Arts & Crafts

DIY Flameless Cardboard Tube Candle Craft

By: Highlights Editorial
A pretend candle made from a cardboard tube and construction paper flame.
minute activity
Ages 3+
Fine Motor Skills

Lighting a candle is not always practical with kids in the house. This flameless “flickering” candle uses materials you have at home and the kids can make it safely.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Glue a strip of wrapping paper around the cardboard tube.

  2. Fold the red construction paper in half and cut out a flame. You should end up with two identical flames.

  3. Lay the thread lengthwise on one flame, leaving a few inches on either end. Spread glue on one side of the other flame, and glue the flames together.

  4. Cut two 3½-inch diameter circles from yellow construction paper. Then cut out the centers.

  5. Spread glue on one side of one yellow halo. Center the flame in the middle of that halo, and lay the thread across it. Add the other halo. Trim excess thread.

  6. Cut two slits in the top of the candle. Slide the halo into the slits, with the flame straight up in the center.

  7. Breathe gently on the flame to make it flicker.

Extend the Fun:

Younger kids: Little ones might not be ready to cut the flame and the halo. To provide more fine motor cutting opportunities, have your child use safety scissors to cut up pieces of wrapping paper for decorating the cardboard tube. They can cut big and small pieces, and then glue them on like a collage.

Older kids: Way back when, people relied on candles for light. Challenge your child to think about how things worked then versus now. How did people see when it was dark? If people traveled at night, how did they know where to go? How much light did one candle give off? For a bonus challenge, experiment with living by candlelight (just for a few hours). Try only candles at dinnertime or a fire in the fireplace during family reading time.

Give the gift of creativity and inspiration to kids with all kinds of interests, from future chefs and scientists to budding humanitarians and comedians!

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial