I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of those adorable birch candles featured in home decor catalogs like, my personal favorite, Pottery Barn.
Photo from Pottery Barn
The price of these particular candles, however? Yea. I’m not a huge fan of that.
So what do you do when you just gotta have that special piece for your holiday mantel but you don’t want to have to sell a kidney to get it? Why you make it yourself, of course!
I started with five flameless candles in various sizes that I picked up at Walmart. The total for all five was about $15.
I chose the battery-operated version because I wanted them to last and I didn’t want to worry about keeping stuff away from the flames. I’m sure you could use regular pillar candles. Just remember to never leave burning candles unattended – especially DIY ones. 😉
I started by painting the outsides of the candles in a greige color (that’s a cross between gray and beige, to be clear), similar to the color of tree bark. I used leftover chalk paint I had lying around, but any craft paint would probably work.
After the paint dried, I took a craft knife and cut slits all over the outsides of the candles to create the texture of birch bark.
I like to keep a picture of what I’m trying to replicate handy on my laptop while I work, so I can do my best to get the design correct.
I created faux wood knots on the candles by drawing eye shapes in various sizes with my craft knife, then scoring (i.e. notching or scratching out) the middles.
After that, I brushed on some Varathane® stain (in Espresso) that settled into the cracks and started to give the candles the look of real wood bark.
I wiped off the excess stain and let everything dry really well. Then I brushed on a watered-down layer of silvery-white paint, giving the candles a bit of shimmer.
Finally, I accentuated the knots by going over them with a small artist’s brush loaded with a watered-down mixture of brown and black craft paint. I used craft paint for this step because it stuck to the wax really well.
Done! Here’s a look at my knockoff birch bark candles:
To purchase five similar candles from Pottery Barn would have cost me $192. My thrifty, DIY version cost me less than $20!
What do you think of my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles?
Special thanks to the folks at Rust-Oleum® for providing me with the Varathane stain I needed to complete this birch bark candle project.
Before I go, I’d like to announce the winner of the HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Multi-Purpose Steam Mop. Congrats to: