Working with Nature: DIY Log Candle Holder

For Thanksgiving this year, I'm trying to imagine how the pilgrims would have set their tables. Oh I know what you're thinking – that the pilgrims would have been too busy trying to survive to worry about setting an attractive table. I'm sorry but I refuse to believe there wasn't one style savvy pilgrim who would have thought to drill holes into a log so he could use it as a candle holder!

I'm using logs and sticks to create a centerpiece for my Thanksgiving table this year. So when I pulled this flat log from a friend's firewood bundle last month I just knew it had to become part of my table setting.

As you can see in the photos, it took very little to convert this log into a candle holder. First, I measured and marked where I wanted to drill the holes for the candles. Then I chose a drill bit that was closest in size to the base of the taper candles. I wanted a very snug fit for the candles so I actually started with a 5/8" drill bit but it ended up being a little too small. After drilling one 5/8" hole, I tried the candle, realized it was too small, then switched to the 3/4". It turns out that the 3/4" bit is the perfect size – the holes are still small enough that the candles need to be twisted into them for a snug fit. And that's exactly what I was looking for – a snug fit for the candles. After all, I don't want one of the candles to accidentally fall out of holder and start the whole dining table ablaze!

You may notice in the photos that I used a stack of magazines under the log while drilling. The magazines were an efficient way of protecting the boards of my deck from getting inadvertently drilled when the tip of the bit went all the way through the log.

Naturally, since this is a candle holder made out of a very dry piece of wood, I won't want to leave burning candles unattended. Plus, when the tapers burn down to about an inch, I'll extinguish them and replace them with fresh candles.

Images: Jason Loper

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