This thanksgiving candle craft is very easy for even preschool kids to make in any shape you want, using any assortment of colorful dry beans and lentils you probably have sitting in your pantry!
I first published this post back in 2011, when my kiddos were only 10, 8 and 6. Goodness, times goes by fast! This was before pinterest and I learned to be crafty from the teachers at school and magazines.
All three of my kiddos made these fun bean handle holders when they were in preschool and kindergarten. So you know this Thanksgiving craft is SUPER kid friendly. And with the big jump to all things fall after a month of halloween antics, you need a no-brainer craft to entertain the kiddos.
Thanksgiving candle craft
Most Thanksgiving crafts involve leaves, turkeys, pilgrims and pumpkins. And if you have little kids making them, you may or may not be excited to decorate your carefully coordinated Thanksgiving table with their handiness!
This is a fun project I did with my Princess’ kindergarten class many years ago as a Thanksgiving candle holder gift for the children’s parents: DIY Bean Candle Holder. The kids loved making these candle holders and the only skill involved is stirring!
It’s a totally easy and cheap craft to throw together. And the parents really loved the candle holders their little ones created. I think they are pretty enough to sit on your thanksgiving table, how about you?!
Supplies for Thanksgiving candle holder
It’s so simple even a preschooler can do it! That’s when I first learned to make these Thanksgiving candle holders – way, way, WAY before Pinterest! And the best part is that you probably have all the supplies hidden away in your cabinets.
First up, you need a MOLD: we used some random plastic disposable cups we had leftover from a party. You can also use paper, styrofoam or any other disposable cup. For my votive candle holder, I used a styrofoam bowl for the mold.
Next, you will need BEANS! This is the fun part. Clean out your pantry as I am sure you have bags of unused dry beans hiding in there! Choose bright colors and different varieties.
We used red kidney, white beans, black beans, green lentils and yellow split peas for fall colors. If you want something more Christmassy, choose red and white beans with lots of green lentils. For these updated pictures and video, I used one of those bags of bean soup mix, where one bag has a variety of different beans. Just discard the soup seasonings.
You will also need a BAR OF SOUP to rub the inside of your cup or bowl so that the glue does not stick to it. To adhere all of this together, you will need WHITE GLUE. Yup, that regular Elmer’s white glue your kids have bottles of hiding all over the house.
If you make slime, you know you have plenty of glue. Any brand of glue is fine as long as it dries clear. You will also need a POPSICLE STICK or any other disposable stirring device to mix the beans and glue together.
And lastly, you need CANDLES. You can use tall candle sticks, short candles, votive candles… any kind of candle you like. If you have a large bean bowl you can place an assortment of candles in that. Again, have fun and get creative!
For the votive candles, I chose to use the kind that has a metal holder. This way, the beans stick to the metal holder and as the small votive candles burn out, you can replace them easily with another votive candle. Easy peasy.
How long do these bean handle holders last?
All three of my kidlets have made these bean candle holders when they were little, so I have a few sets of these babies! One set I have yet to use up all the candles, and the bean candle holders still look great after 8 years.
So your Thanksgiving candle holders should last you for as many years as those candles you stick in them are around. A family “heirloom” that will bring lots of memories during this wonderful time of the year.
- 20 oz assorted dry beans and lentils
- 1 bottle white craft glue (dries clear)
- 4 candlesticks
- 4 paper or styrofoam cups
- 1 bar of soap
- 1 popsicle stick or plastic spoon/knife
- 1 sheet of parchment or wax paper
- Rub the inside of paper or foam cups with bar of soap.
- Fill each cup 3/4 of the way with an assortment of dry beans and lentils.
- Pour in approximately 1/4 cup white glue in each cup.
- Using a popsicle stick or plastic spoon, mix beans and glue together until all of beans are coated in glue. Add more glue as needed. Make sure beans in bottom of cup are coated in glue.
- Smooth beans on top to be flat.
- Stick a candle in the center and gently press down about 1-inch. Do not press down all the way to the bottom.
- Let glue dry 30 minutes, then peel off the paper cup. Glue will still be wet. Fix any holes and add glue to any dry parts.
- Place candle holders on a sheet of parchment or wax paper to completely dry, about 1-2 hours.
You can make votive candle holders with less beans, use a styrofoam bowl as a mold for larger candles or more than one candle.