Hurricane Irma brought down a 100+ year old Live Oak in our yard. I reclaimed as much of the wood as possible for projects. This is a straight-forward project if you have a limb, a band saw, and a drill press.
1. Survive a natural disaster.
2. Collect a branch that is roughly 5 - 6 inches in diameter. Store under shelter.
3. Wait at least 6 months for the wood to dry. Depending on the species of your wood it's natural for the bark to crack (or "check") because bark typically contracts more than the wood as it dries.
4. Visit your local dollar store for small glass tea light candle holders and candles. Placing a candle directly in a wood candle holder is a bad idea.
4. Cut section to length using saw of choice. I used a band saw.
5. Using a 2" Forstner drill bit, drill the holes to the proper depth to accommodate the glass holders you have.
6. Treat any cracks in your bark and the area where the bark meets the wood with wood glue to help the bark remain attached.
7. Sand cut portions of your holder. Wood grain "raises" as it absorbs liquids like wood finishes. The best process for a smooth finish is to sand, wet the sanded area with water, and, when dry, sand again.. Repeat until wetting the wood does not make it feel noticeably rougher.
8. Apply several coats of polyurethane.