A long time ago, before people began wrapping their Christmas trees in electric lights, candles were added. One particular method developed in Germany during the 19th century involved using weights to balance the candle holders that were perched on the branches. They are also very popular in Scandinavia. I prefer this style over other candle holders that use clips to attach the candles to the branches since they can tilt.
These are great gifts for anyone in your life who goes crazy for Christmas or might be attempting a more traditional look this year.
You will need:
14 gauge single strand copper wire
1/2 inch candles
A semi-dull knife
Sheet metal vise grips
15/32 inch diameter (Or something close) bar; I used the handle of an old pry bar
Jewelery pliers (Good ones)
Jeans and a small towel
If you are wondering why the bar's diameter is thinner than the candle's, it is because wire never conforms 100% to the base you wrap it around; it always expands just a little bit. Also, you want a snug fit for your candle. One other note, not all candles that say "1/2 inch" are exactly the same 1/2 inch in diameter, so you may need to alter the size of your bar to match the results, but I'll go into more detail in step 3.
WARNING: You may burn down your entire house if you light these and are not careful. I never light mine anymore, and when I did I was always present in the room with a fire extinguisher and blew them out before I left. If yo choose to make these and set light them, make sure your branches are sturdy, the candle holders are sitting upright, and they are not sitting directly under any other branches. If you choose not to light them, it simplifies things a whole lot.
Step 1: Strip the Wire!
I recommend you wear work glove whenever working with wire to reduce personal wear and tear. There are a few steps where you will need your fingers to be more dexterous than your gloves will allow, but you'll figure that out all on your own.
You will need a to your jeans, a small towel, and a dull-ish knife. If it's too sharp, it will catch the copper wire, but it fit's too dull, it won't cut into the insulation.
What you are going to be doing is cutting the insulation off the wire wire by dragging it across your knee with the knife staying still. It may take a few tries before you get the feel for it, but eventually, you will be able to slice long strip without having to start again.
Place the towel over your knee. Place one end of the wire on your knee with the knife in your dominant hand pressed against the wire at an angle. With your non-dominant hand pull the wire back, but keeping the knife still. A strip of insulation will peel off as the wire is dragged under the knife blade. I've never cut myself doing this; the knife is always too dull to cut through my jeans, but I use a towel for extra protection.
Once you are done stripping, put your clothes back on and move onto step two.