This is a super easy one tool DIY project – a DIY Tealight candle holder! I made a set of 2 -Tealight candle holders only from scrap wood. In this article, I show you the step by step process and the right way to finish these candle holders.
Tools you need
All you need is a power drill, Hole saw bits set – 2-1/2” and 1-3/4” in particular, glue, Sandpaper 80 grit , 220 grit and finish of your choice.
Materials you need
Grab a couple of scrap wood. I used pine boards with ¾” and ½” thickness. You can also use plywood, MDF or any wood you have in hand. If you use different materials, the process is the same but the finishing techniques will differ.
How to make the circular cuts:
This is a hole saw set I have. It has many sizes. But you will only need 2-1/2″ and 1-3/4” for this project. Attach it to the power drill and start making circular cuts.
Secure the board to your table with some sacrificial board underneath. Here is a proper way to make the cuts without any tear outs.
First, slowly drill in until you are halfway through. Then flip the board and drill from the other side. This way, you will get clean cuts. Otherwise, you will get clean cut on one side and tear outs on the other side.
I made a lot of cuts. The bigger ones are 3″ in diameter and small ones are 1.75”. These tealights I have here are 1.5” diameter. So I am going to cut that out on one of the circles, which will be the top piece of the cable holder. To do this, drill half way through with both 2-1/2″ and 1-3/4” bits on one side, then flip the board and first drill the inner circle and then the 2-1/2” other circle.
TIP: Do not drill on the knots. They do not look good on the holder.
After cutting, I sanded them all with 80 grit sandpaper. You can either do it by hand or optionally you can clamp a sander like below and sand the pieces.
Next, to make the pieces more smooth sand with 220 grit sandpaper.
Making the Tealight Candle Holder:
Then, arrange the pieces like a tower. I am making two holders in two sizes to place them as a set. Top & bottom pieces are thick ones and they are sandwiched by smaller and bigger pieces alternatively. Once happy with the form, glue them together. Use a long drill bit to hold the cuts together.
After glue dries, remove the drill bits and sand the holders once again with a fine grit sandpaper. After that, finish and seal the candle holder.
What Finish and Why?
I asked my Instagram community what color stain I should use on these holders. Most of them chose Dark walnut and others said I should leave the pine wood as it is. Honestly, I like the light wood shade on pine wood color. But, I wanted to make these in dark walnut shade as well. So, I did some tests on pine with the walnut stain.
Important thing is that you cannot directly stain this wood. Because, we have exposed the end grains of the wood with the circular cuts. The softer & porous areas between the grain lines will soak up the stain like a sponge, creating a dark unnatural look. It will look like these test pieces like in below image. The sides absorbed the Dark walnut stain and there is no sign of the wood grains. So, it is important to seal any wood first before staining. In the sample piece on right, I have applied a coat of sealer, sanded, sealed again and then applied walnut stain. Face grain looks fine but end grains look horrible.
So, I decided NOT to apply any stain to these candle holders. Instead, I applied orange oil infused wipe on wax. Remember not to use any water based sealer for this project, because it can make the wood fibers rise up and you may end up sanding all over again. It’s always a good idea to experiment with the wood before deciding on the final finish.
Here we go! A gorgeous set of tea light candle holders are ready to put to use or gift them to your friends and family!
If you are a beginner , then try this DIY cutting board. You only need 3 simple tools!