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How much wood could a handy girl chuck if a handy girl could find wood? Ha, luckily I found a fallen tree in the woods behind our house. I brought a handsaw with me and cut it into into a manageable size that I could drag back to the house.

I’m really excited about this gift idea! These log pillar candles are the perfect accessory for anyone’s table or mantle this holiday season (and beyond the holidays.)


  •  3″ or wider diameter logs cut into 5″, 7″ and a 10″ length
  • Drill (with extra charged battery)
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Clamps or clamping work table
  • 1″ spade drill bit
  • 1.5″ spade drill bit
  • Safety Glasses
  • Tea Lights


  • Craft paints: Burnt Umber, Lt. Blue, Black and Dark and Light Green
  • Frayed paint brush
  • Sea sponge
  • Palette for mixing paints



In order to keep this gift to 15 minutes or less, cut your wood ahead of time. You don’t have to use a power saw or chainsaw. You can use a regular handsaw for this. If you do use a power saw (like a miter saw, circular saw or a reciprocating saw), make sure you clamp the long side of your log before cutting.

Sand the ends of your logs. (Hand sand, or clamp your palm sander in the work table.)

Clamp the first log in the table. Start with the 1″ spade bit and make a shallow hole in the center of the log. Next use the 1.5″ spade bit to drill a hole deep enough to hold a tea light. (note: I found that it was faster to pre-drill the smaller 1″ hole and then move up to the 1.5″ bit. But you could skip the 1″ bit if you want.)

The tea light should sit just slightly above the log top to minimize the potential for the log to catch fire.

Repeat for the other two logs. Insert a tea light into each one and behold the beauty.


Optional: Painting Moss & Lichen

I love the look of mossy and lichen covered logs. In order to appease my desire for color, I faked some greenery on  the logs.

Mix up a brownish green color and paint spots onto your logs. Dab the paint with a sea sponge.

I like the added color, don’t you?

Seriously, are these the cutest pillar candles you’ve ever seen?

I think I need to make myself a set now!

Wouldn’t the medium-sized pillar make an amazing unity candle for a wedding ceremony? Simply gorgeous!

Come back tomorrow and all next week to see more of 10 Days of 15 Minute DIY Gifts here.

10 days of 15 minute DIY gift ideas

And don’t forget to link up your quickie gift ideas on Friday, December 14th!

Just curious, are you enjoying the gift ideas? Or are do you prefer to shop for your gifts?

Caution: Never leave any candles unattended. 

Some other great Link Parties happening: Serenity Now Blog Weekend Bloggy Read


35 replies
  1. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    This idea would make a nice Christmas centerpiece. I love it!! It just needs to start feeling like Christmas here in NC. Enjoy your blog.

  2. marti
    marti says:

    I live on a logging road and much to my family’s dismay, I made them help me collect
    a whole basket full of rounds, as I call them. Shorter, but most are bigger around. I was going to
    set the candles on top but this is so much better. I couldn’t
    figure out how to drill them out…..duh…thanks for showing us!!!

  3. Jenna
    Jenna says:

    I love the way you painted moss onto the logs… I never would have thought of that, but it really does make a big difference! These turned out great.

  4. Lucky
    Lucky says:

    I’m thinking of turning my Christmas tree into these and putting them in the rarely-used fireplace. I would also suggest getting a flame retardant spray (made for fabrics) and soak the tops before inserting the candle. Safety first ‘n stuff. Beautiful post!

  5. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    I love this project! I did similar in October for our Thanksgiving table and loved it so much I have done another set using a birch log for the Christmas table. Single votive holders and a longer log with several holders drilled out. I didn`t paint mine, but I do love how it looks.
    Debbie 🙂

  6. Emily
    Emily says:

    Lovely idea!
    You can use battery-operated flameless tealights instead of candles for a similar effect.
    (Don’t have to be concerned about fire hazard)
    You can also grow real moss on the logs.

  7. Justin Knox
    Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the idea! These are truly beautiful and unique candle holders. My wife and I are wanting to utilize candles in creative way more. Unfortunately, I do not have the tools to make these holders. Do you know of anywhere that sells unique candle holders?


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