DIY outdoor Christmas decorations: how to make wooden candlesticks

Wooden candlesticks DIY

Got 20 minutes spare and a chainsaw? Whip up some festive outdoor magic with these DIY wooden Christmas candlestick decorations.

Christmas candles: enjoy the warm glow of traditional decorations

Many of us love making the home a cosy retreat during the Christmas period, with warm cinnamon aromas and a dazzling Christmas tree creating a snug atmosphere and a comforting haven from the world. The glow of an Advent candle adds a special touch. Why not spread some of that festive ambience outdoors too? DIY outdoor Christmas decorations are a great way to celebrate the season and share some magic with anyone who passes by.

We’ve put together instructions to make a simple and striking set of rustic wooden candlesticks as a charming and long-lasting alternative to the usual outdoor Christmas decorations. The best thing is that they are so simple in design and require very few materials: to make your own wooden candlesticks, you’ll need just four logs and a chainsaw.

DIY wooden candlesticks: materials and tools

Select four logs of different lengths (around 15-20 cm in diameter) for your DIY outdoor Christmas decorations. Choose whatever type of wood you like: any softwood or hardwood will work, though soft coniferous timber is easier to saw than, for example, hard oak.

A STIHL MSA 140 C chainsaw and protective gloves on a tree stump with other logs nearby

Complete do-it-yourself power

The right chainsaw

To make crafting your outdoor wooden Christmas decorations fast and fun, you need the right power tool. STIHL offers a range of compact chainsaws for DIY projects. 

MS 251 >  MS 194 C-E

Committed to your safety: protective equipment

Working with powerful tools is fun and means you can broaden your skills, which is great as long as you are relying on effective and safe protective clothing while using them. Always wear your personal protective equipment when working with your chainsaw. This includes a helmet, cut protection trousers, safety boots, and more. More details are available in the operating instructions for your product.

Before using your chainsaw for the first time, fully familiarise yourself with the power tool and ensure it is in flawless condition before each use. On request, your STIHL dealer will be happy to prepare your power tool for its first job, and will also advise you on models and sizes of protective clothing that you can try on at your leisure. Please remember that personal protective equipment is no substitute for safe working techniques.

How to make your DIY wooden Christmas candlesticks

Let’s get to work! Carving four wooden candlesticks for outdoor display won’t take long.


DIY wooden candlesticks step 1: secure log

Secure a log so that it doesn’t roll away; a tree stump with a V-shaped notch makes a great saw horse. 

DIY wooden candlesticks: A log being placed into a V-notch cut into a tree stump

DIY wooden candlesticks step 2: mark flame base

Decide how tall you want the flame on your candlestick to be. Mark the base of the flame with a cut all around the log. Cut about a quarter of the way into the wood – the centre part will be the wick.

DIY wooden candlesticks: A STIHL MSA 140 C cordless chainsaw being used to cut a mark around a slim log

DIY wooden candlesticks step 3: carve the flame

Slowly carve out the flame for your wooden candlestick. Start by cutting a wedge to begin forming the tip of the flame, then guide the chainsaw down towards the wick that you have already marked. Keep turning and sawing the workpiece until the shape of the flame becomes clear.

DIY wooden candlesticks: A STIHL MSA 140 C chainsaw being used to carve a flame shape into a log

DIY wooden candlesticks step 4: refine your design

Finish up your wooden candlestick decorations however you want to. Decide whether the flame should be rounded or more angular, with a natural finish or painted – let your creative juices flow!

Repeat all the steps with the other logs. Using a range of sizes for your wooden candlesticks adds interest to your display of outdoor decorations.

DIY wooden candlesticks: A STIHL MSA 140 C cordless chainsaw being used to add detail to a wooden flame on a log
DIY wooden candlesticks: Four candlesticks standing on a lawn in front of a red brick wall

More ideas for outdoor wooden Christmas decorations

Your DIY wooden candlesticks are ready to add a festive mood to your garden. Do you think they need some company? We have lots more ideas for DIY winter decorations for your garden and patio.

More DIY decoration projects

  • Reindeer
  • Wooden lanterns
  • Wooden stars
wooden reindeer
wooden lanterns
wooden stars

Summary: DIY wooden Christmas candlesticks

  • For this wooden candlesticks DIY, you’ll need four logs that stand up and a chainsaw. Any kind of softwood or hardwood is suitable for outdoor Christmas decorations, but remember that softwood with a low resin content is easier to carve with a chainsaw
  • When working with a chainsaw, always wear personal protective equipment as per the operating instructions
  • Use your chainsaw to mark the base of the flame all around the log. Slowly carve out the flame shape until its outline becomes clear

What is a unique idea for outdoor Christmas decorations?

A unique idea for outdoor Christmas decorations is to use your chainsaw to transform simple logs into festive ornaments. For example, slim logs make great candle decorations with just a few cuts, or with a bit more effort you could build a reindeer figure that is sure to turn heads.

What is a good way to decorate the garden in winter?

A good way to decorate the garden in winter is with DIY wooden decorations that are appropriate to the season. We have how-to guides for making wooden candlesticks, reindeers, stars and more.

How do you make DIY wooden candlesticks?

To make DIY wooden candlesticks, first choose logs that will stand up and which are the right height. Mark the base of the flame with a shallow cut all around. Then carve out the shape of the flame, turning the workpiece as you go. That’s it!