Healing Makes – Little Lights for the End of the Tunnel

‘A river has a magnificent capacity to carve deep canyons, trickle over rocks, plunge over falls, and keep moving. The river goes where she is meant to, all the while honouring her honest purpose: to ease gracefully over and around the obstacles she encounters. The promise is that if she stays in flow, she will get to where she is going. When words fail us, brought on by deep pain through trauma and loss, our task is to find our way back to the river of our lives. Making allows for flow when the heart is tempted to shrink back, stagnate and wither. When there are no conversations to be had or no comfort is to be found, working with our hands is always available to us and can be a powerful way to help us move forward’

– Pixie Lighthouse, from the foreword to ‘Hope, Make, Heal’ by Maya Pagan Donefeld

Little lights

When I started writing The Sparkle Nest, around 2 and a half years ago, it was about my family life. As time has gone on I’ve written less and less about my family, and more about things I’m making, things I’m learning, natural remedies, nourishing recipes (and a spot of retail therapy here and there!) Part of the reason for this is that, two years ago, my heart was broken and my world turned upside down so much, that the past two years have been a healing journey for me, one which I’m very much still on, and all of these things that I share on my blog are, in their own ways, part of that.

I recently spotted a book in a shop, which I just couldn’t leave on the shelf. It’s called ‘Hope, Make, Heal’ and is by Maya Pagan Donenfield. She was inspired to write it after a sudden and unexpected end to her marriage which, she says, ‘Threw her into a world of pain and confusion I had only read about in books and seen in movies’. The books is about using the hands to heal the heart through creativity and making.

It is full of projects to help you along the healing path; strength, calm, release and hope.

Little Lights

The project I was drawn to first were these ‘Lights for the end of the tunnel’. In the book, these are actually candles filled with wax, but I adapted it to just make tea light holders. What I found interesting while I was making these, was that I was making purely for the enjoyment of making. I wasn’t worried about perfection, just enjoying the feel of the clay on my hands and knowing that I was making something just for myself.

Clay tea light holders

You will need:

  • Air dry clay
  • Baking / parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • A tin can
  • Measuring tape
  • A ruler
  • Alphabet stamps
  • Tea light candles

To make:

  • First, make a snake out of a generous chunk of air-dry clay. Roll it out onto the parchment paper until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Work out how high you would like your candle holders to be. I chose 2 and a half centimetres. Put the tin can onto your rolled out clay, and measure out from the can, then cut a square.
  • Wrap the clay over the outside of the can and gently smooth out the edges using your fingers. This was the part where I started to think, ‘this is going to look so messy!’ then realised that it really didn’t matter, and just enjoyed the process. It was a bit fiddly!
  • Choose a word, any word, and stamp it onto the outside of your candle holder using the alphabet stamps. I made three candle holders and stamped them with the words, ‘Love’, ‘Peace’, and perhaps the most important one for me, ‘Calm’.
  • Leave your candle holders to dry for a few days, then add your tea light candles and light.

Little Lights

It’s a cliche, but everything that happens does happen for a reason, be it an important lesson or an opportunity to grow. One of the things I have done this year is to be attuned (for the second time) to Reiki. My Reiki Master said something that stayed with me, which was, ‘How can you know how to heal others if you have not yourself been at the centre of fear and suffered loss and pain?’  One day I hope to get there, but for now I will continue on my healing journey. And I will enjoy working my way through this beautiful book!

Healing crafts

Mudpie Fridays

About The Author


Mama of two beautiful boys. I’m veggie, vintage loving, a bit of a crafter and a bit of a hippy. I love the countryside and pretty things.


  1. Hung Tran | 14th Nov 17

    I like the project. The end result made for something that looks very homey and inviting. Good job!

  2. xtine | 15th Nov 17

    LOVE this, keepbeing u nice blog xxx thanks for inviting me here and thanks for showing these projects AH MAZING X

  3. Vasundhra | 15th Nov 17

    I have always believed that everything that happens, happens for a reason! This is an interesting project and the end product looks great too!

  4. Rose Sahetapy | 15th Nov 17

    Making something out of creativity I believe is part of the healing. I love how you enjoy making your project without being worried about perfection. Beautiful post!

  5. kathryn Maher | 15th Nov 17

    There is nothing like creating to sooth the soul and indeed the heart. I too am going through a life changing event (the end of my my marriage) and luckily for me I am a very creative person. My blog and my art are my saviours. I love these little Tea Light holders

  6. Katherine Thompson | 15th Nov 17

    They are lovely, so pretty and warm. I am definatly going to make these. Thank you xxxx

  7. Akamatra | 15th Nov 17

    This is why I craft and crochet like crazy. It’s healing and therapeutic and you make cool things too!

  8. five little doves | 15th Nov 17

    Oh these are so pretty! I love finding something which is therapeutic. For me it’s writing as I’m not very creative with my hands!
    five little doves recently posted…Chad Valley Play Panel: Review & £75 Argos giveaway!My Profile

  9. Irena | 15th Nov 17

    Your post reminds me of Demi Moore in the movie Ghost:-) It is great that you’ve found your healing ‘hobby’. Just keep doing that.

  10. Ana De- Jesus | 16th Nov 17

    What a lovely way of getting through pain and trauma by making tea lights that can help us shine a light through the darkness and guide us to positivity. Such a beautiful mantra.

  11. Khushboo | 16th Nov 17

    I love the entire concept! I must pick up Hope, Make, Heal. It sounds like a lovely book!

  12. Aditi | 16th Nov 17

    Creativity is indeed a form of positivity in my opinion. And if your creativity can give you an end result as beautiful as these tea light holders then I’d say that’s the best way to deal with any kind of trauma and pain. Love how you’ve explained everything with the help of pictures! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Aditi recently posted…5 Classic Bridal Hairstyles That Complement The LehengaMy Profile

  13. Becky, Cuddle Fairy | 16th Nov 17

    Awww I love this so much! The book sounds fantastic and full of healing and love. The craft is a beautiful idea, and when you said you were making it for the sake of making it not for perfection that really resonated with me. I’m going to look for some air drying clay and get crafty. Thanks for the inspiration :) Thanks so much for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x

  14. Jess | 16th Nov 17

    I love your tea light adaptation on this. You are absolutely right when you say everything happens for a reason. We learn our most valuable lessons from painful experiences.

  15. eliza | 16th Nov 17

    Oh this capture my interest. I love to read, not only for self learning but also which I can share to my friends or acquaintance that may need it. And this book would be great because there will projects to work on as part of moving on.
    eliza recently posted…Seville Style Guide – Win Free Flights with British Airways!My Profile

  16. London Mumma | 19th Nov 17

    I love that your blog has evolved, but that is life family and work. I like these cute candles they would make a great Christmas gift.
    London Mumma recently posted…MINTD Winter SkincareMy Profile

  17. Victoria Moore | 26th Nov 17

    Oh I love these! It’s so cute! :) You did a great job

  18. Women of Spirit – Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives | The Sparkle Nest | 19th Dec 17

    […] from my usual posts here, and touch lightly on my healing journey. A few weeks ago I wrote about healing through creativity, and in that post I mentioned that I am still recovering from the upside down turn my life took two […]

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