Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

Make a "Stained Glass" Candle  
Let your kids turn a common white pillar candle into a colorful work of art.


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Make a "Stained Glass" Candle
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Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunAlong with unexpected winter breaks and snow days, parents are often presented with one or more kids home from school and, after a rambunctious first hour or two of "no school" celebrating, they become bored for something to do. Instead of planting the kids in front of the television or playing video games, why not occupy a few hours with a craft project that will allow your child an opportunity to spend quality time with you while exercising his or her creative muscles? A "stained glass" candle is one simple project that can be undertaken with a minimum of supplies and basic abilities. The result is a beautiful candle that makes a wonderful and thoughtful gift for a parent, grandparent, or teacher.

    What you will need:
  • A white candle (round pillar or taper)
  • Tissue paper in assorted colors
  • Craft glue
  • Water
  • Disposable paintbrush or foam brush
  • Newspaper
  • Disposable plastic bowl
  • Safety scissors

Begin by preparing a work surface. Cover a flat work area with newspaper to catch any stray glue or spills. Choose a candle that is appropriate for the age of your child. A smaller, votive candle may be easier for a younger child to handle and complete in an afternoon, whereas a larger pillar candle might be a better choice for an older child. Also try to use a white candle as opposed to an ivory candle (the white will let the colors of the tissue paper shine through as brightly as possible whereas an ivory candle—while still beautiful—will mute the colors and make them more subdued). Once the candle has been chosen, let your child decide the design for the "stained glass" that will appear on the candle. The design can include a specific image such as a house or tree, or may be a completely random assemblage of colored pieces—whatever suits your child's fancy. The exterior of the candle will be covered with a mosaic, or little squares, of tissue paper that will create the final design.

Once the concept of the design has been chosen, your child can begin preparing the mosaic tissue paper tiles that will be used to create the image. There are two methods of preparing the "tiles" and each will give a different look to the completed project. For a more clean and formal look, cut the various colors of tissue paper into small squares (or other geometric shapes) using safety scissors. For a more free form and relaxed look, tear the tissue paper into small, irregular forms. With this method, the ragged edges will give a less structured look to the completed project. Try to cut or tear the pieces into uniform sized pieces, about the size of a postage stamp (for a 2 or 4-inch diameter pillar candle). Keep the mosaic pieces in small piles separated by color to make it easier to locate specific colors while creating the design.

FunNow that the "tiles" have been prepared, your child can begin to create his or her design on the candle. The area that will be covered is the flat area of the candle that forms the sides of the candle (from the "shoulder" of the candle to the bottom). The tissue paper tiles will be applied to the candle using a watered-down glue mixture. In a disposable plastic bowl mix 2 parts craft glue with 1 part water and stir to thoroughly combine. Using a clean paintbrush or small foam brush, place a small amount of the glue solution on the area of the candle where you would like to begin your design. Choose a tissue paper tile and place it over the area where glue was applied. Using your fingertip or another dry foam brush, gently press on the tissue paper tile to attach it to the candle. Continue the process until the entire candle is covered with colored tiles. Once a section of tissue paper tiles are in place, gently brush on another light layer of the glue solution. You may want to rinse the brush in water between sections if you notice the brush has picked up color from the tissue paper. This will help keep the stray color from being transferred from one area to another. It's not a problem if tissue paper tiles overlap as the overlapped areas can simulate the areas where colors meet in real stained glass pieces.

Once the entire outer surface of the candle is covered, your child's colorful stained glass candle is complete! Allow the candle to dry thoroughly and then find place of pride for it in your home. Better yet, this colorful candle makes a wonderful "because I love you" gift for a parent or grandparent—a wonderful surprise that is the end result of a little time, a few inexpensive supplies, and your child's unbounded imagination.

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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