One of my favorite rustic craft projects is making birch candle holders. When I first started seeing these in rustic home interior stores, I thought they would be fairly simple to make. If you have the right tools, the rustic candle holders really are a breeze to make. And, since birch bark looks so clean and chic, the candle holders can be incorporated into almost any decor style.
Birch candle holders were an item that were hard to keep in stock when my husband and I were selling at craft shows. So, now I actually need to make some more for myself! The instructions are simple and can be used for any type of log that you would want to use. I have made candle holders with different types of pine as well. All of these log candles holders are made to fit tea light candles.
Rustic Candle Holders Tutorial
Birch is a great tree to work with and the white papery bark is such a clean crisp look that is very desirable for many craft projects. There are several ways to gain access to birch logs for this craft. You can purchase birch logs from specialty stores or you can get a permit to cut trees from public land. Another option is to wait for a storm and then search for freshly fallen birch trees to use. Of course, if you have your own trees you can harvest or prune them as you wish.
Skill Level: Moderate
Materials Needed: birch tree sections, drill press with a circular blade or a drill with a large paddle bit, glass tea light holder, tea light candle, beads, beading wire, wire snips and polyurethane spray
This is a Foerstner’s drill bit which works great for drilling the tea light holes.
If you don’t have access to birch, there are plenty of other trees that work great for this project. We have done candle holders using different types of pine as well, which I will picture at the bottom of this post.
1. You will first need to cut a section of tree in the size you want your candle holder. Make sure the cuts are level so that it sits nice and flat.
2. Next, you will cut a hole in the top, using your drill press or drill, to fit a glass tea light holder. Go just deep enough so a little lip of the glass stands above the wood. I have seen other people make these holders by just pouring candle wax into the hole. This looks like a fire hazard to me and I highly recommend using a glass holder to fit a tea candle.
3. Coat the birch candle holder with polyurethane spray.
4. Add the tea light holder and candle to the cut hole.
More Candle Holder Ideas
If you enjoy beading and prefer a little more glam, then it is fun to embellish the birch with some wired beads. This birch craft is a fun alternative to jewelry making. With all of the different types and colors of beads available, there are endless ways to customize the look of your candle holder and give it some extra pizzazz. Since I had made so many birch candles, I thought it was time to experiment a little. I used glass beads in natural colors to keep with the rustic theme. For some extra fun try adding a special charm and some ribbon.
If you decide to add beads, it is real simple to string beads on beading wire, twisting the wire as you go to hold beads in place.
- Cut a length of wire, with wire snips, that will wrap around the candle holder and twist in the front leaving enough length for beads and twisting to hang down (as shown).
- Start by making a few twists at the end of the wire with a small round nose pliers, then began adding beads.
- Twist the wire as you go to hold the beads in place and create spacing where you want it.
- When you have the desired length, do the same thing with the other end of the wire.
- Now wrap the wire around the candle and twist it together in the front. The two beaded ends should hang down nicely in front.
You can space the beads however you want. Just hold them in place by the twist at the bottom of the bead. You can also do an additional twist at the top of the bead to keep it from sliding. However, since they are just hanging it isn’t really necessary.
Since I wanted a candle in our game room, I added dice to the next example.
Use Different Types Of Logs:
Besides birch candle holders, you can also make them using different types of pine. You can see that each type of tree has it’s own unique characteristics. Each provides a different look for a rustic setting. Just tying a simple strand of raffia around the candles is an easy way to adorn them.
Another fun idea is to strip the bark off of a log for a super clean look. See how I crafted chic birch candle holders using a stripped log with a piece of sea glass here – Beach Craft Using Sea Glass And Birch In A Candle Holder.