01 of 05
Vellum and Glitter Christmas Snowflake Luminary
One of the most beautiful things about the Christmas season is the profusion of gorgeous Christmas lighting. A holiday favorite lighting tradition is luminarias. Christmas luminaries are customarily made from brown or white paper bags filled with sand. The paper sacks contain lit candles and are used outside to decorate a path or driveway.
This Christmas lighting custom started in the 16th century. Spanish merchants were the first to bring the tradition of Christmas luminarias to the new world... after observing the beauty of paper lanterns in their travels to China. The first place the merchants brought the light decorations to was New Spain, which is Mexico City today. The merchants were responsible for the beginning of the Christmas luminarias tradition.The luminarias quickly grew to be widely popular in Mexico and the American Southwest. This Christmas practice has since spread to other areas of the country. Today people in Mexico have a festival celebrating luminarias that continues for two weeks every December.
Legend has it that the lanterns are thought to symbolize lighting the way of the spirit of Christ into our homes. Other people believe that the lights signify the path that Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus took on their way to Bethlehem. Whatever theory you believe luminarias are a beautiful tradition to celebrate Christmas.
Why not take the idea of the luminaria a step further? Our luminaria is not the traditional kind but still can be used for the Christmas holiday. Parchment paper wrapped around a glass vase takes the place of a paper bag. These decorations are lovely and straightforward enough for children to make. Why not start a new Christmas tradition and light these Christmas snowflake luminaries on Christmas Eve inside of your home. So pretty!
Continue to 2 of 5 below.
- Vellum or parchment tracing paper
- Paper Cutter or ruler and craft knife
- Libbey 7" glass cylinder vase
- Scotch tape (transparent tape)
- Glue runner or double sided tape
- Creatology Wooden snowflake stickers (can be found at Michaels) or any other wooden snowflake of choice
- Navy blue spray paint (optional)
- Silver metal spray paint (optional)
- foam dots
- Navy blue glitter
- Silver glitter
- White glue
- Old paintbrush to use with glue
- Three small glass or plastic containers to hold glitter and glue
- Battery operated or real tea light candle
- Newspaper, scrap paper or a plastic sheet to use as a mini dropcloth
02 of 05
Wrap the Glass Jars with Parchment Paper Cut to Size
1. Cut a sheet of vellum or parchment paper to size. The rectangle should be the exact height of the glass cylinder and the circumference of the cylinder plus one inch.
2. Align the paper to the top side of the glass cylinder.
3. Attach the short side of the rectangle to the glass cylinder with transparent tape.
4. Wrap the paper sheet around the glass cylinder. Lay the bottle down on a flat surface and run a line of glue with a glue runner on the short outside edge and attach the end to the glass... cylinder. White adhesive can also be used to connect the end to the cylinder.
5. Press the edges firmly with your fingers to ensure that the edges of the parchment paper are flat against the glass.
6. If there is any paper hanging over the bottom edge, use scissors to carefully trim the parchment paper rectangle so that it is flush with the bottom edge.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Paint the Wooden Snowflakes and Prepare to Apply Glitter
7. Paint the wooden snowflakes either blue or silver using spray paint.This step is optional, but you might want to consider it. Painting a wood ornament produces a solid base color and makes the glitter look better on the wooden snowflake.
8. Place your plastic or glass containers in a row on your flat work surface.
9. Fill one bowl with navy blue glitter, one cup with silver glitter and the remaining container with some regular white craft glue.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Apply Glue to the Wooden Snowflake and Dip the Flake in Glitter
10. Using a foam brush paint a thin layer of white glue onto the front and sides of the wooden snowflake, so that it is covered completely. Make sure to use the glue sparingly. You lose the shape and design of the snowflake if you have gobs of glitter sticking to your paste.
11. Dip the glue covered side of the wooden snowflake into the glitter.Make sure that you cover the top and sides of the wood snowflake completely. Gently shake off any excess glitter.
12. Place the glitter snowflake onto some... scrap newspaper or a plastic sheet and allow the glitter and glue to dry.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Attach the Glitter Snowflake to the Parchment Covered Vase
If you purchase the recommended wooden snowflakes, you will find that they already have a foam dot attached to their backside. Other brands of wooden snowflakes work just as well as the recommended brands. If you decide to use another brand of a wooden snowflake, make sure to attach foam dots to the backs of the snowflakes. Remove the paper from the foam dot and press the snowflakes into place on the cylinder.
You can mix the navy and silver colored snowflakes, or you can just use one color of... glitter snowflake to decorate your luminary.Place the snowflakes randomly onto the cylinders or in straight rows. It is up to you to follow your design aesthetic.Insert and electric or real tea light into your Christmas snowflake luminary and enjoy!
If you are a fan of luminary crafts, you might enjoy some of these additional luminary craft tutorials.
These paper lights look gorgeous when constructed from plain white paper. Although this was initially an origami folding project, the tutorial has been modified for construction with an electronic die cut machine.
The tutorial was initially intended as a craft to help celebrate the Chinese New Year, but the lanterns would work equally well as party decor. Just change the colors up a bit, and your party will be genuinely festive.
These lanterns were designed initially as summer outdoor paper party lanterns but could be easily modified for year-round use. Change up the colors and beads to suit the season.
A word of advice. Safety First! Always use common sense when displaying luminaries that have real candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended!