Make a Rustic Branch Tealight Holder

Add a little ambiance to your mantel or buffet with this easy to make candle holder.

Branch Tealight

Branch Tealight

Candlelight is a great way to add warmth to a room.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Candlelight warms up a room. It’s an inexpensive way to spruce up a space and provide a bit of mood lighting. Here’s a simple DIY tealight holder that’s quick to make and chances are you can find the main component of it in your backyard.

You will need:

  • A branch. Choose one that is cured (dried out). You’ll want a dry log for two reasons. First, a freshly cut branch will crack and split as it dries. Second, a dried out/weathered log has character! Nature has given the branch some rustic patina.
  • A 1 ½ inch spade drill bit. This is the diameter for a standard tealight.
  • A powerful drill. A cordless will not be powerful enough to drill the holes with the bit attached. You will need a minimum 7.5 AMP corded drill. If you do not have a corded drill, see if you can borrow one from a friend or rent one from a home improvement store.
  • Tealights

Branch Hunting Tips

I found my branch in a wooded area behind my property. I specifically wanted a gnarled and weathered branch. Don’t be too freaked out about bugs and such; they can be removed. Look for a branch that can sit level when laying down. You do not want the wax from your tealights to slosh out.

Prepare the Branch

When you get your foraged branch home, give it a good cleaning with warm water, soap and a stiff brush. Allow the branch to dry. If there are some critters living in the branch, go ahead and spray it with an insecticide and allow the branch to dry completely.


Determine the length of the branch and how many tealights you want displayed. Go with an odd number for balance. I made marks where I wanted to drill at each location. If your mark is near a nub or a bump in the branch, just shift to one side of it. If it’s not perfectly spaced, no worries. That’s the beauty of using a gnarled branch; the imperfection makes it charming!

Branch Tealight

Branch Tealight

Firmly hold the branch down while you drill.

Photo by: Photo by Debbie Wolfe

Photo by Debbie Wolfe

Firmly hold the branch down while you drill.


Firmly hold the branch down and drill out the spots you marked. You only need to go down about ½ in. This will allow the tealight to sit flush with the top of the branch. To help ensure that you do not drill too far, measure ½ in up from the tip of the drill bit and mark it with a piece of tape. Drill until you reach the tape mark.


Remove all the bits of wood and wipe the branch with a damp towel. At this point, you can stain, oil or waterproof the branch if you want. I chose to leave it as is. Add the tealights and set it onto your mantel or buffet. Enjoy your rustic branch candle light ambiance.

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