How To Make Holiday Luminaries

This holiday season, consider adding some warmth to your walkway or driveway with some holiday luminaries. These simple lanterns add soft lighting to the exterior of your home at night, or you can also make ones for the inside of your home. Wherever you choose to put them, here's a guide on how you can make your very own holiday luminaries.

Step 1

Gather your supplies. In order to make holiday luminaries, you'll need the following:

  • Measuring tape
  • Sand
  • Votive candles
  • Mason (glass) jars or paper bags
  • Matches or a lighter

Step 2

Determine where you want to place your holiday luminaries and what type you'll make. The location for your holiday luminaries will somewhat dictate what type of luminary you make. If you want to line your driveway or walkway with them, then mason jars or paper bags will work. However, if you plan on displaying your luminary inside of your home, it is recommended that you use a mason jar (because of fire concerns). Decide where you want to display your holiday luminaries.

If you're going to place your luminaries outside, consider using paper bags. You can purchase regular brown lunch bags for this, or you can buy colored craft bags and alternate your luminaries along your driveway in a green-red-green-red pattern. Brown paper bags are safer to use outside of the home, since they are far enough from your home should they tip over or catch fire.

Step 3

Measure the area. Your holiday luminaries should be spaced fairly close together if you're displaying them outside. On the other hand, if you're only decorating a small area in the inside of your home, you won't need as many. Measure the area where you want to display your holiday luminaries to determine the number of feet you'll be covering. One luminary every foot looks best.

Once you know how much of an area you want your holiday luminaries to cover, you can then determine how many luminaries you'll need to make (and therefore, what supplies you'll need to buy).

Step 4

Put sand into each luminary. You should now know what type of luminary you're going to make (glass or paper) as well as how many you'll need. Gather all of your bags or jars together and place sand in the bottom of them. The amount you need will depend on the width of your chosen container. In general, aim for 2 inches of sand in the bottom of each holiday luminary you make. (You can purchase play sand from your local hardware store, or you can buy colored craft sand from a craft store.)

Step 5

Place the candle into the middle of the luminary. The final step to creating a holiday luminary involves placing the candle. Twist a votive candle into the center of each bit of sand. Ensure that is far enough down so that it won't shift during transport, but not too far down so that the sand will fall onto the candle and put out the flame.

Step 6

Put your luminaries where you want them. Once your candles have been placed in your holiday luminaries, you are finished. Now you just need to put your luminaries in your chosen location and light each candle. Your row of holiday luminaries will make everyone feel the holiday spirit this Christmas season.


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