1. Paint the plaque, spools, and bead. Add water to black paint until it reaches the consistency of ink or watercolor paint. Using a cosmetic sponge as a brush, paint the plaque, spools, and bead black. Apply a second coat if desired. Let dry.
2. Add gold. Using a second sponge, lightly dry-brush gold paint over the surfaces, letting some of the black show through. Let dry.
3. Assemble. Referring to the photo, glue the bead to the top center of the plaque. Glue four spools on each side in a curve. Glue one spool on top of the bead for the shamas (the raised candle). Glue a flat-bottom screw cap on top of each spool. Let the glue dry.
4. Add gold ink. Tear a piece of cosmetic sponge small enough to fit between the spools, and use it to dab gold pigment ink around the plaque and onto the sides of the spools.
5. Emboss. Sprinkle gold embossing powder over the wet ink. Heat the powder with the embossing heat tool to emboss a raised surface. Repeat, using verdigris embossing powder.
6. Add black highlights. With an almost-dry sponge, lightly brush black paint on the plaque and spools to tone down the embossing and give the piece an antiqued look. Let the menorah dry thoroughly.
7. Add braid and buttons. Glue the black-and-gold metallic braid around the grooved edges of the plaque. Using wire cutters, remove the shanks from the star buttons, and glue them in front of the spools. Let glue dry.
8. Add candles. Never leave burning candles unattended.