Turn a backyard branch into a festive tea light holder (the perfect holiday table center piece) for next to nothing with this simple DIY project. Make a few for yourself to display around the house for the holidays or make some as gifts for friends and family. This project is easy on the budget and a great beginner DIY!
- Thick tree branch
- Sanding block
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Drill or drill press
- 1 1/2″ drill bit
- Tea lights
- Paint brush
- Lacquer or polyurethane finish (optional)
1. Start by prepping your branch or log for the project. If needed, saw the branch down to a manageable size. Use a sanding block to smooth out the ends and any areas of bark that you might want removed.
2. Mark out spacing for where you want your tea light inserts on your branch. Using a drill press or drill with a 1 1/2 inch drill bit (large enough to accommodate the tea light) to drill holes into the branch where you placed your marks. Depress the drill bit approximately 1/2 to 1 inch into the log.
3. Using a fine grit piece of sand paper, sand around the edges of the holes that you drilled to remove any excess splinters or wood pieces. Dust off the branch with a dry rag to remove saw dust and splinters as you get ready for painting in the next step.
4. Here we used a bright gold gilding paint to paint the insides of the tea light inserts. Apply with a thin paint brush and let dry for the amount of time as instructed on the back of the bottle.
5. (Optional Step) Paint the ends of the branch with a bright accent color (we chose a minty green to accent the gold and pop with with holiday coloring). You can paint the ends while the top dries. If desired, finish off the branch (after the paint dries) with a spray lacquer or polyurethane finish to add a protective coat to the final piece. Let your finish dry overnight before using.
Pop in your tea lights and use the branch as a center piece on the coffee or dining table or place on the buffet or side table to accent any room!