Luminaries (literally, objects that give light) have a long, multicultural history. But at the center of all the traditions is one simple notion -- lighting the way in the dark of winter.
Lighted Spire Ornaments
Pyramid-shape luminaries made from corrugated plastic look ethereal set in snow. Poke holes in the plastic and insert LED string lights under the forms to create lighted outdoor Christmas trees.
Add rustic Christmas decorations to your landscape with bucket luminaries. Set birch or other logs into a shiny pail, add fresh greenery, and drape with plug-in or battery-operated Christmas string lights.
Metal Mesh Christmas Luminaries
Create silvery columns from aluminum sheet metal, which comes in different patterns. Use tin snips to cut the sheets, then form the tall columns by tying the ends together with 4-inch cable ties. Slip string lights inside.
Super-Simple Outdoor Jar Lights
Make several of these jelly jar luminaries to line a driveway or sidewalk. A metal clamp holds the jar and metal stake together. Attach greenery and an ornament, pop in a tea light, and push the long length of the metal stake into the ground.
Create path lights to guide holiday guests to your door with these can-style luminaries. Drill holes into plastic flashing, form it into cylinders, set on the ground and add LED lights or candles.
Wrap wire around canning jars to form handles, drop in a votive candle, and hang from Christmas garland or an outdoor tree. These canning jar lanterns are so inexpensive to make, you’ll want to create several.
A flicker of light through ice is magical indeed. To make this ice luminary insert a smaller container into a larger one, add water to the in-between space, add greenery and let it freeze. Then remove the bowl-shaped frozen luminary and insert votives or LED candles. Another great idea: Add red berries or orange slices with the greenery before freezing.
Jelly Jar Lanterns
Give landscapes a touch of rustic style with these simple glass-and-metal lanterns. Use clear caulk to attach storm collars (metal collars used to help waterproof chimneys) to jelly jar glass globes. Scatter the lanterns across a snowy yard or line them up neatly along a railing or walkway.
How simple is this? Wrap a glass jar in a square of aluminum screen and cinch it in place with wire. Add lights and set several of these screen stars out where they can shine.
Lighted Columns Christmas Decoration
Ceiling light panels rolled into tubes with LED candles placed inside give off a frosty glow. These oversize column luminaries are set in a water heater drip pan adorned with greenery and shatterproof ornaments for a big, festive display indoors or out.