Salt dough candle holders for Diwali

Will you be celebrating Diwali with your children next month? I think observing festivals from many different cultures is a wonderful way to introduce  kids to the wider world.  The festival of lights is taking place on Thursday 23rd October 2014 and a creative way to mark the occasion by making some salt dough candle holders.

How to make beautiful salt dough candle holders - great for Diwali and Winter Solstice

Salt dough candle holder Diwali craft

salt dough recipe
We started by mixing up a batch of our easy salt dough recipe. One cup water, two cups flour and two cups salt and you’re done. (You can download this recipe, and more play dough recipes and ideas,  in The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book.)

salt dough recipe
Then we took a ball of salt dough each to make our candle holders. The children used their thumbs to press out a hollow in the centre of their candle holder, making sure it was the right size to fit our tea candles.
salt dough candle holder diwali craft idea
We pressed some sequins into the dough of some of our candle holders, and then baked them all at Gas 1/2, 120C, 250F  for about 3 hours. Using a fish slice/spatula makes it easier to pick up them up and place them on the baking tray.
salt dough candle holder diwali idea
Once the salt dough candle holders were cool we painted a layer of glitter paint over the surface of the sequined ones, to add some more shimmer and help hold the sequins in place.
salt dough candle holder diwali craft
On our other salt dough candle holders we painted a layer of gold paint and sprinkled on gold glitter while the paint was still wet.

More Diwali crafts and activities

rangoli patterns
:: why not try making traditional  rangoli patterns with your children using beans and lentils?

:: or combine crafts, decorations and food to host your own Diwali party 

Get the book!

the homemade play dough recipe book call

 Love play dough? Take a look at The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book :: recipes and ideas for a whole year of play! 


  1. says

    Oooh my son made similar ones last year at nursery and LOVED every minute of it! And Salt Dough is so wonderfully versatile. Love your final ones, they look great!


  2. says

    Yey Diwali, I looked at Rangoli but couldn’t think how to do it with a 2 year old. The lentil on plates is a great idea. I may give it a go. Thanks

    • Angela says

      Google rangoli pattern and print off, let 2 yr old put glue in 1 area only and sprinkle with coloured sand r glitter, repeat process until pattern is filled, remember to do 1 part at a time. Brill results I been doing it for years with my minded toddlers.

  3. Smiles says


    This is an excellent idea.But can you please tell me that how did you paint the glitters on it?And also is it safe to bake it in the oven with the beads on?


    • says

      Hi Smiles. We used a paint that had glitter in it and painted all over the top of the candle holder with it. We didn’t use any beads, but rather plastic sequins, and the oven is at a very low temperature.

  4. says

    There is a previous question regarding this subject but I wanted to ask it again because all instructions I have read for making salt dough models say that they should be varnished afterwards. Surely varnish is highy flammable and not suited to objects which will be used as a candle holder? Yet there are many examples given on the internet about how to make a holder, all which mention varnishing the item first.

    Does varnish lose its flammableness when it dries?

  5. selena says

    what does Gas 1/2 mean?
    Do I bake at 250F?

    I’m worried the sequins will catch fire in the oven…

    • says

      Yes, Gas 1/2 is the equivalent of 250F. Our sequins were fine, but you have any concerns then you can always glue the sequins on after the candle holder has been baked.

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