Make this birch log candle holder with paper-cut leaf accents for the perfect Canada Day centrepiece

A table that reminds us of Canada's beautiful trees is one we want to be around this weekend.

A table that reminds us of Canada's beautiful trees is one we want to be around this weekend.

(All photography by Lady Hayes)

One of my absolute favourite things about Canada is the natural beauty. We have it all; mountains, Great Lakes, parks and so many beautiful trees. Since a lot of what I design focuses on botanicals, I thought it would be perfect to run with this "natural beauty" theme focused on Canadian trees as a great Canada Day table setting. I decided to make my centrepiece with a log from a birch tree to create a large candle holder. This piece sits on a bed of greens with local seasonal flowers like peonies and dahlias. I then tucked some graphic paper-cut leaves of some of my favourite trees. This table will be sure to make eyes light up and also have you humming our anthem over dinner. Now for the fun part! Let me walk you through a couple of DIYs and some helpful hints to get the Canadian tablescape of your dreams.

For the birch log centrepiece

Go to your local nursery or craft store and find yourself a birch log. It should be at least 30 inches long because it will be the centrepiece of your table setting. In the future you can use it on your patio, on a coffee table or continue displaying it in your dining room!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Birch log (30 inches in length and 8 inches in diameter)
  • Belt sander
  • Drill
  • 7/8 inch drill bit (or to snugly fit your candle)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Tall white candles (I used 5)

Here's how to do it:

1. Using your belt sander, sand the bottom of your log so that it sits flat and flush with any table surface.

2. Time to measure! I wanted to have 5 candles in my holder so I made 5 holes in the log. Find the centre of the log and mark a dot with a pencil. Now measure 3 inches from the centre mark on either side. Next, measure 3 inches from this point, marking all 5 holes.

3. With the drill, use a 7/8 inch bit to drill holes 1 inch deep into the log. Wipe away excess dust and trim any birch from the drilled holes with scissors.

4. Fill the holes with candles from any craft store. I chose white to keep it neutral and let the display be the focus.

For the paper-cuts

For this centrepiece, opt for leaves inspired by the trees found in our Canadian landscape.

I chose leaves from cherry trees to honour Canada's Greenbelt, the permanently protected space of land in Southern Ontario that is abundant with agricultural farm lands that provide our country with vegetables, dairy, fruits, and one of my favourites… wine!

I also included oak leaves. These trees represent strength, wisdom, and longevity and are prominent in Canada.

Last but not least, the maple leaf. Not only are maple trees our national tree, they produce 71% of the world's maple syrup! And 91% of it is produced right out of Quebec!

Here's what you'll need:

  • A few sheets of plain white paper
  • Printed leaf shapes
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Tape
  • Pencil or pen

Here's how to do it:

1. Find images of your leaves of choice and print them. Cut them out using scissors. Take your time, and use an exacto knife where you need to.

2. Trace your leaves onto plain white paper. Fill the paper as many times as you can and then cut out all of your leaves for your table setting. I recommend making at least 30 paper cuts.

For the table setting

Here's what you'll need to set the table for 4 — revise up or down as needed:

  • Birch centrepiece
  • 30 paper-cut leaves
  • Italian Ruscus
  • 1 bunch of jasmine
  • 6-8 small peonies
  • 4-6 dahlias
  • 4-6 roses
  • 10 carnations
  • 4 plates (mine are from Anthropologie)
  • 4 napkins
  • 4 sets of cutlery
  • 4 glasses

Here's how to do it:

1. Begin by creating a bed of greens, using Italian Ruscus. Lay your foliage onto the centre of the table, creating what looks almost like a table runner. I also used jasmine as filler to create a lovely full bed for the birch centrepiece.

2. Once you have your bed of leafy greens, lay your birch centrepiece on top and tuck your flowers in among the base of the log, spacing them out so that there's plenty of colour all around the log. You can also trim the stems, if necessary. If you're using fresh florals, be sure to add them to your tablescape only a little while before your guests arrive, so that you can make the most of their beauty.

3. Now it's time for our paper-cuts! Nudge them gently under the foliage so they are peaking out from beneath. This will allow the pops of white to contrast nicely against the greenery and the saturated colour of the blooms.

4. Once the centrepiece is complete, gather your dinnerware, set the table for your guests and feast away!

Lady Hayes is a designer, photographer and mama, known for her beautiful floral inspired projects and lifestyle. Her love of flowers shines through her couture crafted Flower Crowns and Petal Pop, her line of Floral Confetti with sun dried roses and gold confetti glitter. Stay connected! Visit Hayes over on her Instagram or visit her website to shop and say hi!