Recently I’ve seen a few crafty ideas around the internet using epsom salts, but I wanted to come up with something different. I’ve been itching to make some new luminaries, something that would be elegant and pretty against winter’s white snow. Something that says Christmas, but isn’t limited to the holiday. Something that could be kept out all winter long. The idea for these epsom salt luminaries hit me and I couldn’t wait to take the idea from my head and make them a reality.
UPDATE: Please see my article on crafting with epsom salts for important information (including info on discoloration, see the picture below of them all white), especially if you plan to make these for an important event such as a wedding.
These should be one of the last things you make, no more than a week before the wedding.
Recently I saw some really pretty sea glass luminaries in white, light blue and light green. I really wanted to make my luminaries in these colors, so I simple mixed a tiny amount of food coloring with the epsom salts.
To get the effect, I made a little video for you. Just click to play above :)
I really love how they came out and while I didn’t do it with mine, you could add a pretty white ribbon around the center tied into a bow in front for a delicate accent.
Note about jars: You can use any type of jar you want for these. I used some canning jars, and the shorter ones are from those $3 candles you get at WalMart. I always save them and clean them out once the candle is used up.
Many people have asked me what type of salts that I used. As you can see in the photo above, the salt is in crystal form, not flakes. I used a bag I had in my cabinet called Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution with Eucalyptus Spearmint. The key though is that they are crystals. Some epsom salts are chalkier looking (think dollar store cheap versions) and are flaked, those don’t have that shiny crystal appearance. So make sure you get the type that look like crystals or the effect will not be the same. YES they do make the room smell like eucalyptus and spearmint!
If you make these I would love to hear about it! :) I think these would make pretty teacher or neighbor gifts! These can be changed for different holidays too (think Valentine’s Day!). After winter, these would be a pretty addition to a beachy bathroom, or even in the summer on the porch!
Now on with the tutorial.
Note: there is a printable version of the instructions available at the bottom of this post.
Put about one cup of epsom salts into each bowl. Add ONE DROP of blue food coloring to one of the bowls and mix until evenly distributed. Add ONE DROP of green food coloring to another bowl and mix.
Put the white epsom salts onto a paper plate and gently shake back and forth to get an even layer. Place your hand inside the jar.
Use a paintbrush to coat the jar generously in Mod Podge. You want to use a generous amount, but not so much that it’s dripping off the jar. First paint around the bottom rim of the jar, then the body of the jar, then the top rim. (Notice that in the picture below there’s no Mod Podge on the rim. IGNORE that, just follow my instructions instead.)
Starting at the bottom rim of the jar, roll in the epsom salts. Next roll the body of the jar and the top rim.
Stand the jar up onto a separate paper plate and add some Mod Podge to the top lip of the jar. Sprinkle some epsom salts onto the lip.
Repeat this process for each color. Allow each jar to dry for a few hours. Use a clean paintbrush to loosen and remove any salt that fell inside the jars and to gently knock off any excess on the outside of the jars.
Spray with a clear gloss sealer. Let dry for about 20 minutes, repeat for a total of 3 coats.
NOTE: I tried several different coatings over the salt (Mod Podge in three different types and a triple thick paint on gloss sealer) but the spray sealer works the best.
Here are a couple other ideas you might like:
If you like these luminaries, you’ll probably like my Snowy Pinecone Candle Jars too. :)
My friend Suzy made these adorable wedding tea lights with bling, see how on her site.
My friend Pauline will show you how to make these Flower Petal & Leaf Wax Paper Votives