How to Make Wood Candle Holders from Old Building Blocks

Learn how to make wood candle holders from those building blocks your kids haven’t touched in years.

Building Block Candle Holders - Learn how to make wood candle holders from those building blocks your kids haven't touched in years.

Even after the kids have outgrown their building blocks, there’s still a place for them in your home. These building block candle holders give a vintage look to a room, but my favorite part is that if you use alphabet blocks to make these candle holders, then you’ve got a built-in monogram! Add a couple more sets (the particular set in these photos is vintage, but isn’t valuable–extra sets would be easy to collect) and you can spell out words; think “Christmas” or “Happy Birthday.”

The project is simplicity itself, although I’ll warn you right off the bat that you may not have the spade drill bit in the exact size that you’ll need. If this is the case, however, then ask around, because you probably know someone who does.

Do you know me? Ask me! I have all the drill bits!

How to Make Wood Candle Holders from Building Blocks

You will need:

1. That drill bit that I just told you about. For certain sizes, you could choose either a conventional drill bit or a spade drill bit–past certain sizes, you could choose a spade bit or a hole saw. If possible, try not to use a conventional drill bit for holes 1/2″ or wider. Even though these wooden building blocks are somewhat soft, a spade bit will nevertheless make drilling much easier. And for harder woods? Yikes. I tried to have the kids make colored pencil and crayon holders from tree branches with a regular drill bit once, and it required a ton of muscle. They did again with a spade bit, and it was like cutting through butter.

2. sandpaper. You can make the hole smooth as silk, or just sand off the splinters. You choose!

3. building blocks. I think these candle holders look especially cute when made with building blocks that have clearly seen a lot of love, but you could also stain or decoupage them first.

Building Block Candle Holders - Learn how to make wood candle holders from those building blocks your kids haven't touched in years.

1. Measure your candle. Measure the diameter of your candle, and choose a drill bit of that width.

When I first made these, I experimented with drilling the hole 1/8″ wider than the diameter of the candle, thinking that would make for a better fit, but it didn’t. Even that little extra made the candle loose and wobbly. Get the closest fit with your drill bit, and you’ll be happier with the results.

2. Mark the center of the block. The easiest way to do this is to measure the diagonal from corner to corner, and mark the center. Then measure the diagonal between the adjacent corners, and mark the center. X marks the spot!

3. Tape your bit. Put a piece of tape 1/2″ from the tip of your drill bit. When you’ve drilled down that far, you’ll see it and know to stop.

4. Drill STRAIGHT down. 

Building Block Candle Holders - Learn how to make wood candle holders from those building blocks your kids haven't touched in years.

Mind that you’re not drilling at an angle, because if you do, your candle will stand crooked and it will drive you crazy.

Ask me how I know that.

5. Sand away the splinters. I used my Dremel with a sanding bit attached for this, but your finger and a piece of sandpaper will also suffice

Now, because these blocks are wood, candle wax will tend to cling to them, and you’ll find that drips of wax on the tops of the blocks, or trails of wax down the sides, stick. I really like this effect, because I like it when objects display history of their use, but it’s just something to be aware of.

Also, as with anything, don’t leave the candles in these building block candle holders unattended, because fire.

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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