Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade Candlesticks

Mother's Day gifts can be hard. Especially if you are like me or my mom who don't like the "typical" junky gifts that just tack up your house. There are not very original or attractive. People just keep them because it has a mom or an angel on it and some mushy mom quote. Yeah, we don't like that.

Shopping is almost out of the question, because there is so much junk out there and so hard to find the perfect gift for someone when you are actually trying. I've been known to see the perfect gift at the wrong time of year, and just bought it to save for the right time.

So, I thought of something to make.

For free.

Here was my inspiration.

Finding the wood wouldn't be a problem. I would just have to walk through the woods a bit and haul a fallen tree out to the yard for Matt to cut later.

Turns out it was easier than I thought. We keep some random logs piled up around our fire pit. Some are cut nicely with a chain saw. Some are larger trees, yet to be cut and burned. I walked right up and saw some very pretty logs, which I thought were poplar, but Matt later told me were oak. I found the perfect pieces which easily fit in the car.

Then I made measurements to determine the height of the candlesticks and also the size of the hole. I also drew diagrams(trying to be all technical for my engineer). Which I would show you, but I didn't save it.

We went to Matt's home away from home(aka the shop), where Matt has all his metal working tools(lathes, welders, drill press, grinders, pipe benders, etc.) Some of which would work on wood as well, but it just takes some adjustments and practice.

The first candlestick took us 45 min, at least, to get it right(as I expected).

(sorry for the blurry cell phone pictures)

The second and third went faster.

I planned to do a second set of candlesticks that were fatter for pillar candles, but we ran out of time and only did one of them.

Matt made his own 3 inch wide cutting tool. It's nice to be married to a machinist/fabricator. Don't have a tool? Just make it real quick!

Now for the reveal with a real camera:

I just noticed all the pollen on the table. My bad.

The candles themselves are the "emergency" kind that you can get at the Dollar Tree in a box of 6. They are short and cheap, and work better for these candlesticks.

I love the way they turned out and want my own now. I can't wait to make the other two candlesticks for the pillar candles.

I packed up the set and mailed them to my mom. She was very pleasantly surprised. Funny thing is, my brother made her something from a tree too(a turned bowl made from this black walnut). Haha. She's so lucky to have kids like us!

To see more free stuff made from trees click here.

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