Super Simple Tea Light Holders

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Super Simple Tea Light Holders

This sleek design is easy to make and displays candles safely

By Sue Mey

Cut by Dennis Knappen

Whether you’re planning a picnic, a dinner party, or a romantic evening in, these candle holders are perfect for adding a twinkle to your table. Cut single holders to scatter around a room or deck, or combine designs to make a whole row of holders for a centerpiece or mantle display. These are great for showing off your scrolling—or, leave off the overlay and highlight a single piece of pretty wood from your stash. You’ll find lots of uses for this design. Note: To prevent fire and serious injury, always burn candles within sight on a level, heat-resistant surface.


Cutting the Pieces

For best results, the base and feet should have square edges. If you don’t have a table saw, cut these pieces oversized and sand them to their final shape.

    Stack and secure the overlays (see issue #71, page 70 for instructions). If your base and feet are dark wood, choose a light wood for the overlays, and vice versa if you use light wood for the base and feet. Cut the fretwork, separate the stack, remove the patterns, and sand the pieces smooth.


Assembling the Candleholders 

Glue and clamp the overlay to the base. Sand off any overhangs. Drill a hole for the tea light, approximately as deep as the candle is tall. Sand away any fuzzies from the drill bit. Next, glue and clamp the feet to the base. Make sure the grain runs side to side and matches the grain direction of the base. Do not glue the end grain of the feet to the base. Apply a clear finish; choose an outdoor finish if you plan to use them outside.



  • Wood, 1″ to 1-1/2″ (2.5cm to 3.8cm) thick: feet, 4 each 1-3/8″ (3.5cm) square; base,
    4″ (10.2cm) square
  • Wood, 1/8″ (3mm) thick: overlay,
    4″ (10.2cm) square
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Finish: clear

  • Scroll saw blades: #3 reverse-tooth
  • Drill with bits: assorted small; 1-5/8″ to 2″ (41mm to 51mm)-dia. spade or Forstner 
  • Clamps



About the Author
Sue Mey lives in Pretoria, South Africa. To see more of her work, including a wide variety of patterns and pattern-making tutorials available for purchase, visit She can be contacted at Her pattern book, Lighted Scroll Saw Projects, is available from and other outlets.


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