Category Archives: Wood Projects

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

DIY: wrapping paper organizer

diy wrapping paper organizer using soup cans and scrap wood

So it’s coming up on the two year mark since we moved from Utah to San Diego; I figured I’ve run out of excuses as to why the garage is a wasteland of stuff [mostly MY crafting, decorating stuff].  One of many eyesores has been a large cardboard box stuffed with all my wrapping paper.  I decided to use what I have on hand and make something simple to store the rolls of paper I had.


  • soup cans
  • scrap wood
  • all purpose glue
  • spray paint [optional]
  • picture hangers
  • Dremmel or metal snips
  • fine grit sandpaper [not pictured]

diy wrapping paper orgainzer using soup cans

Before I begin, let me tell you about a recent find that I’m so psyched about!  If you’re a lover of the whole reclaimed wood look but don’t want to spend the $$$ or know where in the hell to find it [like moi], use fence pickets!!!  Yep, I said fence pickets. I was wandering mindlessly [as I often do] through the lumber aisles at Home Depot and spotted a pile of gnarly, raw looking fence pickets.  They look old and have such a beautiful distressed appeal.  That isn’t even the best part!!!  Know what one of these pickets costs?  $2.49!!!!  I know, right?  Crazy.  Each picket is 6 feet long x 6″ wide.  Ooooh the possibilities!

fence pickets

make a diy wrapping paper organizer

Lovely, isn’t she??

Anyhoo, back to the tutorial…


First thing you’ll want to do is clean up your soup cans for obvious reasons.  [As I was doing this project I still caught a subtle smell of chicken noodle soup].


Then remove the bottom of each can.  Some soup cans have a molded bottom where the entire can is one piece of metal.  Other cans have a separate bottom that you can easily remove with a can opener.  For those stubborn cans that are one molded piece, I had to break out the Dremmel.  If you do not have a Dremmel, then you can always use a pair of all-purpose snips.

how to make a wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

Be sure to sand the bottom of the can.  Yes, you can use regular sandpaper on metal.  Be sure all the metal shards are off.


Here is a cool tip to help you cut a completely straight line on a soup can.  You can put that on your resume.  Grab a piece of paper and wrap it around the can.  Line up the edge and trace a line on your soup can.  This will guarantee you a straight line every time.

how to make a diy wrapping paper organizer

make your own wrapping paper organizer from soup cans


You can leave your soup cans silver or spray paint them, which I chose to do.  I used this lovely shade of turquoise.  Same color as the other soup can projects I’ve created.

make a wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

make an organizer for wrapping paper from soup cans


While the paint was drying I cut my piece of wood down to 40″.


I attached two picture hangers to the back so this could easily be hung on the wall.

making a wrapping paper orgainzer from soup cans


Attach your soup cans to your piece of wood with glue.  I placed a rock in each can to keep it in place while drying.

diy wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

STEP SEVEN [optional]:

This step is totally optional, but I added a few cup hooks to the side to hold my washi tape.

diy a wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

I simply pre drilled a few holes, then screwed each cup hook in place.


I hung my newest creation on the wall in our coat closet at 30″ from the floor.

diy wrapping paper organizer using soup cans

Add your wrapping paper and you’re done!

diy wrapping paper holder using soup cans

how to make your own wrapping paper organizer

make a wrapping paper holder using soup cans

make an easy wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

I love these soup can projects and love the thought that I’m the soup lady around our neighborhood.  I even have my daughter’s teacher collecting them for me at school!

diy wrapping paper organizer using soup cans and scrap wood


<<you might also like>>

Scandinavian Barstools

I’m so excited to finally be sharing this latest project with you.  It’s been in -the-works for a couple months now as I didn’t realize how labor-intensive stripping wood could be!  If you’ve ever stripped wood before you have my sympathies.  But the transformation of our bar stools are pretty amazing [I think] and I hope you like…

scandinavian inspired wood bar stools

For those of you who have been with me for a while [thank you!] you’ll probably remember these @#%&# bar stools are the bane of my existence.  I’ve re upholstered them countless times only to do it all over again within months.  The last time I touched these bar stools they looked like this

turning tradonal barstools into scandinavian ones

My last post about these guys was when I added the funky b+w fabric and “child-proofed” them with the very popular Never Wet.  I have my opinions about this product and will happily share any with you if you’d like.

how to turn your old traditional barstools into scandinavian ones

As you can see the kiddos quickly wore through the sealer and we were left with these grungy looking things.  So I decided to REALLY give these bar stools a major makeover and came up with the brilliant [she said sarcastically] idea to strip them and go Scandinavian!

stripping wood bar stools to make them scandinavian

I found this safe fume free stripper at HD and was impressed that it has a pleasant odor and strips through multiple layers, including stubborn varnish.  I think the label should also say, “Will strip through all those years of kids’ spit, mac ‘n cheese, milk, juice, etc!”  I am not endorsed for saying ANY of this-just sharing.  It has the consistency of pudding and is ready to strip within 30 minutes.  From start to finish I would say it took me apx 4-5 hours.  The varnish was very stubborn and I had to reapply it twice.  To remove the stain that just wouldn’t strip off, I had to break out the power sander.

traditional wood bar stools become scandinavian

This is what was underneath all those layers and I loved the bright, fresh look of the bare wood.  I thought it had a Scandinavian appeal and I just love that look anyway. So I just threw a coat of poly on it and called it good.

scandinavian looking barstools diy

The wood that is.  The fabric on these cushions also needed to be replaced.

change old wood bar stools to scandinavian ones

traditional wood bar stools turn scandinavian“I will destroy all that is in my path!!!”

turning old traditional bar stools into scandinavian ones

traditional bar stools turned scandinavian ones

I ordered a bolt of this off-white faux ostrich vinyl a while ago.  Ive never worked with vinyl before and have to say this ostrich print is gorgeous and very easy to cut and staple onto the seat.  I broke out the staple gun and got busy attaching it.

scandinavian bar stools from traditional ones

scandinavian inspired bar stools

After lots of sweat and numerous swear words I was left with these Scandinavian inspired bar stools.

turn old traditional barstools into scandinavian ones

scandinavian inspired bar stools from traditional ones

re purpose old barstools to scandinavian ones

changing traditional bar stools to scandinavian ones

change old bar stools inot scandinavian inspired ones

Are you laughing yet?  One down, three more to go!!!  *sigh*

change any wood bar stool into scandinavian inspired ones

Have you ever stripped before?  [hee hee]

scandinavian inspired wood bar stools


<<you might also like>>