Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Year-Round Centerpiece

My wedding theme was kind of a woodsy type of feel, so I wanted centerpieces that were both inexpensive and natural.  I came up with the idea of logs that would hold candles, but I had to figure out how to make them stable enough to not fall over if the tables were bumped,  and so that the candles wouldn't be blown out by the wind.  Here are the steps to create these:

1. Find logs (I used fallen branches found on my property.  If you don't have land, make sure you're allowed to take the wood you find).  The logs I used were about 3-4 inches in diameter.
2. Use a chainsaw to cut them to size.  I used 3 sizes for each centerpiece, about 8" high, 6" and 4"
3. Using a drill with a specialty bit (this is where my husband came in handy!) drill 1 3/4" holes in the top of each log to accomodate the candles.  The holes should be deep enough that the wick sits just below the top of the log so the wind can't reach it.
4. Cut a 12"x12" piece of scrap wood or pressboard
5. Using cheap linen cloth, cover the wood, securing on the bottom with a glue gun. (You won't see the bottom, so it doesn't have to be perfect)
6.  Position the logs where you want them on the board.  I had mine just touching, and turned the prettier sides toward the outside.
7. Screw through the base into the logs (this is tricky and is easiest done with two people)
8. Put tealight candles in the holes in the tops of the logs.
9. I surrounded each of mine with 4 small glass votives that I wrapped with wire strung with small green beads.

You don't want to leave these completely unattended as they can catch fire if the wind blows the flame against the wood for too long.  You could spray them with fire retardant spray, or soak the logs in water before attaching them to the boards if you're concerned about this.  I didn't have any problems when I burned them indoors.

After the wedding, I found that I could use these for any season, and decorated them with fall leaves for Thanksgiving and festive ribbon and holly for Christmas.  You could use any color of cloth for the bases, but I found that black is the most versatile.


  1. These really made our dining room tables festive for Thanksgiving. We used the greenery and some gourds, pinecones, acorns, and fall leaves around the base of each centerpiece. Thank you, Wendy, for such a great idea!

  2. I love the idea of re-using them as holiday centerpieces. They'd make really good hostess gifts, too!