Build candle holders from leftover hardwood flooring

Turn leftover wood into beautiful small projects

By Art Mulder

Photo by Roger Yip

In addition to wrapping your cold-air return grill, you can make door trim and other projects that make use of factory-finished hardwood scraps. There’s also nothing stopping you from planing off that factory finish and using your leftover flooring as raw wood.

These candlestick holders are quick and easy ways to start. In this case, I began with two pieces of red oak from my own flooring project and a piece of darker-coloured jatoba leftover from a neighbour’s flooring job.


Getting started

Start by planing the wood to remove both the finish on the upper face of the flooring and the factory-milled ridges on the underside. In my case, the result was two pieces of 5/8"-thick red oak and one piece of 3/8"-thick jatoba.

Spread glue on your stock and clamp the three pieces together. If you work with fairly long pieces of flooring, you will be able to cut out several sets of candlestick holders from each glued- up section.

Finishing up

Once the glue has dried, joint one edge to flatten it. Draw the curved shape on one side and cut it out with a bandsaw or jigsaw. Next, move over to the drillpress and bore three holes for mounting tapered candles. A 7/8"-diameter Forstner bit is right for most candles. Drill a 7/8"-deep hole in the centre of the assembly, and two additional holes flanking it, 13/8" in from each end. Drilling into the curved top can be tricky because one side of the bit contacts the wood before the other. Be sure the workpiece is safely clamped in position before drilling.

A belt sander is ideal for finishing off the sides and rounding the top edge of the holder. A hand plane or spokeshave can also be used for smoothing the curved top. I wiped on two coats of Tried and True original wood finish (a blend of beeswax and boiled linseed oil) to add a natural glow.

Tools & Materials

Part Material Size (T x W x L*) Qty.

Sides red oak 5/8" x 1 3/4" x 6" 2
Centre jabota 3/8" x 1 3/4" x 6" 1

* Length indicates grain direction

Recommended Tools


Build candle holders from leftover hardwood flooring

Illustration by Len Churchill

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