A Light at the Table

Our WARM Place Families recently completed a poignant family project. Together they created a special reminder of their loved one to place on the table during holiday meals.

Each family received a cylindrical glass candle holder which they decorated with colorful tissue paper, pictures of their loved one, descriptive words about their loved one and artwork. Then we placed a candle inside to be lit in memory of the loved one.

If you want to do this simple and special family project at home, here are the materials photo 3you may want to use:

1 glass candle holder.  Use any shape or size, even a Mason jar .
Jar of Mod Podge glue.
Paint brush for glue.
Pieces of tissue paper.
Copies of family photos.
Markers to draw pictures or write memories.
Coffee filters to draw artwork on.
Pictures or words cut out from magazines.
Hair dryer with cool setting.

Step One: Gather the above materials and complete any artwork or drawings on the coffee filters. Children may want to draw a picture of their loved one, cut out words that remind them of him or her, or write a note to him or her.

Step Two: Cover a small area of the glass candle holder with Mod Podge. Paint a thin layer. If it is too thick, the pictures may smudge or bubble up.

Step Three: Place tissue paper, words, or pictures on that area. You may choose to tear the tissue paper in small pieces for a “stained glass” effect, do a special design, or make it more like a collage.

Step Four: Continue steps two and three until whole jar is decorated. Our families found it easier to cover the jar bit by bit rather than covering the entire jar in glue at once. They found that the glue began to dry quickly and would have to be repainted.

Step Five: After the entire candle holder is covered with pictures or tissue paper, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the whole candle. This will seal the pictures and keep them in place. On the drawings, you may want to dab carefully over pictures to avoid smudging the ink.

Step Six: Let Mod Podge air dry or use the hair dryer on a cool setting. Using a warm setting on the hair dryer may cause the pictures to bubble up.

Step Seven: Place a candle inside the decorated glass container and put it on your table or somewhere meaningful to you and your family.
It can be placed on the table, the mantel, or anywhere that is meaningful. You might want to ask your children where they would like to place the candle.

Other uses:
Instead of placing a candle inside, you can also use it to hold flowers in memory of your loved one or to place notes, memories, and letters to your loved one inside the jar throughout the holiday season.

This is one example of a special family project to remember your loved one during this holiday season. The purpose of this project is remembering your loved one and letting those in your family know it is okay to talk about him or her. It also gives your children an opportunity to share their feelings and memories during this holiday season.

-Mary Kathryn Nader, Program Intern

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