How a Pile of Sticks Becomes a Rustic Tea Light Holder

Me prunning shrubbery in the garden. Last Summer I spent quite a few afternoons pruning shrubs in the garden that had grown completely out of control during the worst of my illness.  I didn’t use an electric pruner because they’re loud and leave shrubbery looking “shaved” and unnatural.  Instead, I got out my hand pruning shears and loper for larger branches.  The process probably took ten times longer than it should have (and it’s not officially finished).  I found it very therapeutic, although I won’t spend too much time pondering why I find wielding sharp objects and chopping branches relaxing.

As I chopped away, I began looking at the branches as I threw them in the compost bin and noticing the beautiful shapes some of them made.  As with many things, I thought they were too beautiful to throw away, so I threw them into a broken plastic planter under the stairs, sure I’d find something useful to do with them.

My bucket of "sticks"

Every time I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I glanced at the pile hoping an idea would materialize.  A few days ago, one finally did.  I had just washed out an empty glass salsa jar and voila – the idea was born!  I love homey feel of the rustic style and I think this piece would fit right in.

I already had a big spool of natural colored hemp twine that I’d used to string beads, so I used it to wrap the branches together.  I found some large wooden beads that weren’t much use for jewelry making (the hole was too large) so I strung them on with the twine.  It took me some time to figure out the best way to achieve the results I wanted, so I had to rewrap many of the branches before I got it right.  Hopefully, the next time I make a similar tea light holder, it’ll go a little faster since I know what I’m doing now (yeah right).

Here is the finished product.  I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  Next time I’d like to try a taller jar so I’ll be able to use some of the more uniquely shaped branches. Rustic Tea Light Holder  Click the photo below to see the listing in my Catalina Inspired Etsy shop.

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