DIY Sparkly Luminaries In 6 Steps

Add some sparkle and light with this holiday gift

This is a great way to display special photos and make them useful at the same time!

Here is what you’ll need for this DIY: 

  • Four 5 x 7 frames
  • Gorilla Glue or super glue
  • Sheets of 8.5 x 11 Vellum
  • Printer
  • Family photos
  • Square mirror
  • Tea Light Candles or LED Candles
  • Candle containers


Step 1: Select photos

First, you want to start off by finding four photos you want to feature on your luminary.

Tip: If you’re making the candle, horizontal photos will work best since you’ll need the width to wrap around your luminary.


Step 2: Print photos

Once you’ve selected your photos – you’re going to print them and the paper I’m using for this project is vellum which looks like wax paper but it’s not waxy! You want to print your photos on your printer directly onto the vellum paper then trim them down to size.


Step 3: Put photos in frames

That’s right –  the key for this project is when you’re putting in the picture, you actually add the photo first, then add the glass on the back! So the order is:

  1. Frame face down
  2. Vellum photo face down and then
  3. The glass on last. You actually don’t need the frame backing at all.

Doing it in this order will help avoid the risk of fire if you do want to use real candles.


Step 4: Glue the frames

Once in your frames, start gluing them together into a cube. I’m using superglue, if you choose to use something like Gorilla glue, note that it expands when it dries so be sure to apply a thin line and towards the inner side of the joint.


Step 5: The finishing touch

To finish it off, I’m adding the frames to a square mirror which will help reflect the light from your votive making the photos clearer and more prominent. Then place the votive inside and light!


Step #6: Candle luminaries

If you want to make candle luminaries, choose your container – you can use an old candle container, glass mason jar, or even hurricanes work great.  I suggest avoiding irregularly shaped containers. Once you trim your photo, apply a piece of double-sided tape and simply attach your photo to the outer side of the container. Voila, you’re done!

Tip: For larger containers, more than one photo to cover all of the sides, – have them meet right up in the middle of the tape for a seamless look!


Final Product