How to Make Christmas Luminaries With Mason Jars

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Christmas luminaries, used to light the way to holiday gatherings, are a popular tradition in the South. Traditionally constructed from a paper bag with a candle inside, luminaries pose the risk of fire if they're not watched carefully and are nearly impossible to use in areas with extreme weather conditions. These Mason jar luminaries reduce the risk of fire and are waterproof.

Things You'll Need

  • Mason jars
  • Votive candles
  • Sand
  • Tinsel
  • Hologram glass paint
  • Crushed glass
  • Choose pint or quart-size Mason jars that are the same size and style. For the best results, all jars should be the same type of jar.

  • Paint designs on the outside of the Mason jars with hologram glass paint to add sparkle. Trace the outline of a star and fill in completely or dot with the glass paint. Dot fine lines around the jars to make or complete a design.

  • Fill the bottom third of the jars with crushed or cut glass. Create a colorful display by using colored glass to reflect the light, or stick to clear crystals to reflect natural light.

  • Wrap decorative ribbon around the mouths of the Mason jars and tie them into bows. Add luminescent balls or sprigs of evergreens by hot-gluing them in place.

  • Insert the votive candles into glass candle holders. Secure the holders in the luminaries by pushing the base of the holders into the crushed glass.

  • Arrange luminaries along the walkway to light the pathway to your home. Light candles before holiday gatherings to light the way for guests.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use stained-glass paint to cover the jar if you prefer colored luminaries.
  • Apply two strips of tape around the jar, leaving a narrow space between them. Apply paint to the open space. Allow it to dry and remove the tape.
  • Attach stencils of stars or other holiday designs to the outside of the luminaries with masking tape. Paint in the design. Remove the stencil when the paint is dry.
  • Use paint designed for outdoor use.
  • Supervise small children when lighting luminaries.


  • Photo Credit jars image by Tammy Mobley from

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