A Crafted Passion

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How to Make a Log Candle Centerpiece

Make your own log candle centerpiece with your own scent. With a little time and a lot of love turn a branch into a perfect gift or log candle centerpiece for the holidays!

This past summer we got new neighbors who have worked like crazy updating their home before they actually moved in. One of the things they did was have two giant trees removed from their front yard and they were left with some giant piles of branches and logs that they didn’t know what to do with. Well, lucky for me I nabbed a few branches with some projects in mind. Today, I’m excited to show you how you can turn a tree branch into a beautiful log candle centerpiece.

This would also be perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas tablescape.

I decided to make this one for my sister’s birthday and I have a few more branches I plan to make over soon with different scents.

Oh, did I mention that? Have you ever made a candle before? You can run to Michael’s and choose practically any scent you want to make. This one was baked apple. YUM!

So, how do you do it? Let me show you!

log candle centerpiece image

What you need to make your DIY log candle centerpiece:

Suggested tools to use:

  • Saw (circular saw, handsaw, chop saw, band saw) — this depends on the size of the branch you’re using, but you just need a way to cut your branch to size
  • Drill
  • Spade bit
  • Chisel
  • Sander and/or sandpaper

How to Make Your Centerpiece

1 | Cut Branch to Size

First, you need to cut your branch/log to size. The size varies but I suggest around 18″ or so. The tool you use depends on the size of your branch. We used the chop saw to cut it down and make the ends even.

Piece of log for log candle holder image.

Then you need to cut the branch in half. Again, the tool you use depends on the size of the branch. We used the band saw to cut it in half.

Half log for log candle holder image.

2 | Clean Branch

Next, you want to clean the branch and scrub off as much of the gunk and moss and bugs as possible. You can see the right side is cleaned and the left side isn’t. I used a damp towel and clorox wipes. A rough brush would also be good to give it a good scrubbing.

Scrubbed and cleaned side of a log candle holder image.

3 | Draw trough shape

Once your log is ready to be turned into a candle, grab a pencil and rough sketch what type of shape you want on your log. I did a trough type shape that was wider on one side than the other.

I think it’d also be fun to make one that was more natural looking and less smooth.

Rough sketch on the log candle holder image

4 | Drill Out Center

Once you have a rough idea of the shape, grab your tools and start going crazy. I tried a bunch of different tools and found the best combo was a spade bit and chisel.

Be sure to put some tape on your spade bit as a reminder to not go too deep. You don’t want to accidentally go out the other side of the log if you get a little drill happy.

Drilling the log for the log candle centerpiece image.

I found it easiest to make a bunch of holes with the spade bit as you can see below.

Drilled holes on the log candle holder image.

Then, I took the chisel and mallet and started smoothing things out. This is the chisel set I have and you can grab it for just $10 on Amazon.

If there was a hard section of wood that I was struggling with I used our Fein MultiMaster with the saw blade attachment.

Carved center of the log candle holder image.

Option: We didn’t think of this until after it was too late, but you could totally use a router to carve out the middle and save yourself a lot of time. 

5 | Sand

Once you get it to shape, grab your sandpaper and smooth things out. As you can see, I didn’t get things perfect, but that’s totally fine. Once the wax is in you can’t see it anyways.

Be sure to also sand the edges and top to smooth things out so people don’t get splinters.

Now is the time to also make sure your log is level. Place your log on a flat, level surface and use a level to check your log. I used our random orbital sander to sand one side down a little so the candle would sit flat.

If you forget to do this step then when you pour the melted wax into the trough it could potentially pour out one side.

6 | Melt Wax

Next, it’s time to melt your wax. The instructions will vary depending on the type of wax you get, but the block I got just has you put it in a bag and set it in a pot of boiling water. Use a thermometer and be sure to pay attention as it heats up because you don’t want to overheat your wax. Once the wax reached 180 degrees then it was time to pull it out.

Add your scent once cooled a little bit. Again, this varies depending on the type of wax you use but the instructions should tell you when to add the scent. Ours was added when the wax was down to 175 degrees.

7 | Place Wicks

Now it’s time to decide where to place the wicks and learn from my mistakes. We placed three wicks about 4″ apart, however, when burned down they just burn straight down and since the trough wasn’t too deep all the wax in the middle didn’t melt.

So here’s what I suggest…

You have two options.

  1. If you have a short trough, place enough wicks about 2 inches apart. So we would have used 6 instead of three.
  2. Or if you have a deeper trough, zigzag your wicks through the wax as it hardens so as you burn down the wicks it melts more of the wax.

8 | Pour Wax

Once you’ve got your wicks placed, pour the wax into the trough. You may need an extra hand or two to help hold up the wicks as the wax hardens. This only takes about five minutes though until it’s hard enough to keep the wicks in place.

Pouring was on the log candle centerpiece image.

And that’s it! Trim your wicks down and you’re done!

Hardened candle wax for log candle holder image.

Complete log candle centerpiece image.


Log Candle Centerpiece image.

I love how this log centerpiece turned out and was the perfect addition to our Fall tablescape and apple spiced cake when we celebrated my sister’s birthday!

If you love this, I’d love for you to pin it using the links below!


Log Candle Centerpiece image.

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