I’m Not Crafty, Am I?

Crafts are not my cup of tea.  And while I sometimes find myself gazing at haphazard items made from the bare hands of those who do have the talent to warp, transform or otherwise create something out of seemingly nothing, I never really had a desire to be crafty…until this weekend.

A couple of weekends prior, I was visiting my father and came across one of his crafts.  My dad, in his mid-50s, is the very definition of “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  You could give this man anything; metal, wood or plastic, and he’d hand you some type of useful or decorative object in return.

Upon finding this craft of his, I thought to myself, “Wow, that looks really cool, I think I’ll give my non-crafty side a go.”   So this weekend, I made what I think was my very first craft (minus the glue-dripping paper-mache something or other from my elementary days).

I’ll be honest, the preparatory stage took longer than it did to make the actual craft; however, if you don’t make five or six trips to your shed or garage fetching the tools you’ll need to make this decorative item like I did, you’ll whip a piece of nothing into something in a jiffy.

So here we go…the tools/items you’ll need are:

Tools

Can you guess what we’re going to be making?  That’s right; a very unique candle holder!

Now, what makes his candle holder/centerpiece/mantel piece unique is two-fold.  First, you can use any type of candle you want.  I chose tea candles for one reason; they were cheap!  As an experimental piece, I wasn’t about to waste $15 on a bunch of candles that wouldn’t work well. Secondly, logs are as unique as our fingerprints; not a single piece the exact same.  I chose my log by simply going out to my wood rack and picking a random piece of chopped wood.

There are two decisions you need to make before getting started.  One, how big are your candles going to be?  Keep that in mind as you rummage through your tools looking for a hole saw big enough for the candle to fit into.  The second decision, bark or no bark?  Personally I like the bark side, as it introduces contrast between the candles and the log.  But the decision is yours, I’m just here to show you the basics.

After selecting your log, the next step is drilling holes where the candles will be placed.  This isn’t rocket science, so try not to consume yourself with equal spacing, depth, etc.  If you ask me, the more random, the more unique qualities the finished piece will have.

Log

Drilling Holes

After drilling the desired holes, you’ll need to chisel out the wood where your candles are going to rest.  Use a little finesse here and try to clean out the holes so the candles will sit flat.  Any tilting or uneven surfaces will make your candles burn unevenly and likely compromise the finished product if indeed you’re going to display this.  What I’m trying to say is, it’ll look stupid.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist the obvious.

Chiseling

Once the holes are chiseled out, dispose of any wood shavings, chunks or other hindrances by turning the log over and tapping it against the ground.  Now that the holes are cleaned out and free from debris, place your candles in the holes like so:

Candles in Wood

And wallah, you have just made your very own, truly unique, log candle holder.  Go ahead, lit it up and see what you think.  Here’s how mine turned out.

Finished Product 1

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