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Holiday Crafts | Make Remembrance Candles

Holiday Crafts | Make Remembrance Candles
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As Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations loom on the horizon, this is a great time to think about making remembrance candles. What are remembrance candles? Candles specifically displayed and lit in memory of people that have passed away (or are gone for other reasons). The candles are lit in a place of honor during holidays or special occasions as a way to honor those people and symbolically include them in your celebrations. You can tuck remembrance candles into holiday centerpieces, place them on the dinner table, or designate a place such as the fireplace mantel for them to be showcased.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to light candles for those who have passed before you and have provided you and your family with special memories. Tell stories about the times you laughed with that person (or persons), something they may have taught you, or something you admired about them. If children are present this becomes a beautiful oral tradition of hearing (and later on re-telling) stories about their own ancestors and family friends.

Remembrance Candles lit among holiday decorations Remembrance Candles lit among holiday decorations

Materials to Make Remembrance Candles

  • Decorative papers
  • Scissors
  • Votive candle holders (one per person you are commemorating)
  • Votive candle (one per person you are commemorating)
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Tape or decorative string


Directions to Make Remembrance Candles


  • Cut a strip of decorative paper that is long and wide enough to wrap around your votive candle– the size will vary depending on the size of your votive candle holder.
  • Optional–Cut out a heart (or other shape) from the strip of paper.  The candle flame will emanate a glow through this shape.  You can also use a hole punch to punch out shapes in the paper (like I did to make the stars).
  • Optional– Use decorative scissors to create patterned edges.
  • Optional– Write a special note or message on the inside of the paper before wrapping it around the candle.  Kids can help with this step if they like (they can also draw a picture if they are too young to write).
  • Wrap the paper strip around the votive and secure with tape or decorative string.
  • Display in a special spot and light it when wanted or at a special designated time.
Remembrance Candles Remembrance Candles


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
Updated Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
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