Category Archives: Free DIY

diy: free tree branch candle holder

diy candle holder from fallen branchesI wish I had some amazing story why I’ve been M.I.A lately [like I've been sipping margaritas on the beach, getting my hair and nails done while getting a massage, or trapped under something heavy].  Nope.  Just a case of the-kids-are-almost-out-of-school-I-don’t-want-to-do-squat blues.  Well, that was fun for a week and I have been itching to DIY some crap.

So here we go!  I am known around certain parts of my [poor] daughter’s school as “that mom who lugs wood back to her car!”  Case in point.

a candle holder made from fallen tree branchesIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ll remember I posted about finding a stack of fallen tree branches while on a hike around my daughter’s school.  Well I managed to drag this beauty back to my car while being stared at in absolute disbelief by many parents.  That’s how I roll people!

This beauty sat in my garage for a couple months until I got the idea to create a candle holder out of it.  It’s super simple and took 30 minutes to make.

creating a candle holder from fallen tree branchI broke out the Dremmel and got busy hacking this guy to just the right size.

tree branches become a candle holderNext I gave it a light sand with a fine grit sandpaper.

make your own tree branch candle holderOnce that was done, I used a 1/2″ drill bit to cut the hole in the top.  I used a taper candle to get the size just right.

tree branch becomes a candle holderIn order for the candle to sit upright I drilled down apx 1/2″ into the wood.

diy custom tree branch candle holderI then gave my candle holder a quick coat of polyurethane to seal the wood, but it’s not necessary.

candle holders made from fallen tree branchesI found this outdoor clear, satin finish poly at my local Home Depot.  I like it because it also has UV protection so you can use it on any outdoor project and it shouldn’t fade.

tree branch candle holder made from fallen branchesThis stuff dries in about 30 minutes and has a pretty satin sheen to it.  You’re done!

diy candle holder from a fallen tree branchYou can see I made another one, but decided to keep it raw and left the bark on.  [Note:  just be sure you don't pick up any branches that have little tenants living in them, aka termites!]  Best part of these rustic candle holders is they are FREE to make!

diy candle holder made from fallen tree branchesdiy custom candle holder from fallen tree branchesdiy a candle holder from fallen tree branchesI might make a few more, but try painting a few in white, or gold!  I’m off to hike again!!

diy candle holder from fallen branchessignature_hugs_amylinking up to:  Remodelaholic

Quick+Easy Dresser Update [using duck tape]

Even though I recently finished my son’s room, it just never felt right.  First off his room faces East so he just gets the morning sun through his one and only window.  Secondly, I used dark accessories – dark curtains, dark bedspread, etc and not to mention I wallpapered an accent wall with wood plank wallpaper.  Third, I think he wasn’t even inspired being in there!  Even though he’s very young (3 1/2), I think he knows what he likes and doesn’t when it comes to how his room looks. I was flipping through a Land of Nod catalog recently and found this picture amusement-park-mural-decal I was immediately smitten, especially with the colors in the wall mural.  I am planning on interpreting this mural into his room.  Since I am not a fan of white walls I am planning on painting his room the same color I used on our kitchen accent wall: paint_color This color has become my new favorite.  I love that it reads blue, green and gray!   I know it’s dark, but I am planning on using lots of white accessories to keep it from feeling like a cave.  I took his “MacGyver” drapes down and replaced them with simple white ones from IKEA.


vivan-pair-of-curtains__0100659_PE243899_S4TO THIS

I’m planning on keeping his dresser the way it is, but I added a funky orange accent to it this weekend (again, pulling colors from my inspiration).  Just to recap, this is what his dresser looked like recently.


I got out my bright orange duck tape and a sharp utility knife and did a 10 minute facelift on it.










I know it’s a bit crazy and not for everybody, but I think I can get away with some funkiness in a little boy’s room don’t you?   I think I will add some more orange in his room; I’m just not sure how or where yet (accent pillows? adding an orange band on the bottom of his drapes?).   Looks like I’ll be busy this weekend as well.


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DIY Ballard Designs knock-off rope door stop


Whew!  What a busy (DIY) weekend I had!  How was yours? I don’t know where my burst of energy and motivation came from (when I get like this I just go with it!), but I managed to squeak out a few new DIY projects (stay tuned!) as well as tweak some things in several rooms around the house.

One project I’ve been conjuring up in my mind is how to make a door stop for the door that leads to the garage (without spending one penny!)


This door is especially frustrating when I have my arms full of groceries, a sleepy child, backpacks, sports equipment, or all the above!  This door needs to be propped open as it shuts automatically.  This is what we have been using for the past year…


Yup, our poor hand vac!  I am not sponsored in any way for saying this, but Electrolux sure makes a tough product!  This thing has been kicked, dragged and used at least 25 times a day as our door stop and still looks new!  Just sayin.

As I was watching the kids play in our back yard on Friday afternoon I had one of those light bulb moments.  See, our back yard is very sloped and an occasional large rock will slide its way down into our yard.  That’s when I realized that I could use one as a door stop!  I have always loved the rope knot doorstop from Ballard Designs especially because it has a handle, and I just knew I could replicate the look…for FREE!  (I can’t justify spending $49 on a door stop!)


Ballard Designs

So I grabbed a rock from our back yard, some rope I had on hand from a previous project, Gorilla Glue and went for it!



First I made the “handle” then started wrapping my rock over and over again.  I kept rotating it a bit while wrapping the rock so it wouldn’t be “lumpy” on one side.  You need to keep pressure on the rope while wrapping the rock.




Halfway through, I needed to play a game of freeze tag so I grabbed a clamp to hold everything in place.


I used a little Gorilla Glue wherever I saw the rope fraying or lifting away from the rock and clamped it.  This project was fun and only took 20 minutes!  The best part is, it was FREE!  I love that (and so the husband).


I know it’s not identical to the real thing, but that doesn’t bother me one bit.  It serves its purpose just fine and I didn’t spend one penny!


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