Like a moth to a flame, children are drawn to a candle’s glow. Though fascinating, these open flames are dangerous – for any home and especially for children themselves. So how to delight your little ones without risking their safety? We’ve got some crafty ideas using flameless candles:

  • Decorated bag lanterns: By far one of the simplest ways to satiate children’s candle curiosity is decorated bag lanterns, or luminaries. On white paper lunch bags, use any variety of crafting materials to decorate their surface: paint scenery; create abstract beauty with watercolors; draw shapes with pencil, magic markers or crayons. Decorate a series of bags to tell a story – maybe a sequence of rain turning to sunshine turning to rainbows. Or, a series of family member portraits. Then place a flameless votive or flameless tealight inside them. Line the bags up the stairs, use them as a table centerpiece or if you have younger children, display them higher up on a shelf or atop the fireplace.
  • Mummy candles: A personal favorite, especially during fall. Take used jars (jam, baby food, pickles, etc) and wrap them with medical gauze. Start at the bottom and use mod podge between layers. Overlap just slightly. Cover the jar with a light layer of mod podge to hold it all in place. Glue on googly eyes at the very end. Place a flameless tealight or votive inside (depending upon the jar’s size) and you’ve made some adorable little mummies.
  • Lace candles: Similar to your mummy project, all you need are a few used jars and some material. In this case, that’s vintage lace trim. Cut the lace so that it wraps around the jar and the ends just touch. Glue lace on with a thin layer of mod podge. Place a flameless tealight or votive inside. The look is elegant yet easy enough for children to make.
  • Glowing flower or feather candles: When flowers or leaves are pressed they become transparent, looking beautiful against light. Inspired by a project in Joy Williams’s book Nature Crafts, we suggest decoupaging pressed flowers and leaves to a glass votive cup and covering with tissue paper. Tear tissue paper into tiny pieces. Brush the outside of the votive cup with decoupage solution and then arrange the pressed flowers and leaves all around the glass. Brush on more glue and lay the pieces of paper on the glass, overlapping the edges. Keep adding paper and glue until the entire glass is covered. If you don’t have pressed flowers at the ready, feathers work nicely too. Place flameless tealight candle inside and behold nature’s flickering beauty. This project is a little messier than mummies or lace, but the results are lovely.