Homemade Winter Holiday Candleholders
Turn recycled jam jars into holiday magic (or at least cute candleholders).
- Glass jars:The mouth of the jar just needs to be big enough so a tea light candle can fit through it. Think jelly, baby food or salsa jars.
- Big bag of beads:Look for a bonus bag of multicolored ones.
- Tea light candles:Scented if you're trying to create a mood, plain if you'll be using your jars on the dinner table. Nobody wants their green beans tasting like a floral meadow!
- Hard candy:Pick up big bags of striped peppermints at the dollar store. Buy an extra bag for yourself!
- Embellishments:Raid the craft box for ribbon in festive holiday colors or pick up a couple of spools while you're at the dollar store. While you're there, be on the lookout for foam holiday stickers or other fancy embellishments for your candles.
- Hot-glue gun and glue sticks:Remember, kids and hot glue don't mix, so make sure you do all the gluing!
- Grab all those empty jelly jars you keep meaning to recycle and have the kids wash them out really well and dry them.
- Next, hand your kid the big bag of beads and get her to start sorting them by color. Decide together which colors you want to use for your jar. (Red and green for Christmas? Yellow, red and green for Kwanzaa? Blue and white for Hanukkah?) If she insists on making a rainbow candle, go ahead and let go of your inner control freak and let her!
- When she's all done sorting, let her sit near you as you hot-glue the beads onto the outside of the jar. Let her dictate where the beads go while you glue.
- When you're all done gluing and the glue is dry, let your kid pull off all the leftover glue strings from the jar.
- Now, hand her the big bag of candies and get her to start unwrapping them. This should take a while, so feel free to snack on some mints while you're waiting.
- Next, have her arrange the mints in each jar to make a "bed" for your tea lights. She can fill it up as high as she wants, but she'll have to try to make sure the top is relatively flat so that the candle can sit level. You and your child might need to experiment a little to get the look that you're going for, so encourage dumping and refilling as often as is necessary.
- Have your kid take a tea light out of the metal and put it on top of the "bed" in each jar.
- Help your kid take a length of ribbon and tie it around the top of the jar to make a fancy bow. Alternately, have your kid stick some embellishments around the top of the jar to finish it off. (Just make sure that the end product doesn't have anything hanging over the opening of the jar, so it doesn't create a fire hazard.)
- Place the jars around the house in fire-safe places (and out of reach of little ones!), light the candles and set a festive mood. (Plus, with that warm holiday glow, no one will even notice that you ran out of time to put on your makeup.)
- These jars also make great "lamps" to line and light up your front porch or walkway during the winter holidays.
- Make bigger decorated jars out of industrial-size condiment jars and pillar candles. Hello, Costco!