candle making for kids

Sand Candle Making For Kids (In 4 Easy Steps)

Do your kids love getting creative and experimenting with DIY projects? This candle-making for kids guide explains how easy it is to do—no boiling hot materials or messy cleanup needed! Here's what you need to know so the whole family can make legendary sand candles in four simple steps. 

Safe Candle Making For Kids: Sand & Granulated Wax

Candle making with wax is hazardous for adults, let alone your precious little ones. Boiling water, hot, melted wax—it all sounds like a recipe for disaster if you ask me. 

Luckily, you don't need to worry about scorching materials burning little hands—that's where sand candle art (or, even better, granulated wax candle art) comes in. 

"Sand candles" are one of the most kid-friendly crafts around. All youngsters have to do is layer fun colors on top of each other to create beautiful candles. 

Michigan is home to many charming small towns, many of which host an annual street fair in the summertime. That's where I first encountered kid-friendly sand candle making—an easy, family-friendly, visually stunning art form. 

Without fail, I'd find my way to the sand art tent at the street fair every year. I'd choose my favorite clear vessel (sometimes plain old mason jars, sometimes in whimsical shapes) and start pouring colorful "sand" in gorgeous layers. 

It wasn't actually sand. Instead, it was granulated wax that burned just like a regular candle. But if you're using real sand, don't worry—we cover how to use natural sand and granulated wax sand in this guide. 

Making Sand Candles: What You Need

If you've ever done kids' crafts before, then you've experienced the excitement and joy they bring. But, unfortunately, you've undoubtedly also experienced the insane mess kid's crafts tend to leave afterward. 

This is not one like those other crafts. So get ready for the most effortless cleanup ever because you only need three things to get started: 

  • A clear glass container, such as a mason jar 
  • ONE of the following: 
    • Assorted bags of colorful sand AND a votive candle
    • Assorted bags of colorful granulated wax AND a wick 
  • Dixie cups for easy sand pouring 
  • Optional: 
    • Wooden skewer for pattern making
    • Funnel for precise pouring

Sand Candle Making For Kids In 4 Easy Steps 

Making sand candles with your children is a great way to introduce them to the world of crafting without the mess and fuss that usually comes along with it. So gather up your supplies and get ready for some creative fun.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Set up your workspace. 

You may want to work outside or set a newspaper or a tablecloth down to minimize cleanup. Before the young candle crafters arrive, pour bags of sand into individual dixie cups for each candle maker. If using granulated wax, make sure to have pre-cut wick strands ready. 

Step 2: Set up your vessel.

Mason jars work exceptionally well because they have a wide rim that makes set up and sand pouring easy. If you're using regular sand, you'll place a votive candle in the middle of the vessel. Then, you will pour the sand around it. If you're using granulated wax, you'll fix your wick in the vessel's center and pour on top. 

Step 3: Start pouring. 

You should demonstrate this part if your children have never participated in sand art or sand candle making before.

  • Pour colored sand in a circular motion around the vessel until a solid layer of color forms.
  • Then, choose another color, and repeat.
  • You could plan ahead and form a pattern of colors, or let the creative spirit take the lead and let your sand candle come together as you go. 

This is the fun part, so let go of the reigns and allow each youngster to pour their chosen colors of sand or granulated wax into the clear vessel.

Step 4: Clean up. 

This is the easiest step of all. Pour unused sand or granulated wax back into their containers. Throw away your used Dixie cups or newspapers, and voila—all done! No wax to scrape off the table, no dye to scrub off the counter, no pots to rinse.

Sand candle art is a parent's best friend as far as kid crafts go!

How To Safely Display and Burn Your New Sand Candles

Place your candles on a heat proof surface or dish. When it's time to light the candles, use an easy strike match and ensure an adult is present and supervising. If using granulated wax, trim your wick down before lighting and again before subsequent use. Be sure to blow out your candles after each use!

Candle Making For Kids FAQs

What age is appropriate for candle making? 

If you're using hot wax, children over the age of 10 should be able to enjoy the craft safely with adult guidance. Children aged four and above can enjoy candle-making using sand or granulated wax.

Can children make dipped candles? 

Dipping candles is not suitable for young children. Dipping requires hot wax, and extreme caution should always be used when melting wax.

What type of vessels are best for kids' candle making?

Mason jars work incredibly well because they have a wide rim that makes set up and sand pouring easy. You can also use other types of clear vessels, like old jam jars or empty glass food containers—whatever you have on hand.

Can I use real sand for this activity? 

Yes, you can! The process is similar to granulated wax. However, a votive candle will need to be placed in the middle of the vessel instead of a wick.

Ready To Bring the Fun? Get Candle Supplies Right Here

DIY candle making kit

Kalamazoo Candle Company is your one-stop shop for all the supplies you need for candle making with the kiddos. Our candle making kits make craft time easy and come complete with mason jars and wicks. Choose from an array of eye-catching colors and soothing scents to create your own DIY candle making kit