Rustic Luminary Project

This luminary project is a great way to create a soft glow on a table or mantle, while showcasing loved ones at the same time.

| Summer 2019

Photo by Traci Smith

This is a great way to create a soft glow on a table or mantle, while showcasing loved ones at the same time. Luminaries are perfect for honoring a loved one who’s passed away, or for showing off the grandkids (or dogs) at work. They also make great centerpieces for just about any occasion, and they’re ideal gifts for friends and family.

Photo by Traci Smith

Materials & Tools:

  • Printer with scanner
  • 4 photos
  • Sheets of vellum, 8-1/2-by-11 inches
  • Scissors
  • 4 photo frames, all in one size of your choice
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks, or Gorilla glue
  • Foam board
  • Square mirror
  • LED candle

Photo by Traci Smith


  1. Scan your chosen photos, convert them to black-and-white (if desired), and then print them out on vellum paper to the proper size for the frames you’re using. With scissors, trim the photos to size.
  2. Remove the backing from one of the frames, and insert a photo. Bend down the tabs to keep the photo and glass in place. (My frames included a cardboard border, so I used it for extra support to secure the photo.) Don’t replace the backing. Repeat with remaining photos and frames.
  3. With a hot glue gun or Gorilla glue, glue the sides of two frames together at a 90-degree angle. Glue the third and fourth frames to the first and second frames to form a cube. As you glue them, make sure they’re even and that there aren’t any big gaps. Set aside for 24 hours.
  4. Cut a piece of foam board to fit on the bottom of the luminary, cutting it so it covers the bottom but doesn’t show on the outside. Glue it to the bottom, and let it dry for about an hour.
  5. Place the mirror in the center of the luminary on the foam board, and then add the LED candle.

Photo by Allison Sarkesian

NOTE: LED candles don’t produce much heat, so they’re safe to use on the foam board and near the vellum photos. Do not, under any circumstance, use a real candle in this luminary, as it could easily cause a fire. To make it easier to turn the luminary off and on, you can purchase an LED candle with a remote.



February 15-16, 2020
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