Luminaries make gorgeous decor pieces all year round, but few things look as whimsical and holiday appropriate than the light of a Christmas themed luminary shining through the night and snow to light your way through the chill or cast a warm glow over the room. Making them yourself makes that glow particularly rewarding!
Check out these 15 gorgeously festive Christmas luminaries that you’ll love looking at all winter long.
1. Botanical ice luminaries
A Piece of Rainbow guides you through the process of making a holiday luminary that’s actually made of ice! As if that wasn’t cute enough, it also incorporates real leaves, mistletoe, and cranberries. We can’t get enough of the way the light glows through the misty ice, even if we know this gorgeous craft will melt quickly.
2. Epsom Salt Mason Jar Luminaries
We absolutely love winter crafts that involve unconventional materials and special effects. That’s part of the reason we love these adorable little snowy luminaries by Gingersnap Crafts so much! They’ve used Epsom salts to coat the outside of the jar, making it look frosted as though the candle is shining through a snow covered window. Embellish the frosted jar with snowflakes and ribbons however you please!
3. Dimensional flower luminaries
At first glace, these little paper cut out luminaries might look a little bit like spring time because they feature flowers. Because they’re so stark white, however, our first thought was how much they looked like winter blossoms in the snow. If you don’t like the flower idea for Christmas, simply learn the 3D cutting and folding technique from A Piece of Rainbow and make whatever holiday images you want on the surface! Think fir trees, pine cones, or even dimensional snow men!
4. Orange peel candles
When we think Christmas, we think of finding clementine oranges in the toes of our stockings as kids! In fact, the smell of oranges sometimes reminds us of the holiday season. That’s why we loved Handimania‘s orange peel luminary idea so much! You’ll get a warm glow across the corner you place this little candle in, but you’ll also get a delicious orange scent that’s all natural.
5. Enchanted elf houses
A Piece of Rainbow has the perfect luminary project for you if you’ve never made them before and you’re looking for a little more guidance! These tiny elf houses are adorable and they’re also made from cut out templates. This makes it easy for you to cut, fold, and glue the pattern (or to let your kids do it), but working with their template also gets you used to the process so that next time you can perhaps make your own event fancier 3D elf house luminaries!
6. Coffee can snowflake lanterns
Design Sponge guides you through the process of poking or drilling holes into the sides of a cleaned empty coffee can. You can do so in a randomized pattern that simply looks like stars glowing in the sky, but we think it’ll look more like a holiday craft if you mimic the styles in the picture to create lovely little glowing snowflake shapes. Pop in the tealight, hang the can, and light it up! Now enjoy your new lantern.
7. Winter ice orbs
Yes, believe it or not, there’s another way to make something as awesome and unique as an ice luminary! This time, however, you’re concentrating on shape instead of decor. Rather than covering the ice luminary in leaves and berries, Design Mom suggests adding a tiny hint of food colour to make the orb glow your favourite colour and then molding it into a rounded shape like an orb. Imagine how awesome these would look lining your walkway for a holiday party!
8. Paper bag leaf lights
Do you like the idea of paper luminaries, but the dimensional ones are a bit too much of a challenge for your younger kids? Then try simpler cut outs in the side of little white paper bags instead! This leaf design from Design Sponge reminded us of the leaves on the ground near the first snow, right before Christmas, but your kids could draw and cut out any design they wanted.
9. Doily snowflake paper bag luminaries
Martha Stewart Weddings shows you how to use lace paper doilies to create gorgeously intricate shadows on the side of a paper bag luminary. As if that’s not pretty enough, they’ve arranged the pieces of lace so that they resemble fancy little snowflakes. Even if the doilies in your pack are all the same, you can make each one look completely different than the last depending on how you cut and position the pieces. Then each one will be unique, just like real snowflakes!
10. Spray painted glass lanterns
White spray paint is a useful tool when it comes to Christmas and holiday crafts because, depending on how hard you press the nozzle and how far away you hold the can, you can get a good, solid white or a fine white mist of paint that looks like frost. We love the idea of playing with those textures over top of a string wrapped glass vase, removing the string after to create a clear glass pattern that your candle can glow through. See how it’s done on Six Sisters Stuff.
11. Wax luminaries
Perhaps you love the look of the ice luminaries but you’re really looking for something that will last a little bit longer? Then check out this wax luminary idea that only looks like ice! We love the way Willowday shaved these delicate layers of thing wax down enough so that they bend easily and wrapped them carefully around each other like a flower made of ice.
12. Wax paper luminaries
Do you like the white, layered look of the wax luminary above but you don’t currently have any wax to work with and your crafted decor just can’t wait? Then follow in Design Sponge‘s footsteps instead! Similarly to how they did with the wax above, you’ll wrap layers of the thin qhite paper around in layers so that the candle can glow through in a lovely, cozy way.
13. Evergreen candle glass
Have you had trouble getting the idea of crafting with actual leaves and plants out of your head since the very first option we wrote about with the ice and cranberries? Well, just in case you like the plant element but don’t want to work with ice, here’s another option! BHG suggests affixing actual pieces of fur trees to the surface of tall glasses so the candles sit low inside and shine through the leaves to create interesting shadows in their glow.
14. Cinnamon stick votive
When you burn candles, is part of the emphasis for you always how the candle will smell? Well, most luminaries (except for the orange peel one we talked about earlier) won’t actually have a smell unless you use a scented tealight, but Popsugar has found a way around that! They show you how to building a little votive out of lovely cinnamon sticks so that the whole room will smell of cinnamon as the candle glows (and it looks completely adorable too).
15. Snowy pine cone luminaries
Do you like the idea of snowy luminaries but you don’t have Epsom salts right now to create that frosted look we talked about earlier? You can still make a lovely fallen snow effect inside a mason jar, just like Crafts by Amanda did here! We love how they also added “snow” to the pine cones to make it look like they’re fresh from the outdoors. The lace detail really gets us, too!
Do you know someone who’s been trying to choose decor for their holiday party and just can’t seem to decide on a centre piece or walkway embellishment? Share this post with them to help them feel more inspired when it comes to creating a warm glow!