How to make a Marble Painted Candle Holder & “Swatch The Girl Who Loved Color”

A Fun Book, Marble Painted Candle Holder & More!

After reading Julia Denos’ “Swatch The Girl Who Loved Color” we decided to try out Marble Painting like we kept seeing done with those glass ball Christmas ornaments, except with baby food jars. It was simple, fun & turned into beautifully unique marble painted candle holders! I’m excited to walk you through how we made these, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “Swatch The Girl Who Loved Color”

Swatch The Girl Who Loved Color” by Julia Denos is a fun book about a girl named Swatch who was a brave color tamer. She could teach them to do all sorts of things, like dance. She enjoyed hunting for the rarest of colors. Throughout the story each color is not only named, but its name is typed in that color, which is very cool and reinforcing.

One day she captured a color in a jam jar and loved the way it looked behind glass so she captured more and more, until her entire room was bursting with all of the beautiful jars of color. The story doesn’t end there; as she tries to capture the one remaining color it speaks to her and asks her what she’s doing. Swatch had not thought of asking a color if they want to be tamed. When she asked, the color declined the offer and quickly showed its wild side. This of course helped Swatch remember that colors are meant to be wild and free!

A truly remarkable book with such a unique way to talk about and visualize colors, this is a must read!

The Reason We Read This Book…

laminator and masterpiece alphabet letter sheets

I was recently gifted a wonderful curriculum called “The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum” by Alexandra from that covers both the alphabet and the elements of art! I only post about books & activities we genuinely like and this curriculum is truly amazing & worth many mentions!

I’m not one for following a set curriculum in our homeschooling. We definitely identify more as unschoolers; and my daughters least favorite thing is any type of worksheet. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened up the pdf file to find a very full, multifaceted approach to learning about art while reinforcing the alphabet at the same time. As you work your way through the alphabet this curriculum offers book suggestions, sensory letter tracing, hands on crafts, recipes, felt or embroidered letter making & more!

happi_crafts uppercase letters on top of lowercase letter sheet from the masterpiece alphabet curriculum

I decided to laminate some of the various letter sheets provided. There are gorgeous watercolor “letter coins” that you can print and use in so many ways. I decided to laminate the sheet itself, then we tried out a few things. One was pairing @happi_crafts mini color changing uppercase letters for my daughter to match to the uppercase letter coins. But her favorite was definitely pouring a ton of sprinkles on top of the sheet and moving a clear plastic shot glass around to find the hidden letter coins on the laminated sheet!

clear plastic shot glass finding hidden letter "I" in a tray full of sprinkles

The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum has links to many different tutorials and read aloud’s. But the absolute best part is the super helpful & timesaving QR code she put on each letter lesson page! Just open your camera, point it at the QR code on the printout and bam all the links at your fingertips to click and engage with!

"A is for Artist" masterpiece alphabet curriculum with book recommendations

I’m sure you can tell I could go on and on about this terrific curriculum but you should really go check it out. The first lesson “A is for Artist” is generously available for FREE to sample!!! This is the lesson we’re currently working on. It’s also where this awesome book recommendation came from that inspired our marble painted candle holders!

How We Made Marble Painted Candle Holders…

hand squeezing yellow paint inside of a baby food jar

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we gathered a few baby food jars from the art closet (is it just me or doesn’t it seem everyone has some hanging around? Perhaps they’re just too cute & have too many uses to discard!). Then my daughter chose her acrylic paint colors. She picked her favorite neon pink, bright yellow & blue in hopes of them blending to make a rainbow.

The jars were clean, dry and the labels had been taken off them. If you find the jar sticky after removing the label I highly recommend Goo Gone, that stuff is AMAZING!

hand holding a marble painted candle holder

Next she opened the jars, squirted a generous amount of paint onto the inside of the jar and moved the jar around to help the paint color the inside of the jar. Then she repeated the same step with the next color, and the next. Each time she tried squeezing the color in a spot on the glass jar that wasn’t yet covered with paint, including the bottom.

Hidden Bonus Art?

Once she was content with the look she placed it opening side down onto the cardstock paper, so the excess paint would pour out. After a few minutes she picked it up, exposing a big circular glob of marbled paint on the paper and placed it down on a fresh spot of the paper. She repeated this several times until the glob of paint was quite minimal.

We didn’t get to do this part, but as I was throwing away the marble splotted paper I realized there is a hidden process art project here. Next time we will be using some kind of tool, sponge, comb, paintbrush, fingers, etc… to spread the globs of marbled paint that lands on the cardstock paper! If you do this (or any of our activities) I’d love to see, please tag me on Instagram @Parentingnotperfection or Email me

night vision of candle lit marble painted candle holders

Lastly she placed it tilted on its side with the opening facing downward to allow the air to circulate and help the jar dry. I’m sure there might be other ways to do this, but this worked for us. The next day the jars were all dry & truly stunning! Each one completely different than the next.

At night, we placed a battery operated tea light candle on the inside of the lid and placed the marble painted jar on top. The light flickered inside and the variance of the colors made quite an appealing nightlight.

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

three marble painted candle holders in front of "Swatch" book opened to page showing Swatch capturing blue in a jar.

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

"Swatch" book opened to page showing Swatch capturing colors in jars.

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each art has its own identity. I would suggest making a Marble Painted Candle Holder if you’re looking for a quick and simple art activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Swatch The Girl Who Loved Color” by Julia Denos (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Glass baby food jar
  3. Acrylic Paint
  4. Tray
  5. Cardstock paper (optional)
  6. Battery operated tea light candle
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make a Marble Painted Candle Holder?

  1. Lay the cardstock paper on the tray.
  2. Choose your paint colors.
  3. Open the paint bottles so they are ready to squeeze.
  4. Hold the glass baby food jar in one hand, squeeze a generous amount of paint into the jar with the other.
  5. Tilt the jar so the paint begins to move around.
  6. Squirt the next color of paint and tilt again.
    The goal is to cover most or all of the glass with swirls of paint.
  7. Once you’re content with the look turn it upside down on the cardstock paper on the tray.
  8. After several minutes lift it off the paper, a glob of marbleized paint will be there.
  9. Move the jar to a different spot on the cardstock paper.
  10. After an hour or so move the jar again.
  11. This time laying it tilted on its side where any excess paint can drain out of it but it is open to the air.
  12. It should be dry the next day.
  13. Once dry, turn on a battery operated tea light candle and place the marble painted jar over it to watch the colors glow!
  14. Optional – You can use a paintbrush, comb, sponge, or any other painting tool to move the leftover globs of paint on the cardstock paper to make some unique process art!
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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