Friday, December 24, 2010

Ice Luminaries

(A post by Dawn's not-as-crafty husband Ben!)

The church I attended in Marquette would put out ice votive holders to line the walkway and steps every Christmas Eve for the candlelight service. I thought it would be fun to make something similar for our walkway. Unfortunately, lower Michigan doesn't get nearly as cold as Upper Michigan and so it took so long for these to freeze that I was only able to make a few.

To make an ice luminary, you need a bucket, something to mold out a spot for the candle (like another bucket!), water, and candles. It's a cheap, fast project and it's festive... especially for those of us in these northern climes where it's dark for far too long.

Because I know I'll make these again, I decided to make some reusable molds. I bought 2 qt and 1 qt buckets and some dowels:

Using a small drill bit, I came up with the following:

The rocks were probably overkill, but I wanted to make sure that smaller bucket didn't move around. It's not easy to see in the photo, but there's about an inch or so of space between the bottom of the small bucket and the big bucket.

From here, you can just add water... or maybe put in some sprigs of winter greens, some berries, food coloring, anything you want to decorate the ice.

I used red and green food coloring on a few to mix things up a bit (I'm wild like that).

If its cold enough, or if you have a freezer to put them in, your luminaries should be set up in about 24 hours.

And, as you can see, they're quite festive at night!

All in all, it was probably the best $10 I've spent in a while.

Note, if you leave them lit long enough, the candles will melt their way out of the bottom.


  1. These were so wonderful and pretty this evening! I'm glad you made them and wrote up the tutorial for my family and anyone else out there who would like to make them.

  2. Very clever idea - they look so pretty!


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