I have a chronic need to change the decorations on my dining room table. I feel like I’m never quite satisfied, or it’s never quite perfect. I’ve had numerous bouquets of flowers, almost just as many vessels for said flowers, candle stick holders, unique/vintage salt and pepper shakers, wood blocks, table runners, the list goes on. But! I finally found a solution. A driftwood candle.
I think that this works for a couple reasons. I love the natural element of the driftwood, and I really enjoy having a little piece of the coast on my dining room table. It’s also great because it’s super low, so you can still see over the top when dining with people, but it’s enough of a statement that it doesn’t get overlooked.
There’s a ton of places to get driftwood online, but I was able to snag mine locally. (If you can’t find easily accessible or affordable driftwood, you could totally do this project using a wood block, a thick tree branch, etc.) To start, I grabbed a drill bit and began drilling circular holes into the top of the wood until I was satisfied with the space for the candle.
You don’t have to, but I would recommend sanding down the edges to help create a smooth canal for the wax to be poured into.
Next, use hot glue or industrial glue to tack the metal piece of the wick down to the bottom of the wood. Let dry.
Take a stick of some sort (I used a dollar store wooden spoon), and wrap the top of the wicks around the tool. Let rest on the top of the wax well.
Time to prepare your wax. I used these wax flakes. Follow this tutorial to see how I melt wax for candles. I chose to keep this candle unscented, as I plan on putting this on the dining room table, and I didn’t want it to interact with the smell of food. If you wanted to add an essential oil, now would be the time to do it.
Slowly pour the wax into the driftwood. I noticed that the wax wasn’t quite level, so I put a towel underneath one side until it laid parallel. Then, let the wax harden. I let mine dry overnight. After it’s been dried, cut the wicks to your desired length, and viola! A candle.
*troubleshooting tips: If you spill wax on the wood in an unwanted area, there’s a couple different things you can do to remove it. If you decide to use the torch to add texture to the wood, you can burn off the spilled wax using the torch. It’ll work double duty, as when the wax burns off you’ll have a really nice charcoaled area. Additionally, you can use a silicone scraper to try and scrape wax drips off of the driftwood. I used both of these techniques when finalizing my candle.
When I examined my candle the next morning, it felt like there was something missing. I grabbed my creme brule butane torch, and gently began burning some of the edges of the driftwood. It gave it a really cool, textured look, and it definitely reminded me of a bonfire. It kind of brought the beachy bonfires that I’ve enjoyed so many times into the apartment.
I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I think it’ll settle my desire to compulsively change the centerpiece for a little while.