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Birch Bark Votive Holder

Walking along the beach a couple of months ago, the day after a pretty rough summer storm, we found this perfectly hollowed out yet intact sleeve of birch bark on the shore. The beautifully silver-white piece just begged to be picked up even though we weren’t quite sure what we would do with it.

A large bangle for the wrist? Too scratchy.

Slice it up and use for napkin rings? Too fragile.

Use it in a flower arrangement? Too large.

It turns out that we couldn’t quite make it into something else because it’s such a nice piece on it’s own. So, the idea to make it into a candle holder came to mind. While we wouldn’t put an actual candle inside given that the bark is pretty much kindling, we found inexpensive LED votive candles in our local grocery store that work great.


To make the votive holder, we just cleaned off the outside of the bark, scraped off some of the inside layers and then gently cut, using a utility knife the ends to smooth them out and slits into the naturally-occurring striations of the bark for the light to shine through. And there we have it, an upcycled nature-made candle holder.

We had also recently sliced up a whole birch tree branch that had fallen and are planning to use for a separate project. But stacked on top of each other the slices actually make beautiful votive stands on their own. Now we have lovely and free mantle decor to light the cold winter nights. As always though, be very careful and don’t leave lit candles unattended, especially on little piles of wood!

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