Introduction: Tea Light Candle Holders (with Storage)

We have a ton of tea light candles leftover from our wedding, but they burn out quickly and it's a hassle to dig up fresh ones. So we came up with this design to display them but also store extras so it's easy to refill.

We've broken this project up into gifs to give a quick walk through on how we made it. We messed up a few times (haha, ok a lot of times) and had some tips along the way so if you want that extra content check out our video above.

Step 1: Cut to Length

We first took some 1x12 pine and cut it to length on our miter saw (we did 6", 8", and 10") for each height of candle holder. We used premium pine so it required a little less finishing, but is still pretty cheap.

Step 2: Cut Segments

The main body is made from 6 segments cut at a 30 degree angle on both sides. At first we used a miter gauge to push the wood through our table saw, using a cut off as a spacer to get the width consistent (which was removed before the cut). This didn't work once the piece we were cutting started getting smaller though, so we ended up using a sled (we get into that more in the video).

Next we did a test fit. Everything seemed fine at this point, though we did notice the pieces tapered a slight amount... more on that later.

Step 3: Sanding and Glueing

We sanded all the pieces individually, making sure not to round the corners and edges (we wanted them to meet flush). We did some of this by hand and some with a random orbit sander. Then we used painters tape not only to hold everything in place, but also for the glue up (we used Titebond original wood glue). It's a really great way to hold pieces together in situations where clamps may not make sense.

Speaking of glue ups, this was a particularly satisfying one... though we maaay have used an excessive amount of glue.

Step 4: Making the Base

We traced the candle holder onto leftover 1x12 to cut out as a base. At first we tried to cut out the base on the band saw, but it was hard to be super precise so we moved to the table saw to get clean precise edges. We glued the base down with our favorite clamps.

Step 5: Cutting the Angle (optional)

It would have made sense to cut this angle before gluing the base down for sanding purposes, so we did for the final one (the first one we glued the base onto before cutting the angle, which was doable, just harder to sand). This step is optional - we did it because we think it looks cool and it makes it easier to grab the candles from the storage area. We did it by marking the angle with a protractor and very carefully following that cut on our band saw, making sure to go slowly and not over cut.

Step 6: Brass Rods

To support the top candle, we used brass rods. In an earlier version of this project, we had attempted to cut a small hexagon that perfectly fit recessed inside the top of the candleholder, but the brass rods are WAY easier and we think they are a nice aesthetic detail.

We cut two pieces of brass per candle a little longer than they needed to be with metal snips. Then we sanded them down on our belt sander little by little until they were the perfect length.

Next we used our drill guide to carefully drill through the sides of the candle holder (we used our digital calipers to measure the diameter of the rods and pick the right bit size). We inserted the brass rods through the holes and carefully hammered them into place with our mallet.

Step 7: Finishing

Shellac is our favorite finish, because it's pretty easy. When dry, it raises the grain slightly so we sand it with 600 grit sandpaper very lightly between coats.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

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Comments

author
phillipnolan (author)2017-09-12

i like the idea and the project, but cannot look at the page because of the visual cacophony of videos. The 80s called and wants their web page back. Please turn off the auto-play or at least let me turn them off. I will try again later.

author

They're gifs so they play on a constant loop, unfortunately we can't turn off autoplay. Maybe the video would be easier to follow along with?

author

if the page does not give you the option to stop the autoplay, complain to the webmaster. this is the only page i have visited recently that autoplays gifs.

author
Eh Lie Us! (author)2017-09-12

great step by step instructions. I hope you guys wear hearing protection. Save your hearing!

author

Thank you! We do! Evan has the big over-the-hear ones, and I (Katelyn) have this set of safety glasses with earplugs

author

good to hear. (oh I really didn't intend that pun).

I've been working with wood for a long time (mostly amateur work) and I have that slight ringing in the ears (tinnitus). It's easy to protect one's self. Take care and keep on building!!

author
Cdub1 (author)2017-09-12

They are too cute and a fun idea......

author
evanandkatelyn (author)Cdub12017-09-13

D'aww thanks! :)

author
jeanniel1 (author)2017-09-12

Ha ha - looks like you had a lot of fun working on this - and LOTS of GIFs! Looks really good.

author
evanandkatelyn (author)jeanniel12017-09-13

Haha we did! Lol, since we made the video anyway, we thought maybe gifs will demonstrate the steps better than just photos, but definitely open to feedback!

author

Looks very neat!

author

Thank you! :)

author
TwinDaddyD (author)2017-09-12

This was my first time watching you guys. Loved your video! You two have so much fun working together. Keep it up!

BTW, thanks for the candle holder idea. Looking forward to trying this one!

author

Thank you! Haha we do have a ton of fun working together... even when we are messing stuff up :P Good luck on the project!

About This Instructable

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Bio: A husband and wife team who want to DIY ALL THE THINGS. Amateur makers. Expert high fivers. New video every week (or so).
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