Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nativity Candle Holders

Remember that catchy song from Alvin and the Chipmunks that can get really annoying when a person (my husband) sings it all year round? Story of my life… and an example of our obsession with Christmas. If ever anyone needs a reason as to why I’d want to move to a Western country, it would be this - I hate having to wait until December 1st for shops to stock Christmas décor, magazines to even make a mention of the advent season and grocers to remove stale stock from last year and re-stock baking powder, cocoa and unsalted butter. Seriously!

So until the advertising and retail world realizes it’s the season of joy, I spice up my life with my own little made up versions of joy. Like the following Christmas home décor idea that I simply love. This is my first DIY tutorial and I hope it helps!

Nativity Silhouette Candle Holders

The idea is to basically have the three most prominent scenes of the nativity story represented as silhouettes – the wise men following the star, the shepherds hearing the good news and the manger where baby Jesus lay. Now there are 3 ways to do this – Easy, Easier, and Easiest. Hmm… interesting. Follow on!


Things that you need
3 round drinking glasses preferably with a flat base
3 battery operated tea light candles
Plastic sheet (the transparent thick kind that we use to cover school text books)
Kite or tissue or tracing or butter paper or vellum (basically a paper that has a translucent quality and is generally in some shade of white)
A black and white print out on office white paper of nativity scenes (you can browse around on Google images and find quite a few!)
Art blade/ knife
Glue stick (I prefer Fevi stick)
Black poster paint and a paintbrush

- Take the printed paper with the nativity scene on it and start cutting out the silhouette. This can be quite tricky as there are many fine details. But these details make the end product beautiful. Don’t worry about chopping off a camel’s leg or a shepherd’s staff. Just make sure to retain all the bits that you’ve accidentally cut off. It can be glued on together.
- Once that’s done, you’ll notice that your sweaty fingers have taken off most of the black ink on the silhouette. So take out that black poster colour and paint the silhouettes. Let them dry.
- Take one of the glasses that you’ve selected and measure the plastic wrap around it and cut it with a little allowance for stapling the sides together. Then measure and cut 2 more pieces of plastic wrap and 3 piece of white kite paper… all in the same measurement.
- Take the dried silhouette of one of the scenes. For eg. The three wise men. Use the glue stick on the side painted black and stick it down on the plastic sheet positioning it in the centre.
- Now wrap this plastic sheet over the glass and staple or glue it in place. Gluing plastic can be tricky and so I prefer to mark it while on the glass, then remove and staple the sheet and later slide it back on the glass.
- Take the kite paper and wrap it around the plastic wrap and glue the ends together.
- Slide the plastic wrap and kite paper cylinder over the glass and place a tea light inside.
- Repeat steps for the other nativity scenes and Voila!

You will be able to see in the second image that the detailing was pretty badly cut out, like the disconnected rope. Also the size of the plastic wrap in the first picture was cut short for one of the glasses. And I haven't used flat based glasses either... Bad me. But if the instructions are followed the way they ought to be, the result can be quite remarkable!


You can skip all those steps by just buying 3 frosted glass cups. That would give you the translucent look that you require. So you just have to cut out the silhouettes, darken them (by painting them black) and paste them on the inside of the glass (which might be difficult if your glass is too tall). Forceps maybe of great help here.


If you’ve got the bucks, just scrap the entire project and buy them online at Dayspring!

I simply have to end this post with the immortal words of the chipmunks-

“We can hardly stand the wait
Please Christmas, don’t be late”

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