15-Bean Soup Mix* (dried bean soup mix found in your grocery store) need 1 per candle
Candle (we used various fall colors)
paper plate (1 per candle)
metal mixing bowl (metal is easist to clean and reuse)
metal mixing spoon
To begin, pour the soup mix into the metal mixing bowl and add enough glue to generously cover. Mix the soup and glue together really well making sure that all of the beans are thoroughly coated. Children can help by adding the ingredients and mixing as well.
Once you have the bean/glue mixture complete, it is time to prepare the plate. If you are doing more than one, write on the bottom of the plate in the center, the name of the child and the date. Lay a sheet of wax paper on top of the plate and fill with the bean/glue mixture. Gather up the edges of the wax paper and start to squeeze the mixture into a pyramid/mound-type shape. You will need to squeeze pretty hard and we always had the children help and say things they were thankful for as they were squeezing. By doing this, you are molding the beans and glue into a base for the candle.
Once you have a pretty solid base you can then insert the candle into the top in the middle of the mound. This will need some more squeezing as the beans will shift with the insertion of the candle.
Once you are complete with this step, your project should still have the wax paper holding everything in place. Give this a couple of hours to dry and then you can peal back the wax paper. The complete candle will not be dry yet. If the beans start coming off with the wax paper, squeeze it back into it's shape and wait a few more hours.
After you have removed the wax paper, place the candle back down on the center of the paper plate (the glue is still wet and will glue itself to the plate creating a solid, flat base for the candle). Allow this to dry completely (a few days).
When the beans are all dry you can cut the paper plate to fit the base of the candle. Add a construction paper leaf with a cute poem, story or verse about being thankful. Use as a table centerpiece or mantle decoration for Thanksgiving. Can be stored and used year after year.
* You can use any of the dried bean soup mixes, not just the 15-bean soup. We reccommend this because it has a variety of colors. Pick out the soup mix with colors you like.