Silly Season has arrived (how did that happen?!) and all around us, the frantic race to the C-word is in full swing. But if you’re looking for a rather more gentle way to celebrate, then a simple DIY Yule Log might be right up your alley.
You don’t have to be a witch to honour the seasons. You don’t even have to be all that crafty. A good hunk of tree branch, a drill and, perhaps, a beautiful ritual is all you need to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
The traditional Yule Log was a branch from a carefully chosen tree that was burned during the longest night of the year to encourage the return of the sun. Before burning, a piece of the log would be held back and used to light the Yule Log for the following year.
If, like me, you don’t have a log burning fire in your home, making your own perpetual Yule Log to bring out each year is a wonderful way to light up those long midwinter nights.
The trickiest part of this project is sourcing your log. Preferably, it will be from a special place – somewhere meaningful to you. While in days gone by, families may have dragged in an entire tree at Yule, I personally believe your branch should be fallen. PLEASE don’t go chopping down any trees on my account!
I was lucky enough to have a friend who worked at a 500-year-old Kentish castle with links to none other than Henry VIII and she brought me home a log from the grounds.
Yep. That’ll do!
Your log will need to be large enough to accommodate three candles – Red to represent the passing of the old year, White for new beginnings and Green to represent the new year and the next turn of the wheel as we move from the dark half of the year, back towards spring.
Once you have your special branch, make three holes to fit your candles. Beloved used a universal wood drill bit like the one below, which made light work of turning my tree branch into a candle holder. These drill bits come in different diameters, so pick one to fit your candles.
Unless you happen across a branch that’s flat on one site, you’ll probably need to stabilise your Yule Log. Beloved did this by screwing an old shelf to the bottom of the branch. Genius! Any flat piece of wood will do the job, even an ugly one – simply disguise it with greenery!
A special celebration deserves a special candle and my choice is Price’s Dinner Candles. They’re good quality and come individually wrapped, meaning every one is pristine. As I light my Yule Log nightly throughout the festive season, I need a box of each colour but they last me a whole season, if not longer. I often have one or two left over, leaving me a couple of red for Valentine’s Day.
As you can see from the pictures, my DIY Yule Log has been an important feature in OneandSeventy’s Christmas Decorations for many years and kept safely, will continue to do so for many years to come.
Perhaps you’d like to make a Yule Log for your own festive celebrations? If so, drop a comment below to let me know. As always, I’d love to see your take on this project. Tag me on Instagram, or share a photo on my Facebook Page.
I hope you get as much pleasure from making your own Yule Log as I have from mine.
A hui hou,