DIY log candle holder

DIY log candle holder

DIY log candle holder


I love anything and everything DIY, so when I kept seeing pictures of gorgeous, rustic, tea light candle holders online, I knew I had to figure out how to make them myself. 

Lucky for me, my parents already had some firewood I was able to “borrow” for my project, and bonus, the bark was already off (which makes it soooo much easier to paint). So all I really had to do before I could start was let the wood sit outside for a bit. Why? INSECTS.

Make sure you let your wood dry out, preferably in an enclosed space like a garage or shed, for at least a week so you can avoid rot and insects. I kept mine in my garage for weeks, just to be safe.


Supplies Needed:

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  1. Drill: This one is similar to my Black & Decker 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Matrix Cordless Drill
  2. Spade drill bit (1.5”)
  3. Log(s)
  4. All-purpose primer
  5. Krylon Gold Metallic Spray Paint
  6. Paint brush (I used a foam brush and it did the trick)
  7. Painter’s tape
  8. Plastic shopping bag (1 for each holder you intend to make)
  9. Tea light candles
  10. Pencil
  11. Miter saw


The Breakdown: 


Choose & dry out your logs.

What aesthetic are you going for? I was drawn to the odd shapes that I could get creative with. But as long as you can safely fit a tea light candle somewhere on the log, it’s fair game.  

Cut your logs down to size.

On small (circumference), but long, logs I used a miter saw to cut them to the appropriate height I wanted. You can also go old school on the thicker logs and use a chain saw to size to whatever height you choose. Lots of ways to handle sizing.

Mark the positioning for your tea light candles.

Before you can even think about drilling the holes for your tea light candles, make sure you do a dry run of where the candles should be placed. Set them in different areas, and move them around until you love the placement, and the number of candles. Then, use a pencil to either outline your candle(s), or mark the approximate center. You can use a tape measure to be precise, but I happen to like the imperfect charm that eyeballing it gives, so no tape measure for me. 

Drill your holes.

I tried a few different methods here, but in the end the simplest and quickest one was using a drill with a 1.5” spade bit to fit the typical diameter of a tea light candle. This step takes a bit of muscle, but if I can do it, you can do it! Plus, I found that it was best to give the drill and bit a break once in a while, so you can also give your pipes a break then, too : )

Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward. Center the drill bit where you want your candle and push down as you drill. You’ll have to keep testing the depth with your candle since I’ve noticed the height of tea candles can vary. I like mine to sit almost flush with the wood, but do whatever you feel looks best. You can also use a votive holder to protect the wood from your candle flame; just make sure you use the right size drill spade bit to accommodate it.

Once your holes are drilled, brush off the sawdust, and you could be done! Or you could do as I do and move on to paint!

Prime & paint.

If you do choose to paint, use a primer first since paint will soak into the wood and you won’t get a very vibrant color. I learned this the hard way, and all I ended up doing was wasting loads and loads of spray paint that ended in a very dull golden candle holder. Boo. So take it from me, don’t cut corners. Prime first. Spray your metallic paint, or whatever paint you choose, second. I used a plastic shopping bag to protect the wood I did not want painted, and I secured it with painter’s tape.

An added benefit: The painter’s tape gives a nice, sharp, paint line. Then, grab your foam brush and apply the primer starting at the painter’s tape, and brushing downward to prevent primer from bleeding under the tape.

TIP: If you have a piece of wood that’s chipping or peeling where you want to paint, sand it down a bit first, the same way you would if you were repainting a piece of chipping furniture.

After the primer has dried, apply your paint/spray paint.  You may still need a couple layers of paint, but figure it out as you go to achieve your optimal look.


One other tip: When painting, it’s best to spray outside or in a well-ventilated area and wear a proper respiratory mask, especially when it comes to metallic paints. Metallic paints have more toxic chemicals than traditional spray paints and can be extremely harmful if not handled correctly.

Here’s what you will end up with:

Not too difficult, right? I especially love this project because many of the supplies needed are things you probably already have at home (well, if you’re a chronic DIY’r like me). The spade bit is the only thing I needed to purchase. $4.50 at Menards, btw!

And that’s it! Play around with different paint styles and colors, as well as different shapes of wood to customize this to your home decor needs/wants. It’s a great, fun, inexpensive project that you can finish in a single day that will give your home a fabulous, glowing look!

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Morgan Hanson

360-degrees of DIY-bliss. Read about my kooky ideas, creations, kids and general chaotically beautiful life. Get inspired. Learn from my mistakes. Steal my ideas. Be merry :)
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