the job much easier. Just ask.

How to assemble

Truthfully, it’s very simple. You just build a box.

1. Place glue on the end of one board and connect to another board. Be sure to keep the boards flush on one side and use the flushed side as the base. This will keep the bottom even and prevent wobbling. It will also keep it stabilized so your treats don’t fall off when in use.

2. Clamp both ends of the board to seal them together. Then do the same with another board on the other side (as shown in pictures). Once the bottom is flush and the boards are neatly together, clamp the three boards together and allow twenty four hours to dry. Once the three sides have dried completely you can add the final board.

3. Slide the final board between the two sealed boards on the open side. Be sure to glue both ends of the final board. Don’t be cheesy with the glue – pour enough to support added weight on top of the pillar.

4. Clamp again for 24 hours to dry (of course you can reduce the steps if you have extra clamps and another person to hold in place while you work).

5. Glue down the top. Add glue to the top of your boards and place top piece directly on the glue. If you have clamps that are long enough to seal, use them for a tighter fit. If not, nail in the top as we did.

6) Add nails in even increments along all the parameters. Adding the nails will add extra security to the box. This is great for people who will rent out their pillars to party planners. It helps reduce breaking during transport.

How to Nail Pillars (DIY)
DIY Event Pillars

How to Prep Particle Board for Paint

Don’t skimp out here. Particle board will suck up anything you add to it. Therefore, the area needs to be properly prepped for a gorgeous finish.

1) If you don’t like the look of the exposed wood you will need to apply wood filler. Also, if you noticed cracks that the nails and clamps didn’t seal, add wood filler there, too. I suggest you do all three pillars at once. Then allow them all to dry for another 24 hours.

2) Sand entire surface of all three pillars. It will give the paint something to stick to. Use a low grade sanding paper first.

3) Clean all surfaces with denatured alcohol or mineral spirits.

4) Add a sanding sealer all over all three pillars. Read and follow the directions exactly as they’re stated on the can. If you don’t you will ruin your paint job. Allow exact dry time.