I have a wife that is very creative. I love to figure out how to make stuff work. So when she had an idea she saw on Pinterest to make birch log vases we got to work together in a way that we often do on other projects as well. This project was to make simple vases and candle holders out of some birch logs that had been dropped in our yard with a load of wood chips from a tree trimming service. The project involved five very simple steps.
Here are all the supplies you will need:
- saw for cutting the logs (not pictured)
- spade drill bit or other drill bit of your choice
- flower foam
- knife for cutting foam
Step 1: Choose the length and size of log that you want. This involves the creative side of your team (my wife) to pick and choose the exact part of a log she wanted to use. We spent about 15 minutes picking through our stack and estimating how many logs were usable and what lengths we needed.
Step 2: Cut the log to length. This can be done with a variety of saw types such as a bow saw or even a carpenters saw. These hand powered saws may take a little more effort but will be relatively safer than a chainsaw. That being said, I did manage to obtain six stitches learning to use a bow saw as a kid when the saw popped out of the groove it was in and hit the hand that was holding the log, so be careful even with hand saws. I chose to use a chainsaw for this task and thus increased my need for safety exponentially. Chainsaws are extremely dangerous and should be used with great awareness and common sense. When cutting short lengths of log like this it is best to put the log into some type of vice so it doesn’t shift around when cutting. Once each log was cut to length we checked it by standing it on a table to make sure it was the right length and would stand up straight. Some of the logs took more than one cut before we were satisfied.
Step 3: Drill out the center of the vase. To do this we used a 1 and 1/4 inch spade drill bit. We chose this bit simply because we already had it and it gave a nice large hole for holding flowers etc. An auger style bit may work better because they don’t “chatter” like a spade bit but once I anchored each piece in my “foot vice” the spade bit did the job. (a sincere and heartfelt apology for the picture of my legs.) A real wood working or similar vice would have been preferable to hold the log in place as it was drilled.
If you are making candle holders, drill the hole to the desired depth.
Step 4: Fill the hole with floral foam to hold the flowers and some moisture. Simply cut the foam to the correct size and insert into the hole. This is fairly simple since the foam will conform to the shape needed as you put it into the hole. When reading how to make these vases they advised putting in a plastic or glass container but we didn’t have any that would fit and the floral foam worked great. When the foam starts getting old, simply scoop it out and replace it.
Step 5: Insert and arrange your flowers or whatever you would like to display. This is the part where I step back and watch my wife and oldest daughter go to work. They both have an eye for arranging that is amazing. Heidi used one of the vases to do her annual thankful tree which is pictured below.
Thanks for reading and have fun creating your own works of art!