Our Guest Judge: Janell Beals
April 19, 2011
The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Challenge Begins Now!
April 20, 2011

Wooden Vase– Our Humble A {Bowe}d

Hello CSI fans! I’m Amanda from Our Humble A{Bowe}d.

I’ve been lucky enough to guest judge here on CSI and I am honored to share a recycling project with you today.

Ben has been working overtime at the apartments cutting down trees. With nice weather, the boys and I have gone on several walks to see the progress. While watching, I became inspired to repurpose a log. When we returned home, I started rummaging through our wood pile to find a clean-ish log. Then, I scoured my vase/candle holder stash to find the right insert. Try to use something that is nearly cylindrical. Vases, candle holders and recycled jars work well. I found a small reed diffuser I had already used up (I found it at Target around Christmas in the dollar section). With my bottle in hand, I found a log that is roughly 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter than my bottle. After measuring the base of the bottle, I dug out our drill, a 1 inch spaid bit, and a 1 1/4 inch hole saw (not pictured). Then, I stabalized the log between two weights. I would recommend a clamp of some sort. If you’re Ben, you’d hold it between your knees. Because I don’t trust my drilling skills that much, I used the weights. My log had a few cracks from drying out, so rather than drilling in the exact center of the piece, I centered my drill on the cracks. After drilling half the depth, I seemed to hit a knot and I couldn’t go any further. Once Ben came home from work, he came to my rescue and finished drilling the remaining depth. After drilling the hole, cut your log to the height you want. I also cut a little off the top to smooth everything out and show clean graining. Pop the glass insert in the hole and fill with anything. I made a reed diffuser using 3 bamboo skewers from our kitchen drawer, baby oil, vodka, and essential oils. Because my diffuser is small, I cut the skewers in half. Then, I mixed a batch of oil using this simple recipe: 1/4 cup baby oil, or unscented mineral oil if the baby oil interferes. You can use water, but it will evaporate much quicker. A splash of vodka. I suppose rubbing alcohol would work as well. The alcohol simply helps the skewers wick up the oil. A few drops of essential oil. I am obsessed with Bath and Body Works’ eucalyptus and spearmint line, so I chose to make something similar. I ordered my oils from Puritan’s Pride during a BOGO sale before Christmas to make scented lotion stocking stuffers. (No, I don’t work for either Bath and Body Works or Puritan’s Pride, I just like their products.) Simply mix everything together and pour in your vase. If you have extra, store it in an air tight container. Of course, you don’t have to make your own oil, you can fill you vase with any store bought oil and get the same result. If you prefer, you can use this same technique to create a rustic vase or candle holder using any glass insert. If you can’t find an insert, use it on your desk to corral pens and pencils. Or, ‘plant’ a fake succulent (usually I’m completely opposed to fake flowers, but succulents seem to look real) for a touch of green. For a more rustic feel, choose a log with bark on it.


  1. Great idea. We did something similar and turned it into a soy candle…


  2. i love that! so natural, rustic, and chic!

  3. Tanya Ott says:

    Very cool! Nice work guys.

  4. What a wonderfully creative idea!

  5. Kathy C. says:

    I love it! What a great way to reuse a piece of discarded wood. 🙂

  6. that is totally awesome! We just cut down some trees at our house and I have two stumps all ready to make into tables, but I’ve also been working with other branches to create some other things, and this is an awesome idea!!! Go Amanda!

  7. Terri says:

    Wow! Those look awesome!

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