You can do a lot more with chopped wood than just burn it in a fireplace. From creating rustic candle holders to illuminating your garden with a set of cracked log lights, there are plenty of craft projects you can finish with a few pieces of spare wood. Here are six chopped wood projects to help get you started.
1. Candle Holders
The size of the log you use will depend on the diameter of the candle. As a rule of thumb, you want a few inches of space around the candle, so make sure you pick a log that offers plenty of clearance. Next, slice the log into sections. The thickness of the sections will determine the height of each holder. You can cut different heights if you want a staggered look. After the logs are cut, find the center point of each piece and draw a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the candle. Using a drill bit, cut a hole deep enough to cover the lower third of the candle. You can leave the bark on the log for a more rustic appearance, but you will need to sand and seal the wood with polyurethane or varnish to protect it.
Old logs make great plant holders. You can use pretty much any sized log, depending on what you are planting. Begin by cutting a hole in the log deep enough for your plant’s soil requirements. If you are planting multiples, you can use a larger log and hollow out the middle. Drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of the log to help water circulate. You can then fill the hole with a soil mix and plant away.
Shelves are easy to make with chopped wood pieces. Simply cut a wood slice in half and mount each piece on the wall with metal braces. You can also make the braces out of spare wood pieces for a more natural look. Sand and coat the wood to help protect it for years to come.
4. Coat Rack
A chopped wood coat rack is a great way to spruce up your entryway. Start by finding small logs that have sturdy twigs attached. Cut the logs into sections around six inches in height, making sure each section contains a twig arm, which will serve as the hook. Next, create a flat surface to mount the logs by cutting each section in half. Then trim the twigs down so that they form a “Y” shape with the log. Screw each section into the wall in a straight or staggered line, depending on your preference.
5. Cracked Log Lights
Instead of burning or discarding your old chopping logs, turn them into cracked outdoor log lights. You want to use logs that have deep cracks to allow light from inside to shine through. Start by hollowing the log out from one end, leaving the other end intact. Then simply install a light source inside the hollowed area and place outside for lighting. If the log is fresh, you can create cracks in the wood by removing the bark before it has dried out. Just be careful not to allow too much cracking or you risk splitting the log in two.
6. Multi-Tiered Serving Tray
Build a multi-tiered serving tray using three wood slices, four floor flanges, and two pieces of threaded galvanized pipe. Start by sanding the wood slices to remove splinters. Next, seal the wood with varnish or polyurethane. Then find the center of each slice and install the metal flanges. The bottom and top slices should only have one side with a flange. This will ensure that the bottom rests evenly on the table and the top is a smooth surface. Thread the galvanized pipe into the flanges to finish the project. You can paint the pipe any color you choose and stain the wood to match.