9 Easy-to-Make Garden Luminaries

Even if you are not an avid DIYer, you can easily make one of these garden luminaries to lighten your landscape.

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  1. Sap Bucket Luminaries


    For rustic charm, transform vintage sap buckets into colorful, lighted garden accents. With a drill and metal bit, stencil a pattern on paper, tape it to the bucket and drill holes to outline the design. Fast, easy, and charming. From 52 Weekend Decorating Projects.

    52 Weekend Decorating Projects

  2. Mason Jar Lanterns


    Fill vintage mason jars halfway with sand, rocks, or shells and anchor a candle in the center. Cut a U-shaped suspension wire and attach it to an O-shaped wire to place around the lip of the jar. Tighten, secure, and hang.

    Big Plans Little Victories

  3. Votive Lanterns


    Transform votive candleholders into decorative hanging luminaries with nothing more than a length of sturdy wire and a pair of pliers. Simply bend the wire to fit underneath the lip of the glass holder, create curlicues and suspend with S-hooks. For a how-to guide, visit bcliving.


  4. Candles in Garden Pots


    Using recycled terracotta pots, plug the water drainage holes at the bottom with modeling clay and secure a wick long enough to rise 2" above the rim. Heat up candle wax in a double boiler and pour into pots, making sure to keep the wick centered. Wait for the wax to set, cut the end of the wick with a scissor, and strike a match.

    Nadia Knows Gardening

  5. Ice Lanterns


    You can make ice lanterns next winter: Fill a bucket, tin can, or an empty milk carton with water and float a smaller, weighted can in the center. Freeze outdoors and then place the bucket in warm water. Turn the container over and retrieve your winter luminary. 

    GAP Gardens

  6. Upcycled Tin Can Luminaries


    No drill—no worries. Fill cans with a sand and water mixture and place in the freezer until frozen. Stencil your design onto a piece of vellum paper and wrap around the can. With a hammer, outline the design with nail holes. Discard the frozen solution, spray paint, and hang or use free-standing. For how-to, visit Fine Gardening.

    Fine Gardening

  7. Copper Hung Votives


    Can't get much easier than this.... Purchase a roll of copper wire, cut a length with wire snips, and tighten around a small votive candle. The same copper wire can serve as the hanger.

    The Knot

  8. Frosted Glass Luminaries


    With Rustoleum's Frosted Glass Paint—about $4 a can at Home Depot—you can coat any glass with a frosted finish. For luminaries like these, choose assorted mason-style jars, cut out patterns in craft paper, affix to the jars, and spray with a light coat of frost.

    Studio 5

  9. Firefly Lantern


    Of course, the easiest luminary—and the one most magical for kids—is to catch fireflies and place them in a mason jar. For a more eco-friendly alternative, consider this Electronic Firefly in a Jar. A tap on the glass activates movement and batteries offer considerably longer life, without the need for punching holes in the lid.

    Think Geek

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