DIY Kwanzaa Kinara 

As we count to Kwanzaa, The Home Depot and Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love are excited to share an easy-to-make Kinara that can be customized for you and your family’s Kwanzaa traditions! No worries! Check out Bernstein’s blog below for more great family crafting ideas, tips, and tricks!

Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that celebrates the history, heritage, and culture of African American people. The week-long celebration takes place from December 26th to January 1st and ends with gifts and a big dinner. Every night in Kwanzaa, families light the kinara – a holder with seven candles. Each night of Kwanzaa revolves around one of the seven principles: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economy), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), Imani (trust).

In the spirit of Kuumba, I am excited to share an easy-to-make Kinara that you can customize for your own family’s Kwanzaa celebration.

Unexpected materials make an impressive impression

I love using materials in unexpected ways and this project is no exception. Here’s what you need:

Hampton 4 “x 4” Pressure Treated Wooden Pyramid Post Cap

4 “x 4” Pressure Treated Unfinished Pine Ball Top Finial

A 2.5 “wide wooden board cut to 15”

9 in LED Flickering Candles with Timer – 6 Pack (Gold)

Decorative ornament of your choice


5/8 ”drill bit

Wood screws


Wood glue

DIY Kinara Making Wood Prep
DIY Kinara Making Flickering Candles
DIY edge making drilling tool

Let’s assemble!

It only takes a few steps to assemble our Kwanzaa Kinara. With the Post finals and fence posts together we can create a really beautiful, artful style without fancy woodworking!

Unfinished Pine Ball Top and Wood Top

Turn the end piece into the Pyramid post cap . You may want to drill a pilot hole in the post cap first to make this step a little easier.

Drill a hole in a wooden board

Next, drill a 5/8 “hole in the center of the wood board at 7.5”. Don’t go all the way through! Just deep enough for the candle fits snuggly. When you’ve made the first hole, drill six more holes as shown in the photo.

Drill wooden board into pine ball top

Fasten the wooden plate to the top with a wood screw.

Fasten the wooden plate on top of the end cap

Add a decorative edge to your style with a decorative molding. You can secure this with wood glue or finishing nails … whatever you have access to!

Battery operated candles

Remove the “flame” from the top of the battery operated candles.

Kwanzaa candles with spray paint

Now it’s time to create our Kwanzaa candles in traditional red, black and green. Spray paint cover the “wax” part of the candle and let it dry completely.

Paint the wooden base

To finish your Kinara, paint the entire wood base with your favorite color and then paste that in Candles in place.

Display your Kinara

With the battery operated candles, all you have to do is turn the flame to light each candle for every night in Kwanzaa.

This easy-to-do project is a home decor to celebrate year after year!

Happy Kwanzaa!

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