Friday, September 19, 2014

Tutorial - Pet Memorial Candle


If you've ever lost a pet, you know how painful it is, and what a void it leaves in your life. Some of you may already know this but there is a global wide candle ceremony that takes place every Monday night at 9:00 P.M. central time. Everyone who wishes to participate, lights a candle in memory of a pet who has passed, and this is not a religious ceremony, so it doesn't matter what your beliefs are. This is done in the privacy and comfort of your own home. While lighting the candle, you can pray if you want, or you can just remember your furry little friends and the funny things they used to do. For more information, you can read about it HERE.

I used to do this after I lost my first dog CocoaBean in 2001, then somehow I got out of the habit. Since then I've lost two other pets, Sabrina, our shop cat, and most recently Mr. Patches. I thought it was time to do this again. I want the candle to be special though, just for them, so I came up with a few different designs. You can use a purchased glass candle cup, or use small jars. Along with this tutorial, I've included a JPEG image containing several sizes of paw prints and hearts to choose from. Just save the photo in these instructions to your computer and print.

Baby food jars, plain candle cups, or any small jar
ENAMEL paints (your choice of colors) sold by the acrylic paints
Ribbon, twine, or raffia for the rim (if using jars)
Paint brushes
Palette, plastic lid, or paper plate to hold paint
A couple (soft) paper napkins
Paw print & heart templates (provided, optional)
Cookie sheet to hold jars while baking
Tea light candles or votive candles

Always start with a squeaky clean glass and keep it that way. Before you begin painting an area, be sure to wipe it down with alcohol and if you accidentally touch that area during painting, wipe that spot again with the alcohol. The oils from your hands can actually prevent your paint from permanently sticking to the glass. Sometimes it's easiest to hold the glass with your hands or fingers on the inside. At some places you may find that you want to add a second coat. It’s also very important to allow paint to completely dry between coats and color changes. Be sure to wash and dry your brushes thoroughly after each color or between coats.

Note: If you are recycling a glass food jar, by soaking the jar in hot soapy water, the label should peel right off. If you find that glue is left behind, the best thing to use is GooGone which can be purchased about anywhere. If you don't have any, or don't want to buy any, you can use a paste made up of cooking oil, baking soda, and salt. The GooGone is just so much easier and quicker.

Click on the image above to open, right click an save to your computer if you want to use my handy templates.

1.  If you will be using my templates, just cut out the one(s) you want and tape them to the inside. Be sure to press them snuggly against the glass. If during this time you touched the outside of the glass, just wipe it down again with alcohol. While you are painting, be sure to hold only the upper rim, the bottom, and the inside of the glass. If you do accidentally touch the glass, just wipe that area with more alcohol. If you don't like your painting job, you can wash this paint right off and start over, as long as you do it right away. After it has been cured and baked, you will not be able to do this.

2.  Paint your jar as desired. You can see that I made three completely different jars. One candle holder I made with a paw print and wavy lines, and another one I did the paw print and the hearts in two colors. For the final jar I made the paw prints but decorated the entire jar with little dots. This was so easy because all I did was dab the wooden end of the paintbrush into paint, then dot it on the jar. Very simple for a cute effect. If you taped the templates to the inside, remove them after the paint has dried. Make sure to get all the tape off since the candle cups or jars will be baked.

All my candles were painted all the way around so when the flame was flickering, it made a pretty "dance" on the wall behind it, or the table under it.  

3.  Once the glasses are completely dry, you will have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle of the paint brand you are using for finishing. For example, for the brand of paint I used, I was to allow my paint to dry for 48 hours. After that, I set them in a cool oven, I set the temperature to 325 degrees, baked for 30 minutes, turned the oven off, let them cool down in the oven before removing. Your instructions may be different depending on the brand of paint you used.

4.  After they have cooled off, you can add your ribbon, raffia, or twine to the rim if desired. Pop in a candle and join in on the Monday night candle lighting, or as I have also done in the past, light the candle when you have moments where you are missing your little guys so much.

After they are baked, they can be washed. The bottle of paint I used said they are top shelf dishwasher safe, but I would still wash by hand. If you give them as a gift, perhaps to someone who has recently lost a pet, be sure to print out the Monday night ceremony page to give along with it.


  1. Well now you know I want to make one of these. I never knew about the Monday night ceremony either. I think I'll be joining in on that this Monday. Thanks for the tutorial

  2. These are so sweet Sher! What a great idea. This is the first I heard of the Monday night ceremony too. A perfect way to remember those favorite pets. :)

  3. What a nice way to remember a special pet.

  4. What a sweet idea. I've never heard of enamel paint, I like the effect. Not quite sure if it's available over here.

  5. It's amazing what you can do with baby food jars!

  6. This is such a wonderful way to remember out pets! And I love how you just laid the paper inside the jar to use as a template!

  7. Sher, this is so beautiful, simple, and inexpensive. I had not heard of the Monday evening candle ceremony before. I will share this with my dog club. Thank you so very much!

  8. That's a great way to offer your loved pet a tribute in a special way. Even you can create a web page for your pets memorial and share their pictures, videos etc. on our Online pets tribute website and even you can share it with your friends and family for remembrance.


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