The top need for this project is icy-cold weather. You can make ice luminaries in a freezer, but they take up more space than people usually have to spare; better to make them outdoors over a few consecutive nights. Plus, you'll want to make several at a time, varying the shapes, colors and add-ins as you desire. If you're lining a pathway, you'll want one luminary every 4 to 6 ft. Here's how to make one; repeat as needed.
This will serve as the mold for the luminary. It can be a bucket, coffee can, plastic bottle—any non-glass container that you can freeze water in. Next, carefully cut the top off. Pour in about 1/2-in. of water, then put outside overnight to freeze. This will serve as the bottom of your luminary.
The next day, choose a smaller container that you'll use to create the space for the candle. Add stones or other weights (to keep it from floating around in the next step) and place it inside the larger container so it sits on the ice on the bottom. Make sure there is at least 1 in. of space between the inner and outer containers on all sides.
Insert decorations in the gaps between the inner and outer containers. Fresh flowers look amazing, as do pinecones, autumn leaves or colored pebbles. (Or skip those, and after you do the next part, add sparkles or food coloring). Carefully add water to the large container until it reaches about 1/2-in. below the rim of the smaller container. Set outside for the night so that the new water freezes.
The next day, remove the stones or weights from the inner container. Pour hot water into it to loosen it from the ice block. Remove.
Do this by submersing in hot water or blowing a hairdryer on it, until you can remove it. Voilà! An ice luminary.
Put a candle in the space created by the smaller container. Store outdoors until you plan to use it. Light the candle and enjoy!
January 24, 2012 2:33 PM
Sounds really cool! Too bad I live in Texas! It would never work here!
June 30, 2011 3:55 PM
How cool. I am doing these for my wedding!
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