How to Make a Kid-Friendly Kinara for Kwanzaa

See how blogger Amber Kemp-Gerstel creates this flame-free kinara.

Paper flames on this candelabra, known as a kinara, enable little hands to help with the Kwanzaa tradition of lighting a candle daily from December 26 to January 1. Damask Love blogger and YayDay Paper Co. founder Amber Kemp-Gerstel marks the holiday with paper interpretations of iconic elements and the personal connection that comes from something handmade. Craft your version of her DIY kinara using wooded dowels, scrap wood, paint, and paper. This easy Kwanzaa craft can be made in an afternoon for under $10 in materials—now is the perfect time to start crafting for Kwanzaa.

paper candelabra craft
Amber Kemp-Gerstel

How to Make a Wooden Kinara

Supplies Needed

  • 1-inch diameter wooden dowel
  • Clamping miter box with saw
  • Black, yellow, red, and green craft paint
  • Scrap wood
  • Painters tape
  • Drill and small drill bit
  • Hot glue gun
  • Yellow and orange cardstock
  • Thin jewelry wire

Step-by-Step Directions

Head to the hardware store to make this simple Kwanzaa decoration. With just a few pieces of wood and some paint, you can create a lasting Kwanzaa kinara.

Step 1: Prep Dowels

Cut one 6-inch piece and six 5-inch pieces from a 1-inch-diameter dowel. Amber used a clamping miter box ($18, The Home Depot) to hold the dowel and ensure even cuts. Paint the 6-inch dowel with black craft paint and the remaining dowels green and red. Two shades of each color mimic candlewax drips. Let dry completely.

Editor's Tip: Don't have a saw? You can have the dowel cut to size at your local hardware store.

Step 2: Form Base

For the base, cut a piece of scrap wood. Make sure it's at least 10-inches long. Tape off one end of the wood and paint. Let dry completely. Using a small bit, drill a hole in the top of each dowel. Hot-glue the bottom of the dowels to the base.

gluing paper flames on wire
Amber Kemp-Gerstel

Step 3: Make Flames

Cut flame shapes from yellow and orange paper; glue together with short wires ($3, Walmart) sandwiched between. Insert the wires into the drilled holes and use glue to secure them if necessary.

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