Pottery Barn always finds me. Despite moving three times in the last year, those catalogs still find me. This month’s edition featured a beautiful winter table setting on the front cover, complete with a wood pillar candle. Of course, my very first thought was, “I could make that.”
Here are the materials you’ll need for this project:
- Tree cuttings that are at least 4″ in diameter (can be anywhere from 4″-8″ tall depending on your preference)
- Tealight candles or lights
- Flathead screwdriver
Side note: I used cuttings from an apple tree that we had trimmed the weekend before. It is almost always easier to drill into dry wood, so I was glad these were able to “air out” for a week or so before I began this project. If you aren’t able to cut any ample-sized branches from your own yard, try looking for fallen branches on nearby trails.
To begin, use a pencil to trace the tealight outline onto one end of each of the wood pieces. You can use traditional tealight candles or the LED version. My local dollar store happened to have a 16-pack for $1. Score. They had the LED candles too, but those were only 2/$1 and I decided to be extra cheap that day 😛
Next, use your drill to start carving into your traced circles. This was definitely the longest and most frustrating part of the process for me, but stick with it! Remember that you only need to drill down as deep as your tealights. My wood pillar candle looked like this after the first round of drilling:
After getting to this point, I used a flathead screwdriver and a hammer to chip away at the “walls” left between my drill holes. Again, definitely not the most fun part of this project. I went back and forth between the drill and screwdriver for a while until I was able to fit a candle snugly in the hole. You don’t want it to be a super tight fit because then you might not be able to get the tealight out if/when it needs to be replaced.
While at the dollar store, I also picked up a glass vase to put between each wood pillar candle. I filled it with crabapples from my yard, surrounded everything with crabapple branches, lit my new candles, and voila! The best part is that this holiday table centerpiece only cost me a whopping $2. (Maybe someday I’ll be able to drop several hundred dollars on the PB version, but today is not that day my friends.)