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Rustic Fall Decor: DIY Tree Branch Candle Holders

Candles add a touch of elegance to any event, and when paired with these DIY tree branch candle holders, you have a wow-worthy decoration idea.

A special event isn’t complete without the romantic flickering and glowing of candles! And these DIY tree branch candleholders and wooden tray are rustic yet modern touches, making them perfect for a natural fall wedding.

Keep them clustered on the tray for use on a ceremony table, or split them up and scatter them down your reception tables. Here’s how to make them yourself very inexpensively!


  • 1’ x 6’ whitewood board
  • Black leather belt
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Decorative furniture nailheads
  • Tree branch
  • Electric sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Miter saw
  • Power drill
  • Hole saw drill bit
  • Polycrylic finish
  • Small paint brush
  • White taper candles

To build the tray:


Step 1: To build the tray, use a miter saw to cut the 1’ x 6’ board to the size that you’d like for your candle arrangement. Use an electric sander to smooth all the sides and slightly round the edges. Clean off any dust with a cloth.



Step 2: Outdoors, apply wood stain in your color of choice with a disposable brush. Once fully dry, add a coat or two of protective polycrylic.



Step 3: For tray handles, cut the buckle and belt holes off of an old leather belt, and then cut the remaining usable portion into two equal pieces.



On each end of the board’s underside, mark guidelines for attaching the belt so that the loop on the top is comfortable for carrying the tray.



Nail each end of the belt to the bottom of the tray with a flat nail, and then use a decorative furniture nailhead to keep it taut along the outside edges of the board.



Now it's time to build the accompanying candle holders for the complete decoration idea!


To build the candle holders:


Step 1: For the candle holders, find a branch with a diameter of about 2”. Let it dry out for a few days in a covered area. Sand the branch smooth with a power sander. Use a miter saw to cut it into various sized pieces – ranging from 1” to 4” tall.



Step 2: Drill a hole into the center of each branch piece with a hole saw that is the same diameter of the base of your taper candles. Use a piece of sandpaper to hand sand the tops, edges, and drill holes. Wipe off any dust with a cloth before brushing on a protective coat of polycrylic.


Step 3: Insert a taper candle in each holder. You may need to use a butter knife to slightly shave the ends of the candles if they don’t quite fit. Then arrange the candles scattered down the tray.


These tree branch candle holders and tray would look great with other DIY fall wedding ideas, like a burlap and lace table runner.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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