The older my kids get, the more I enjoy doing crafts and projects with them. I no longer have to do the lion’s share of the work, they appreciate the finished product more than they used to, and since everyone in our home is managing their own toileting, we have time to do things like color rice and make fancy cakes.
This project though? This is one I would have done with the kids when they were old enough to shake a Ziploc bag of rice without trying to eat it, and it would have been a success. It’s that easy. These colored rice candleholders took no longer than ten minutes to make, and I had all the materials on-hand. The tealights are leftover from ten years ago when I thought I needed a bag of 250 of them (“We’ll use them all the time!), and we have an entire shelf of mason jars. We reuse the jars from our pasta sauces and jams, because we’re hella green, and also super cheap. If you get iced tea at our house, it’ll be in a mason jar.
- Mason jars (small jelly jars would be cute, too)
- Plain ol’ white rice
- Food coloring
- Rubbing alcohol
- Ziploc bags
- Tea lights
Dump about a cup of rice into a Ziploc bag, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol, and a couple of drops of food coloring. Use less food coloring for lighter, more pastel-like colors. I did two drops of color at first, and added more to get the hue I liked. Seal up those bags with lots of air in them to allow the rice to move freely, and hand them over to your little rice shakers. My four-year-old rice shaker did a great job, and she works for free, unless she’s demanding cookies or kisses.
The alcohol helps the color coat the rice better, and after about a minute, the rice is ready to go. Dump it in a mason jar, and add a tealight. Don’t light the candle right away. There’s alcohol in there, remember?
My kids love these, and so do I. The colors can be customized for different holidays, and we’ll be rocking some red, white, and blue ones in early July, as well as a Halloweeny theme in October. Green, red, and white in December? You see where I’m going with this.
[Tweet “These colored rice candleholders are crazy easy and so cute!”]
[Tweet “Mason jars and colored rice come together to create a great-looking DIY centerpiece!”]