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DIY Tea Light Candle Holders

Transform your space with beautiful DIY tea light candle holders. Create a warm, inviting glow with unique designs that are easy to make!

DIY tea light candle holder with text overlay

Unleash your creativity and craft a truly unique tea light candle holder out of scrap wood! This simple project only requires a few tools and can be completed in an afternoon.

This tutorial will show you how to make a fun hexagon shaped candle holder with colorful veneer stripes! You can customize your own with different wood, finish, and design accents.

Let's get started!

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Materials Needed

Cut the Wood Pieces

You can use any kind of wood in any size for this project. I usually rummage around in my scrap wood pile to see what I can find!

bin full of scrap wood

You could make a simple, rustic version with just a chunk of 2x4 lumber. Cut it down into 3 ½" squares for individual tea light holders, or leave it longer for a centerpiece with multiple candles.

My fancy version is made from a combination of curly maple and skateboard scraps. I had four scraps that were all about the same shape and size, so I marked and trimmed them down to a rough 4x4 square.

marking where the skateboard veneer layers join together

To add a little more height, I cut a scrap of curly maple (left over from my DIY nightstand drawer front) into two more squares for the top and bottom.

square of curly maple cut on the miter saw

You could use contrasting wood species or alternating grain directions for a different look. Get creative and try out different designs!

Sand the Cut Pieces

If you're gluing multiple layers together, give both sides of all the pieces a quick sanding. This will ensure a good bond between the layers in the next step.

sanding skateboard veneer

Glue Up the Layers

If you're making your candle holder out of a single block of wood, you can skip this step! But if you want to make it taller, or have thinner pieces, you'll need to add glue.

Wood glue is strong stuff, and it will hold all the layers together without any screws or nails. I suggest using Titebond III, because it gives you the longest time to assemble the pieces.

drizzling wood glue onto skateboard veneer to make a DIY wooden candle holder

Use a glue brush to evenly distribute the wood glue on both sides of the squares. Make sure every spot is covered with glue to reduce the possibility of delamination.

applying wood glue with a brush to orange skateboard veneer

Stack all the layers together with your desired pattern, then clamp them together. The melamine pieces on either end of the stack are there to prevent the clamps from marring the surface of the wood, but aren't totally necessary.

layers of skateboard veneer in parallel clamps

There will be some glue squeeze out, but that's ok! Just let it dry overnight, and the excess will be trimmed away in the next step.

glue squeeze out between layers of skateboard veneer

Cut the Final Shape (optional)

I decided to cut a hexagon shape out of this block to show off all those colorful layers. This will also save me a lot of sanding, because the excess glue will be cut off!

I used the miter saw set at 30°, being very careful to keep my fingers as far from the blade as possible. I originally planned to use the table saw and the cross cut sled, but the saw blade doesn't raise high enough! 🙁

miter saw set to 30 degrees to cut hexagon shape for DIY candle holder

Drill the Hole for the Tea Light Candle

Measure the diameter of your tea lights, and choose a spade bit or Forstner bit of that size to drill a hole to recess the candle in the wood.

Place the point of the bit on the marking, and make sure the drill is straight! Start off slow, so the bit doesn't wander and make a larger hole than you wanted.

drilling hole for tea light in candle holder

Stop occasionally to let the metal cool down so it doesn't scorch the surrounding wood. I used clamps in my T track table to hold it in place, so I could focus on getting the hole straight.

I just popped the tea light in occasionally to check the fit. Eventually, I got down to the first blue layer and all the sawdust changed colors! This ended up being the perfect size for my candle, so roughly ¾" down should work.

drilling the hole for the tea light candle

Apply Finish

It's almost done! I used a sanding block and 220 grit sandpaper to remove the pencil markings, and to round over the edges slightly.

rounding over the edges of the DIY candle holder with a sanding block

Remove all the sanding dust, then apply the wood finish. This will protect the raw wood and make it easier to remove any wax that might drip on the surface.

I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat for the maple and veneer version. It doesn't change the color of the natural wood much but makes the dyed layers really pop!

applying finish to DIY air plant stand

Insert the Tea Light Candles

Your DIY tea light holders are ready to display! Just pop in the candles and watch them glow!

DIY wood candle holder made from recycled skateboards

Alternatively, you could use the holes to display air plants instead! I had a few left over after making this air plant holder for the wall, so I popped out the wax from another tea light and filled it with decorative gravel. The bottom of the air plant is held in place by the tiny pebbles, and provides drainage.

DIY air plant stand made from recycled skateboards

Which version is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday 11th of November 2019

How great is that? I just want to cut up some skateboards, glue pieces together and make some blocks out of them!!!

I love the candle holder!

Barb Willicome

Sunday 10th of November 2019

That is really cool!


Saturday 9th of November 2019

Awesome project! Who knew a skateboard could yield such gorgeous layers? Good job!


Saturday 9th of November 2019

Wow, wow, wow! What a genius idea.This is beautiful.

I live in California (OMG no candles! Fire! Bad!) So, I vote air plant. And the green leaves look so pretty with the colorful layers.