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Tree branch tealight holder

Tealight holder

One way to get free wood with little effort is to stand under a tree and wait for a branch to fall. Luckily for me I have a lot of trees near me so I never have to wait for too long. The thing I like about working with branches is that you can use their natural shape to guide your design. In his book The Soul of a Tree, George Nakashima talks about working with the wood to realise its true potential. I think that’s a nice way to think about it.

So for this project I wanted to make a simple wooden tealight holder. After closely studying the branches for grain pattern, shape, colour etc. I selected my pieces and made any necessary cuts with my bandsaw. But you could do this with hand tools if you don’t have one. In most cases this was just to flatten the top and bottom surfaces. I then used a 40mm Forstner bit to drill the holes for the tealights.

Forstner bit

After sanding everything down I applied a wax finish to bring out the grain pattern. You’ll see that some of the tealight holders have the bark left on. I really like this look, however over time the bark will probably peel off. So that’s something to be aware of if you’re making these as a gift or to sell.

A tealight holder is a nice and easy DIY project, maybe something to do with the little ones. Or if you’re so inclined it can be made more complex where you experiment with different shapes and finishes. Whatever your preference, it’s a great way to clean up your garden and make something useful at the same time. And if you go with what the tree provides, and work with the wood, each one will be truly unique.

If you’d like to make one of these, or have one made for you, feel free to contact me. Or you can receive my newsletter to get the latest news, updates and projects straight to your inbox.