tree homemade candle holder DIY

With spare wood lying around, I looked online, and I brought a 40 mm spade drill bit so that I could carve the perfect holes out of wood to make some nice rustic tea light candle holders. I should have known better than to buy the cheaper option, not only because of the long wait for delivery, when I probably could have sourced it from within the UK, but mainly because; from experience - the items that are imported from China are very much the lowest possible quality, made as cheaply as possible, and do not last very long.

When it finally arrived, I was extremely excited to start making some candle holders. The magic number was four, I made four candle holders before the drill bit snapped, this was all in a small timeframe, within 1 hour, the item was no longer usable and my candle holder journey came to its sad end, not to say I will give up, I will just pay more for something that is up to the job. What did I make?

Using recycled wooden timber, I cut a square out of it, made the perfect tea light candle hole, sanded it all over, and wow, what a result. I was left with a rustic candle holder made out of reclaimed wood that was finished with a perfect carved floral frangipani flower candle that would look good on a dining table.

handmade wooden square candle holder

Then with the leftover Norwegian spruce log and root that I had in storage, I have done the same and created a set of two round wooden holders (a small and larger one) and an extraordinary holder out of the root itself. This was a naturally quirky design. If you decide to make a homemade, handmade candle holder, make sure that you use trusted tools. When the metal drill bit snapped, the drill moved around like mad and could have easily caused some damage.

spade drill bit

If you want to make your own candle holders, you will need a few items before you can get started, here are some of them. Firstly you will need some type of wood for the base of the candle holder, a tealight candle holder, tools for the making process, and some safety equipment.


If you have all of those items, feel free to move on, and follow our guide to getting started. 

Step by step process

wood carving tool station

1. The first step would be to ensure you are protected by wearing the safety equipment mentioned above.

2. Then prepare your wood, if it is a perfect size then skip this step but if not cut it to the size you would like it using a handsaw.

3. Using a ruler or tape measure, measure the wood to find the centre, mark it with an x so that you know where to drill. 

4. Place your wooden piece in a clamp or vice of some sort to avoid it spinning out of control. Then go ahead and start drilling into the x with the 40mm spade drill bit. Do this a little at a time, and keep testing to see whether the tealight candle fits or not. Repeating this process until it does.

5. When the hole is good and the candle fits well. Remove the candle and give the holder a once over with sandpaper to remove any sharp edges and to smoothen the wood. 

6. If you wanted to you could put a finish on the wood, this could be a wood stain varnish or a natural based oil just to bring out character within the grain. This step is optional, but finally, make sure you take a picture and tag us on Instagram @carved_culture

Safety tips

Wood is naturally flammable and so if you intend to make your own candle holders, you should ensure that when in use the candles are not left unattended. You must use a metal insert to avoid the risk of the wood igniting. We do not recommend burning candles without a candle shield but if you ignore this advice and don't use a candle shield, you should not allow the candle to burn down to the holder as this would increase the risk of starting a fire.

Up next: Wood Carving for Beginners (Course)


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