Pottery Barn Knockoff: DIY Birch Candles

3 Hours

I love the birch candles featured in my favorite home decor catalogs. But to purchase five birch candles from Pottery Barn would have cost me nearly $200. I made my own instead for less than $20!
Here's a peek at the finished project.
I started with five flameless candles in various sizes that I picked up at Walmart. The total for all five was about $15. I chose the battery-operated version because I wanted them to last and I didn’t want to worry about keeping stuff away from the flames. I’m sure you could use regular pillar candles. Just remember to never leave burning candles unattended – especially DIY ones.
I started by painting the outsides of the candles in a greige color (that’s a cross between gray and beige, to be clear), similar to the color of tree bark. I used leftover chalk paint I had lying around, but any craft paint would probably work.
After the paint dried, I took a craft knife and cut slits all over the outsides of the candles to create the texture of birch bark.
I created faux wood knots on the candles by drawing eye shapes in various sizes with my craft knife, then scoring (i.e. notching or scratching out) the middles.
I brushed on some espresso-colored stain that settled into the cracks and started to give the candles the look of real wood bark.
I wiped off the excess stain and let everything dry really well. Then I brushed on a watered-down layer of silvery-white paint, giving the candles a bit of shimmer.
Finally, I accentuated the knots by going over them with a small artist’s brush loaded with a watered-down mixture of brown and black craft paint. I used craft paint for this step because it stuck to the wax really well.
What do you think of my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles?

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Judith Laurence
    on Apr 20, 2017

    What a GREAT DIY - so incredibly creative. Thank you for sharing.
  • Susan
    on Apr 20, 2017

    You said you used brown and black craft paint because it stuck to the wax so well. What step did I miss where you applied wax? Thanks
  • Sandra
    on May 27, 2018

    These are so nice I’m going to try it . I to need the name of the silvery white or how did you make

Join the conversation

2 of 102 comments
  • Mickey Finn-Jordan
    on Jun 4, 2018

    Very nice!


  • Ali31712377
    on Sep 5, 2018

    They look brill, i did same a few years back with glass paints on an old glass vase and popped a battery candle inside. Looked fab and safe for the animals in the house. No fear of tails catching fire. Those candles will last you year, great ideas.

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