Recycled Jar Luminaries

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I always think it’s kind of fun to come up with a theme for the projects I share during the month of December.  One year it was no-sugar food gift ideas like this Southwestern Dip Mix, another year it was homemade liqueurs like this homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream, or ornament ideas like this Paint Stirrer Snowman.

And this year?  Well this year I was in the mood to make things with jars.

Because I really like jars. 🙂

In addition to the assortment of canning jars I always keep on hand, I also like to keep a stash of recycled glass jars around too.  They can really come in handy for storage if you like to whip up your own DIY mixtures like I do.

But an assortment of jars can be a good resource for a last minute holiday gift or a decoration too. Today’s project is a good example of a way to put some recycled jars to good use by turning them into sparkling candle luminaries. And you can get most (if not all) of the other supplies you need at the dollar store too so it’s a great low-cost craft project as well.

Put your recycled jars to good use with this quick and easy (and cheap!) homemade luminaries.

This is another project where I used my recipe for homemade Mod Podge and was once again pleased that it worked perfectly!  It’s a simple mixture of equal parts white glue and water, and I just use the white glue I buy at the dollar store.  If you have some store-bought Mod Podge on hand already, I’m sure it will work fine for this project but if you need a low cost substitute, I highly recommend the glue/water DIY option to save a few bucks.

The other main “ingredient” of this craft besides Mod Podge is Epsom Salt.  This is a large grain, somewhat sparkly looking salt that’s used for pharmacy purposes, and it can also be found at most dollar stores or in the pharmacy department of other large retailers.  And finally, the votive candles to go inside your luminaries can usually be found at a dollar store too.

So for this quick craft project I sorted through my stash of jars and found some that were just what I needed.  I already had some homemade Mod Podge on hand, so the additional supplies I had to buy for this project (epsom salt and candles) cost me only $2.00.  That’s the kind of price tag I like!

Here’s how to do it:

Put your recycled jars to good use with this quick and easy (and cheap!) homemade luminaries.

Recycled Jar Luminaries

You Will Need:

  • Clean Recycled Jars of assorted sizes
  • Mod Podge (I used homemade – recipe here)
  • Epsom Salt
  • Foam Paintbrush or Regular Paintbrush
  • Small Votive Candles

Begin by pouring some of the epsom salt on a dinner plate.  Give yourself a pretty good layer of epsom salt on the plate.

Next cover the outside of your jar with a coat of Mod Podge.  I like to use a foam brush for this step but a regular paint brush will work too.

Put your recycled jars to good use with this quick and easy (and cheap!) homemade luminaries.

Then roll your jar in the layer of epsom salt (the salt will stick to the Mod Podge).  It works best to put your fingers inside the jar for this step so that your hands aren’t touching the outside surface that’s covered with Mod Podge.  If you need to touch up any blank areas, just sprinkle a little epsom salt over them.

Put your recycled jars to good use with this quick and easy (and cheap!) homemade luminaries.

Let the jar(s) set for several hours to dry.

Then place a small votive candle in each jar (or other size candle appropriate for the size jar you used). When you light the candle you will get a soft glow through the sparkly epsom salt layer on the outside of the jar.

Put your recycled jars to good use with this quick and easy (and cheap!) homemade luminaries.

 

Bonus Idea:  And here’s a little bonus decorating idea for epsom salt.  I have in years past put some epsom salt around a candle in a small glass cup.  It holds the candle in place and looks like fake sparkly snow.  You can then group them together and use them as part of a larger centerpiece arrangement.

Use epsom salt in glass bowls with candles to make a frugal holiday centerpiece

 

Need a few more bright ideas?
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