Photo credit for images: www.bhg.com
Whether you find decorating for the holidays a joy or a chore, many of us focus more on making the inside of our homes merry rather than the outside. But as the days grow shorter and colder, a bright, colorful focal point outside your windows — enjoyable both day and night — can really boost your mood.
One way to add decorative fun to your deck posts, front porch, steps or walkways is with homemade frozen luminaries. This craft project is perfect for one person or the whole family. Children of all ages can participate, but it’s an easy do-it-yourself for older kids.
· 2 interestingly shaped plastic or silicone containers for a mold: one smaller that fits into one larger. (As a simple example, an empty plastic 1-liter bottle that fits inside an empty plastic 2-liter bottle.)
· A colorful assortment of cranberries, pepperberries, orange slices, poinsettia blossoms, kumquats, evergreen cuttings, etc.
· Enough distilled water to create the number of luminaries you desire (Distilled water makes the clearest ice.)
· A light source for each luminary, such as a votive candle, a battery-operated votive candle, a small battery-operated LED light, a pillar candle in a tall glass holder, or a battery-operated pillar candle. (LEDs have several advantages for this project. They can handle winter temperatures and heat up only one degree, so they won’t melt your luminaries.)
Be as creative as you wish with the sizes and shapes of the containers you choose for your ice mold. For the sake of this example, these instructions will refer simply to the use of one empty plastic 2-liter bottle and one empty plastic 1-liter bottle.
Step 1: Carefully cut the domed portion off the top of each bottle.
Step 2: Pour about an inch of distilled water into the bottom of the 2-liter bottle and add some of your colorful fruits and/or foliage. Freeze until solid.
Step 3: Place the 1-liter bottle inside the 2-liter bottle. (This smaller bottle will create the hollow space for the candle after the luminary is frozen and removed from its mold.) Fill the 1-liter bottle with anything heavy enough to prevent it from floating when you add a few more inches of distilled water into the space between the two bottles. Drop in another row of fruit or foliage. You may want to plan a pattern of alternating colors and shapes as you create your luminary, or you might prefer a random, abstract look.
Step 4: Freeze this second layer until solid, then repeat this last step, freezing as many layers of water and decoration as necessary to fill your mold as desired.
Step 5: Remove your luminary from the mold by allowing it to thaw slightly on your countertop or running warm water over the outside of the mold. Place a light source in the center and it’s ready!
Decorate your outdoor spaces with as many frozen luminaries as you like, and enjoy your bright, whimsical, icy decorations all season long.