Yucca Tree Votives will brighten up your holiday gift giving!
Step 1: Find a Yucca tree in desperate need of some trimming.
This step was more complex for my wife and I than it has to be. To find our Yucca in need of trimming, we bought a 1932 fixer-upper in Highland Park. This Google Maps image shows how over-grown it was. It doesn't show the one-of-four stray dogs that was napping in its shade when we moved in.
Step 2: Trim your Yucca and save some of the branches.
Borrow a chainsaw from a friend and get to it. Stack your branches for later. Hint, the pile can also be used for extra footing when you are digging a trench for drainage behind the house. Hint, Hint, the dried up Yucca fronds can be woven into string for cat's cradling.
Step 3: Cut selected branches into various sizes.
Choose branches with centers that are nearly one and one-half inches in diameter. The fibrous center of the Yucca will be easier to hollow out of it is close to the size of the bit. Then, carefully cut the branch with a chop-saw or hand-saw. I cut them to varying lengths for a multitudinous selection for gift-giving.
Step 4: Use your birthday power-tool to hollow out the center of the pieces.
Hold the piece you want to hollow out. A vice, a clamp, or your two feets will work just fine. The fibrous inside of the Yucca branch will get twisted on the drill bit. Periodically clean it off and save them for campfire kindling. If your Yucca pieces are newly trimmed, there will be a lot of moisture in them. While you are drilling, a foamy muck will rise to the top. It can be used as a soap or even a shampoo -- as is, no need to do anything to it other than use it!
Step 5: Let'em dry out a little.
I placed my cut and hollowed out pieces dry out for a day on a shelf near the heater. I turned them over a few times hoping they'd dry out more evenly.
Step 6: Place a little candle in the hole.
I bought a bag of 100 tea lights at a flat-packing super store that will remained un-named. Hint, if you walk in with a five-dollar bill, you can get the bag of 100 candles, a cup of coffee, and a soft-serve cone.
Step 7: Use the awesome-ness of your hot-glue gun.
Put some hot glue in the bottom of the votive to make sure the candle stays in place. When the candle is all used up, the recipient of your holiday cheer can replace it with a new one and keep using the votive.
Step 8: There you have it!
Ta-dah!!! Your gift is ready for giving. Give one, or give many, they're special in all assortments!
Step 9: Spread holiday cheer...
Give a handmade gift and brighten up your loved-ones' lives. Your holiday will be chockablock with smiles, hugs, and kisses!!!