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Picture of Yucca Tree Votives
Yucca Tree Votives will brighten up your holiday gift giving!

 
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Step 1: Find a Yucca tree in desperate need of some trimming.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of Use your birthday power-tool to hollow out the center of the pieces.
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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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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!

Picture of There you have it!
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Ta-dah!!! Your gift is ready for giving. Give one, or give many, they're special in all assortments!

Step 9: Spread holiday cheer...

Picture of Spread holiday cheer...
Give a handmade gift and brighten up your loved-ones' lives. Your holiday will be chockablock with smiles, hugs, and kisses!!!
why won't you tell the name of the store where you got the candles? you don't want people to get a deal as good as yours?
Purple Guy4 years ago
Hey,
I live in the UK and I am thinking of making one of these, But what type of wood should I use?
Cheers : )
mroeder74 (author)  Purple Guy4 years ago
Any that you like. If it looks good, use it. For me it was all about what was available -- a yucca that needed to be cut down. Good luck.
do yucca trees grow in climate zone 4-5? or did you use yucca because of the bark?
mroeder74 (author)  cutting Matt6 years ago
Yuccas are listed as zones 9, 10a & b, and 11. That's not to say they won't grow elsewhere, volunteers seem to pop-up in the weirdest places. I used Yucca because I was in the process of cutting one down behind my house.
Yucca plants grow in the wild in Michigan though they are not native here. The only gets about 2-3 feet high at most, though the flower spikes are another 2 feet high. And they are not tree-like at all. They do not have a trunk.
mroeder74 (author)  chuckr444 years ago
Not Highland Park, Michigan. Highland Park, a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles. Here, they are very tree-like, including a trunk.
thanks!!
rmyoder6 years ago
Is it possible that the wood could catch fire?
mroeder74 (author)  rmyoder6 years ago
The votive itself is flammable because it is basically a dry tree limb, but I haven't had a problem with them catching fire.
buckyard6 years ago
I like these. Very nice, and good for any time of the year. Thanks!
croqzine6 years ago
They're nifty!
shaggyjay6 years ago
DO NOT use your feet for clamps. If the drill twists around or does not go straight down, the next thing it will go through is your foot. That "fibrous inside" of the tree is much harder than your shoe, or foot, and you will not want to clean your metatarsals off the drill bit.
Gotta agree with that one. Feet ain't cheap. Aside from that, the results look good.
ChrysN6 years ago
Very nice!
Cthulu6 years ago
Cool.