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How to Create a Modern Kwanzaa Kinara

Lighting the kinara is one Kwanzaa's most symbolic rituals. Invite the kids to help create this modern version that adds a colorful centerpiece to the Kwanzaa table.

Camille Styles, editor of CamilleStyles.com
Hand Crafted Dinner Table Decorations

Materials Needed:

  • 2-foot long wooden plank
  • wood stain
  • 7 small glass jars
  • red spray paint
  • green spray paint
  • black spray paint
  • 7 tea light candles
  • hot glue gun

Stain Wood

A wooden plank will be the base of your DIY kinara. Squeeze a drop of stain onto a paper towel. Rub into the wood plank in long strokes to create a rich, natural color. Repeat until covered.

Wood Finishing

Spray Jars

In an open, ventilated area, spray-paint one of the jars until opaque. Allow to dry. Repeat to create three green votives, three red votives, and one black votive. Tip: Set jars to dry right-side up to dry and at room temperature to avoid bubbling when you light the candles.

Decorating Jars

Glue Jars to Base

Evenly space painted jars on wooden plank, placing black in the middle, green on the right and red on the left. Glue jars, one at a time, by coating the bottom of each with hot glue and pressing onto the plank.

Painted Jars Being Glued on to Stained Wood

Complete the Kinara

Drop in tea light candles and light to represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Enjoy the magical glow of the candles as a meaningful centerpiece on the holiday table.

Painted Jars on Stained Wood
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