Happy New Year crafters! Yes, the holidays have come and gone, and I’m sure you’ve finally boxed and stored all of your Christmas crafts, but don’t worry- every new year brings an abundance of fresh, new DIY inspiration, starting with this candle holder centerpiece made from a piece of scrap wood. Well, not so scrap. I found this cutting board at my local thrift store for $2.00. I then bought a few supplies from a company like Tradefix Direct and created this beautiful centerpiece. With a few candles added, I was able to turn it all into a modern, yet rustic table centerpiece used in my holiday decor. This is a simple idea that can even be used outdoors to create relaxing garden ambiance. If you were to create an outdoor version, you would need more wood and candles but the method would still be the same. You might need a track saw compared to an ordinary saw as a track saw is good for long cuts and you’re more likely to use bigger pieces of wood outdoors to fill larger spaces. This romantic, tapered candleholder was not only perfect for Christmas, but it will also make a beautiful, table centerpiece for Valentine’s Day dinner. Check out how I made it!

For this DIY, you’ll need a few tools:

  • Wood block (size and thickness can vary)
  • Tapered candles
  • Power drill with 13/16th drill bit (or a drill bit the same size as the diameter of the base of your candle)
  • Pencil
  • Small fan (optional)
  • Dry rag
  • A cup of water (keep nearby)
  • Ruler

First things first- stand your candles up on the block and arrange them in the way you’d like to see them when the project is complete. At first, I arranged the candles in a perfect line, then had each row slightly windowed, but the end goal was that when I looked at the centerpiece straight on, or from the front or side, I could see all the candles. So I ended up doing a random placement.



Next, mark a small dot in the center where each candle was placed. This is where you will begin drilling.
For these candles I “eyeballed” the width of the base of the candle to match the width of the drill bit. If you’re not sure which drill to buy, check out some reviews on Tool Helpful. I found that a 13/16th drill bit was just the size I needed to drill my holes. Make sure your drill bit is sharply pointed at its end and works with a power drill tough enough to drill through a thick block of wood. You might want to use one of these cordless drills featured on Coolest Gadgets’ tool reviews. It should also be okay if the drill bit is a slightly narrower than the width of the base of the candle (but only slightly).
With the tip of the bit placed directly on the small dot on the wood, begin drilling your hole. This part can get a little messy, but it is important that you keep a cup of cool water nearby to periodically dip the drill bit in. If not, it will overheat and burn the wood (or start a fire!). So during this project, I drilled for about 10-20 seconds and would dip it in the water. This also wets the wood as well, counteracting the friction between the drill and the wood. As you drill, make sure also to periodically wipe the sawdust off as you go. It’s okay if it becomes a bit of a wet mess!
How far down do you drill? About 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch. You want to drill down far enough so the candle can stand firm and secure on its own. As you drill, stick your candle inside the hole to test the depth. Keep drilling if you feel you need more depth. And keep that water nearby! Apply firm pressure straight down while drilling. Tilting the drill to the right or left, or making circular motions with the drill will make the hole much bigger than it should be. I placed the wood block on the floor and drilled by standing up and applying pressure straight down. Worked like a charm!
Once you’ve drilled all your holes, the block will probably be wet and messy. Correction, it SHOULD be wet and messy. That means you didn’t start a fire 🙂 . Wipe off all the sawdust and quickly dry your now candle holder with fan or let air dry. You’ll start to see the wood lighten up as it dries.
Place the tapered candles in the holes- they should fit nice and snug. Typically, tapered candles start off slightly narrow at the base, then widen a bit, then narrow the rest of the way up. Because the base is wider, it should sit in your hole without moving. If your candles are falling, you may need to drill the hole a little bit deeper. This is why I like to check the depth as I go.
That’s it! I like the simple, rustic look of this candle centerpiece. If you’d want, jazz it up with chalkboard paint. In chalk, write a message- or before starting, paint your block, stain it, personalize it! The ideas are endless- enjoy!