Epsom Salt Luminaries: Some Winter Beauty

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

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.

Epsom Salt Luminaries: Some Winter Beauty

The moisture in the salt will eventually evaporate, leaving you with white salt on your jars. So please be sure and make these no sooner than one week prior to your event. This is what mine looked like after a few weeks.

These should be one of the last things you make, no more than a week before the wedding.

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

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 :)

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

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.

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

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.

Epsom Salt Luminaries: Some Winter Beauty

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!

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

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!

ANOTHER CRAFTY IDEA >>  Coffee Can Scarecrow

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

Now on with the tutorial.

Note: there is a printable version of the instructions available at the bottom of this post.

epsom salt luminaries - copyright Crafts by Amanda

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:

Snowy Pinecone Candle Jar Luminaries @amandaformaro Crafts by Amanda

If you like these luminaries, you’ll probably like my Snowy Pinecone Candle Jars too. :)

suzis tea light with bling

My friend Suzy made these adorable wedding tea lights with bling, see how on her site.

ANOTHER CRAFTY IDEA >>  Country Wooden Santa

wedding idea

My friend Pauline will show you how to make these Flower Petal & Leaf Wax Paper Votives

Epsom Salt Luminaries: Some Winter Beauty


  • empty jars
  • epsom salts
  • blue and green food coloring
  • paper plates
  • 3 bowls
  • Mod Podge
  • Clear gloss sealer
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. Starting at the bottom rim of the jar, roll in the epsom salts. Next roll the body of the jar and the top rim.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Spray with a clear gloss sealer. Let dry for about 20 minutes, repeat for a total of 3 coats.
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.
I love these gorgeous epsom salt luminaries! These would be perfect for Christmas, winter, a beachy porch or a wedding even. So beautiful!


    • says

      Hello Amanda,
      I will give these a try during cold winter months . Lost my husband a year ago this February and these will look real pretty in front of his picture… Thank you . Annie

      • Vicki says

        I was looking at the Epsom Salt Luminary Votive holders and saw your comment about the loss of your husband and wanting to place some of these in from of his picture. I thought that was beautiful. My deepest condolences to you on the passing of your dear husband. I think it would be a lovely sentiment to honor him in this way. Created from your hands with love, to honor your love.

        • Caitlin says

          I totally agree, that’s a wonderful thing for you to do. I’m sure it will turn out very nice.
          AND you can do all sizes, I’m sure any shapes besides a Mason Jar would even work:)
          God Bless you

      • Linda says

        Sorry for your loss. Just lost my husband suddenly this March and I love your idea for using this by a picture.

      • Robin Martz says

        Dear Annie, I am so sorry you lost your husband, even if I am 2 years late in saying so. I lost my husband 5 years ago and I’m still reeling! Anyway God bless you and He is who will get you through!!

        • Jean says

          I was looking for a way to incorporate a really nice picture of my late husband who died in my arms a little over a year ago. I still feel so empty inside and was looking for something that was not too hard to do. I have always crafted but since he passed I will bring out my materials to do something but then I walk away…losing my desire to tackle anything. these look so beautiful and easy to do and I already have all the materials so I don’t have to go out and purchase anything. I like instant gratification so I really am going to do those, starting today! Thanks!

      • Jeanne says

        So sorry for the losses that have been expressed here. We all have something in common. This is such a lovely way to honor those we love who have gone on. Just remember, love never dies! Peace and God’s blessings to all!

    • Jo says

      I’ve made these in the past using just plain table salt and they came up a treat, but the epsom salts have bigger fibres and look much prettier and thanks heaps for the tip with the food colouring, finished it off wonderfully
      Ohh and I use empty baby food jars to make my lumineries, they are the perfect size for tea light candles xox

    • Robin Martz says

      It’s Feb, of 2014 and I am gonna make some of these because I LOVE candles and this really is pretty. Something to brighten up dark corners any time of year! Thank you!

    • trinichick says

      Hi want to kno how long this craft will last, i live in a tropical country and would like to do this with my kids

      • says

        Hi there. It doesn’t matter what climate, this is a temporary craft. While a tropical climate with more humid air may slow the evaporation process, it will still happen eventually. The beauty of it is you can soak the luminaries and remove everything then start over!

  1. Lori says

    These are beautiful, I can't wait to try them. Thank you so much for posting them! I feel lucky to have found your site. Have a wonderful holiday. ~Lori

  2. Anonymous says

    Wow what a cute ,simple & creative way to brighten up the winter! Love the idea I will be trying it as soon as I can:)
    thanks for the detailed directions
    Debbie (a new fan of yours)

  3. Shauna {SK Studios} says

    saw you on Be Different, Act Normal and i love love LoVe this idea!!! definitely gonna have to make some for gifts next year! :D thanks for the inspiration ;)

    • Jazzy Girl says

      What an interesting thought! It sure wouldn’t hurt to try it. In fact, I think I will do so tomorrow, both with rock salt and Epsoms! Thanks for the inspiration! If I can navigate back here afterwards, I will post the results!

  4. Amanda says

    Thank you all so much! I hope you try them and let me know if you do :)

    Deanna – I am not totally sure about using rock salt. Rock salt is mostly for melting ice on driveways and sidewalks and for using in an ice cream maker. I can't attest to using the rock salt, but you can buy epsom salt really cheap from walmart or even the dollar store :)

  5. Ecofroggy says

    these are wonderful :)
    i have a question….on the spray sealer is it flamable? or do you just use the battery tea lites?

  6. cathyohler says

    I love all your ideas and wonder if you have tried any craft with light bulbs that are perfectly round glass, except for the stem on the top. I've saved about a dozen.

  7. Amanda says

    Ecofroggy – The sealer only goes on the outside of the jar, so there's no worry about the flame causing any problems. I have used this on my luminaries for years :) You can certainly use the battery operated tea lights, I have been using real tea lights since I made them. No problems :)

    cathy – I haven't made anything with the round light bulbs, but do have several regular shaped incandescent bulb crafts. Here are some ideas ;) http://www.craftsbyamanda.com/search/label/light%20bulb

  8. Anonymous says

    I wonder if you could leave off the sealer on all or just the top part of the jar. Then put scented oil on the salts and when it warmed it would smell good? Any idea if this would work?

  9. Amanda says

    My epsom salts had a eucalyptus type smell, not my favorite. Adding the sealer definitely helped to kill that smell. If you want to add fragrance, I would suggest doing as you would when making bath salts. Add any color and fragrance oil before gluing to the jar. The sealer does help keep any extra loose pieces of salt from falling off. If you wanted to leave some section unsealed, I would actually suggest the lower part of the jar where the heat from the tea light is closest to. Leaving the top section unsealed could cause a couple of issues:

    1) lifting the jar from the top can cause loose pieces of salt to fall off
    2) loose pieces may fall inside the jar

    Would love to hear if it works, so if you try it I hope you'll come back and let me know! :)

  10. Sara @ Our Best Bites says

    Amanda, what a great site- thanks for sharing! I hope you don't mind- I snagged a couple of your pictures to link on my post. Great ideas!

  11. Linda@Coastal Charm says

    I so love this THRIFTY idea…hop over and share it at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS PARTY…hope to see ya there:) Love your blog, so I’m going to follow along. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!


  12. Kerri says

    These are just STUNNING and would look devine with my turquoise and silver Christmas decor. Will be trying these for sure!!

  13. Anonymous says

    Try mixing epsom salts with beer, just enough to dissolve the salts, and then daubing it on any glass, (I put it on the back of an aquarium). It dries in the same Jack Frost patterns you used to see on windows in the winter, back before they were made with double panes of glass. Thanks for the memories,

  14. blesid says

    You had so many comments I almost didn't leave you another one, but then I thought heck, you deserve to hear, "You Rock!" one more time! Can't wait to try this out! jules

  15. Beansieleigh says

    Love this idea, and can't wait to try it! I'm now a follower!.. Wishing you and yours blessings and lots of holiday fun in the days ahead! ~tina

  16. maggy, red ted art says

    Gosh, lovely and very festive!! What is gorgeous about these, is that you can enjoy them well into Jan or Feb (if not all year round!)


  17. Missy says

    These are terrific! I have relatives coming in tomorrow, so I can make these as a little extra something for them. I absolutely LOVE this. Thanks!

  18. [email protected] says

    The food coloring is genius. I have to make these for my winter porch! I'll be spreading the word as well.

  19. Debbie says

    These are really beautiful! I can't wait to try some to give as gifts. I was looking to buy some mod podge – I've never used it before – and there are so many different kinds! Would it matter which ones I use for these or did you use a certain kind? Thanks…

  20. Amanda says

    That's a good question Debbie. For this project I would just buy the Matte Finish. There are a lot of different kinds, but that one would suit your needs for this and work for hundreds of other projects as well :)

  21. Joni says

    These are SO PRETTY!! I am totally making them for Valentine's day. Or pretty much any other holiday I can think of. BTW, I never knew how much I liked luminaries until I Stumbled on to your blog. Every time I see a new one that you've made I get a happy squeal inside. :D

  22. Mary Matthews says

    I absolutely loved these. So I planned for a girlfriend of my to come over and we had a craft day and made these. We made a dozen of them in no time. We made green, blue and red ones. Turned out just beautiful! If you sold these how much would you sell them for? Thank you for all your wonderful ideas.

  23. Amanda says

    Hi Mary, so glad you enjoyed the project and that they came out great! To be honest, I wouldn't sell them. After a few weeks the salt will end up taking on a white appearance and can begin to fall off. I wouldn't feel comfortable offering these for sale. These are great for immediate use for a party, wedding or backyard get together, but long term they are not ideal.

  24. Kimberly O. says

    Found these on pinterest — planning on making some for my best friend for Christmas (we're doing ALL handmade goodies this year!)

  25. says

    LOVE this idea! Do you know if something other than Mod Podge would work? Maybe a tacky glue? (just cheaper) Found you on stumbleupon.com. Adding you as a favorite!

  26. Erin says

    I tried making these this past week. My friend is getting married and asked for candle holders, and being the crafty bridesmaid that I am I volunteered. It took some trial and error but I was able to match her colors almost exactly using different food coloring but learned very quickly that after the first coat you need to seal it if you want to add more glue the darker colors change when they get wet with the mod podge glue. I also bought my candle holders from Ikea they come in packs of 4 for 1.49$ which is a bargain when making so many. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      That is so fabulous! I only hope the wedding is soon? The colors do change to white after they’ve sat for a while.

      • Janice Couble says

        What a wonderfull idea!, I am making these also for my wedding , can you tell me roughly how long it is before the color changes to white? Just so i don’t make them too early!!

        • says

          Hi janice. I wish I could, I didn’t really time it. I know it doesn’t matter if you have heat or not, they will eventually turn white and I believe it’s from the moisture in the glue. I would suggest as I did for someone else, that you experiment with one now. Then you’ll know how long they will last before turning. If you make them a week ahead of time though, you should be safe :) I know that mine lasted longer than that.

  27. says

    These are gorgeous! I found the pic that someone had pinned on Pinterest and found your blog! I absolutely love these and cannot wait to make them! Thanks for the tutorial!

  28. says

    Just wanted to let you know that I found this tut on Pinterest. I love it and made 6 this afternoon.

    Proud new follower. Have a great weekend!

  29. Tasha says

    I love these, and have actually made several of them. My question is do any of you have a problem with them turning white after you burn one or two tea lights in them? I have tried everything I know to keep this from happening, but it always does, lol.

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I’ve had the same issue. They do turn white after a while. But the salt can simply be rubbed off with your hands and reapplied.

  30. Crystal says

    If the colors wear off after a few weeks, can you clean the jars of the salts and re-use them? Or do you just toss them? (Personally, I would not be a fan of tossing the jars after only a few weeks …)

  31. Tasha says

    It might be possible to use mica or other powdered colorants (ultramarines and oxides) in these instead of food coloring… Then the color wouldn’t fade. Just mix in with the salt. This looks like a really fun project!

  32. Colleen says

    I love these, I made them tonight for a birthday party. They were very easy and quick. I think people will love them. I made fall colors, yellow, orange, and a pretty green.

    My colors are deeper and I wish I had used less dye so they were more see-through. Another suggestion I have is – if using mason jars, choose ones with wide mouth top. The regular size mouth is hard to get your whole hand into, and I have small hands.

  33. brandi Victory says

    We love your site. I have a daughter that has CVID which make it where we don’t allow her to go to the movies, Walmart, etc. So she’s turned to crafts at age 10. We just finished the Halloween luminaries. She thought that was a blast and they are so darn cute with our other decorations. Now I will get her the stuff to start this one. Thank You from the bottom of a moms heart for all the ideas!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      Oh Brandi! That must be such a challenge! Admittedly I had not heard of CVID and had to look it up. I’m so glad that some of my projects have found their way into your home and your daughter’s hands. God bless!

  34. says

    Amanda, I love this project. I’d like to use it in a round up of crafts that can be made with kids for holiday gifts. The post would be published on TLC’s Parentables.com website. May I have your permission to use a photo and link back to you?

    Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl

  35. Laura B. says

    Found your luminaries on pinterest and loved the idea. Picked up some vases and glasses at Goodwill yesterday and just finished two. So easy and so pretty! I’ll be using them for a centerpiece at a table I’m hosting at my church’s women’s banquet. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas!

  36. says

    I ran across a link on mtc forum for your lovely epsom salt jars, Amanda. Not sure if you remember me, you bought twig wreaths and a rag quilt from me way back. Think I was mainely twigs but could have been cat tail quilts in the beginning! Spent 10 years online selling those wreaths, got so busy I hardly could keep up. Lots of changes in my life! So glad I found you, will follow.

    • Amanda Formaro says

      OMG Norma, I not only remember you but think of you often! I still have both rag quilts, in fact one of them is in the living room and the other at the foot of my bed! I loved the wreaths but alas don’t have mine anymore, they were so gorgeous. Do you still sell them?

  37. Allison says

    I made some of these a couple days ago, plan on making about 40 for party favors/centerpieces at a Thanksgiving dinner. I burned tea lights in them for one evening and they are all white. I did see all the comments left about that. Have you found any way around that? It didn’t take a few weeks, unfortunately. I’m now doubting whether these would be a good party favor idea…I’m thinking it must be the sealer that turns white?? Any suggestions you might have are appreciated. Thanks!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      Hi Allison. Before I made these I had no idea that the salts would turn white. it doesn’t have anything to do with the sealers, it’s the actual chemical make up of the salt. I haven’t tried making any and not lighting a candle in them to see if they would still turn white. However, I did have a pillar candle that i rolled in the salt but i never lit it, and they seemed to keep their crystalization. I did a little research and found this : “Epsom salt crystals turn white when heated and dehydrated.” So in your case, since you have a little time, maybe try making one and using a battery operated LED tea light. I’m not sure how much heat those give off and that may be a good solution. i haven’t tried it myself however.

  38. Danielle says

    This is a great idea! Do you have any other ideas of things that may look like snow? I’m planning on spray painting wine bottles white and then doing this (or something like this.) I want to make sure it looks fab!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      Nadine, that sounds so pretty! I have to warn you though, once the epsom salts are exposed to heat they will turn white. These are great for a wedding or party, but not so great for long time use. In fact, I just today soaked these jars and removed the salt to make new ones for the holidays :)

    • Amanda Formaro says

      You can soak them in warm water. The salt will dissolve the water will loosen the Mod podge. it’ll come right off! I actually just did this last week and my jars are all clean again :)

  39. Torrie B says

    I don’t know if you’re still answering comments…but I found this tutorial on Pinterest and fell in love with it! We were going to make these tonight…until I realized I forgot to buy a paintbrush lol. I do have a question though…I bought the Mod Podge glossy finish and just saw you suggested the matte finish. Will the glossy make a difference or should I return for the matte finish? Even if you don’t answer…thank you so much for sharing this wonderful craft :)

    • Amanda Formaro says

      Hi Torrie!

      I mentioned the matte finish because that’s what I used, I am not positive it won’t make a different, but I THINK it should be fine. Merry Christmas!

  40. Erica says

    Love these! This may be a stupid question, but would it be possible to pour candle wax in these to make a candle in the jar, or should you just stick to a tea light candle?

    • Amanda Formaro says

      A tea light would be better, simply because the salts will eventually turn white from the heat of the candles that burn within them. By just using tea light, you can always soak the jars to remove the salt and adhesive and then reuse the jars again. :)

  41. Elizabeth says

    I tried to make these as a gift for Christmas. I really wanted it to work out but I had severe difficulty getting an even layer of the epsom salts around the jar. It clumped in some areas and was bald in others. I tried again and again, adding thicker layers of mod podge on each successive jar but none of them turned out anywhere near these.

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I’m so sorry that happened Elizabeth. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. I’m wondering if maybe your epsom salts had too much food coloring in them making them too wet to stick maybe?

    • Ashley says

      try instead of rolling it in the salt to just pick it up and sprinkle it where you need it! Worked foe me better that way!

  42. Malerie says

    These are really pretty and easy to make for gifts or something to add to christmas decorations. For mine, I added some white and blue glitter as well and it turned out really well!

  43. Mandy says

    I just made some of these and they turned out awesome! They are so easy! I did all different colors and then mixed them all together and did one that was almost tie dye looking! It’s so cool!

  44. Lynette says

    These are awesome, I saw these on a Pinterest space of a friend of mine, using old jars or cool shaped jelly jars and getting your epsom salts for a buck at the dollar store makes them a bargain craft. They are so pretty!!! Thanks!!!

  45. Bernie Acker says

    I adore this look. Was wondering if I could do these in brown somehow for an upcoming “groundhog” banquet where I need about 30 of them for the tables. I like the glitter idea too. So interesting…and I thought Epsom Salts was only for soaking my feet…lol

  46. Amber says

    Just had my 1 year old’s snowman themed birthday party and I made these for the tables. I wanted them to stay white and I used his old glass baby food jars. They were super easy and turned out perfect, thanks for the great idea!

  47. Nikole says

    I was trying to come up with a way to decorate mason jars as a wedding favor, I was just going to spray paint them with frost and tie my heart around them. But I absolutely love this! Will so be doing these for my wedding! =D Thank you!

  48. Janelle says

    These are great. I saw where someone used baby food jars. I work in an infant room and need small inexpensive gifts for my co-workers. These will work and I can recycle the baby food jars at the same time. Thank you

  49. martha says

    Thanks Amanda,

    These jars are great. I am making 12 large mason jars for my nieces wedding. They will line the walk way for her and her new husband as they walk in the reception.

  50. Kris says


    that is wonderfull, I bought some salt and food coloring today and my first one is drying now..it looks georgeous already…thanks for this post…great great great :-)

  51. Lori Thomas says

    Hi Amanda

    These are so cute! I am really into decorating mason jars lately. I have three showers im using them for. I may use your idea for them if that is okay with you

  52. Sandy Fodero says

    There are several different types of Mod Podge, which is the best to use for the epsom salt luminaries?

  53. Elaine says

    I am new to crafting so I hope that this is not a stupid question but why the 3rd bowl of not colored salt? Do I need to roll the jars in both the colored and the plain to get the effect? Or is just another color option? Thanks!

  54. Lezle says

    I have not tried these yet but I am definately going to. I was thinking about taking 3 of the decorated jars in different sizes and connecting them together and maybe put some ribbon around them.

  55. Misty says

    I want to make these for my wedding, but my question is does the salt turn white in time or is from the heat? I am getting married in June 2012 and wanted to make them now so there all done, but I want them purple. I have a battery operated tealight to put in them so I don’t think there will be much heat, but if there going to turn white now because I need to make them early, I may as well just make them white in the first place…lol

    • says

      Hi Misty! Yes, they do still turn white in time, even without heat. I believe it’s the contact with the glue. The glue is liquid and the moisture from the glue makes them turn white eventually. What I would suggest, since you have some time, is to make one right now. No need to color the salt, because even my white ones turned white and they had no food coloring. Mark on your calendar when you made it and wait and see how long it takes before it turns white. Then you’ll have a better feel for how early you can make them :)

      • Misty says

        Thanks!! Thats what I will try then. I know right before the wedding I will be slammmed with everything going on but maybe I can get some friends together and make a day of it :) I need 60….lol. I am also going to use baby food jars so that will make it a little faster.

  56. colleen owen says

    hi amanda, great idea, love them so much, just finished 12 of them for

    easter. i used the green, blue, yellow, and very little red so it would

    look pink. there drying now, spray in a couple of hours. i’m excited there

    so cute, thanks for the idea. colleen

  57. Katrina says

    Love these! I’m in the process of spraying them with clear coat as we “speak”. I used scented epson salt and they smell wonderful. I got it at Dollar General for about $3. It comes in Eucalyptus and Lavender. Thanks so much for the idea! My husband was impressed:)

  58. Linda says

    I think these are lovely, but I wonder about more color. I would like my color to be a bit brighter with more definition

    • says

      Hi Linda! I did not experiment with deeper color. You could certainly try, though if it were me I would only try with one jar at first and see how it goes. Too much of the liquid food coloring could make the salt too moist.

  59. says

    These are adorable! I was on the lookout for a DIY project to spice up my mother’s soap display at fairs, and came across this. We used the candle jars since neither of us wanted a noticeable lip on the jars. And liquid soap dye works great on the salt! You can use as much as you want, the color doesn’t fade and you can make deeper shades. You can buy it at Hobby Lobby for a couple bucks.
    Thanks, this was a great project!!! :)

    • says

      How perfect using the soap dye! You’ll have to let me know if the salts eventually turn white. Sure would be nice to find a way for that not to happen :)

  60. Kelly Jacobs says

    Thanks for the great idea! I’m planning on doing these with my girl scouts. I know they will love it!

  61. glo says

    Awesome idea ! Thanks. Leaving a blank heart or swirls would be pretty too. Have you tried colored sprinkles ? This leaves so many areas yet to be discovered. Thank you again. glo

  62. Jodi Reeves says

    Could you use normal Elmer’s glue instead of modpodge? We live out in the middle of no where and getting to Wal-mart to pick some up is an ordeal. lol I love the idea and this would be a great craft to do with my girl scout troop for Christmas.

  63. Jacquelyn Jackson says

    you r so creative thanks for sharing I will most certainly try as I always have the salt on hand for those sore achie muscles lol

  64. Marilyn Forsyth says

    These would be really pretty in a spa like bathroom with the candles surrounding a full bathtub of bubbles.

  65. DONNA CHURRY says

    Should the Mod Podge be Matt or Gloss?… and what color does the Epson Salt change to over time if you leave it clear/white in the first place?

    • says

      I’m not sure that it really matters, but I used matte :) The epsom salt will turn white over time, it’ll lose its sheen and become a chalky, dry white.

  66. Tui says

    what is Mod Podge and what is the recipe for making Mod Podge.
    Sorry silly Kiwi from New Zealand and unfamiliar with this slang :)

    • says

      Hi Tui :) Mod Podge is a decoupage medium. Look for decoupage in the store. You can always mix white glue and water to make a paintable consistency.

  67. Lena Arrington says

    This is the most creative idea I have ever seen . I am a craft person and do things as they pop out of my head. I love this, its is great, you are getting my attention good.

  68. marjorie says

    If these are sprayed with clear gloss spray, will that seal them and they will not deteriorate or fall off? I don’t like giving a gift that will prove temporary. Thanks

  69. Pamela says

    These are very pretty. I’m going to try them but I think i’ll add some tiny beads for a bit more color. Thank you for sharing your idea!

    • says

      Hi Gloria. It’s been a while since I made these, but the shimmery look is short lived, a week, or two at best. The moisture in the salt will eventually evaporate, causing them to dry up and take on a chalk look. The good thing is that when that happens you can soak them in warm water which will dissolve the salt and you’ll be able to easily remove the glue and start over!

  70. Melissa says

    Once the salt loses it’s moisture the color fads and the salt turns to white powder. Another way, though more costly, you can use colored crystals found at craft stores. This is an awesome idea, fun and easy to do with children!

  71. Amber says

    HI there. I tried making these today, and am now waiting for the mod podge to dry. I have noticed, that the Gloss sealer is highly flammable. I bought the same one you have used in the picture..is this ok to use as these are to be used as candles? Thank you

    • says

      I burned candles in them quite a bit and never had a problem. I believe that the flammable issue is when you are spraying it near flame. I never had a problem.

  72. Amber says

    After doing some research it looks like there are some non flammable gloss sealers. I must have bought the wrong one

    • Patti says

      Couldn’t you just mix equal parts of the salt and Mod Podge, paint onto the jars and allow to dry. Since Mod Podge already has a sealant you wouldn’t need to spray any other sealant after it all dried.

      • says

        Unfortunately no. The Mod Podge, when mixed with or painted over the top of the salt, turns everything into a wet blobby looking mess. I tried with several different types and each time it was a failure.

  73. Loreen says

    Making these for my son’s winter wedding, making the epsom salts pink as that is the brides color for the wedding. making in some larger bowls and looking candles in pink water. so pretty

  74. Cindy says

    If you cover the salt jar in a sealer does this keep them from drying out? Besides paint can you cover them in a clear acrylic with out creating a fire danger? Thought I might use this idea for out Christmas gift the preschoolers give to thier parents.

  75. Jeanne Quin says


    After you roll the jars in the white salts, do you coat with mod podge again right a way and then roll in the blue or green? So do you coat with mod podge 3 times?

    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Just follow the step by step instructions in the tutorial, there’s a printable version without all the pictures so it’s easier to read. You only put the Mod Podge on once, right before you roll them in salt. Adding Mod Podge over the top will kill the sparkle of the salts and create a blobby looking mess.

    • says

      I just re-read your question. Each color is separate. So you don’t roll in white first and then another color. You paint the jar with Mod Podge, then roll in whatever color salt you want. that’s it :)

  76. says

    I would like to ask about “Mod Podge”. I didn’t see this in my area (Thailand) or if someone import it, it’s quite expensive. Is it possible to use another thing, such as Latex ???

    Thank you in advance.

  77. Naomi Edwards says

    If you don’t use food coloring and leave them white. Do you just put on the mod podge and roll them in the salts and then seal them? I would hate to make a gift for a friend and then it fade out. That would be embarrassing.
    Thanks these are beautiful.

    • says

      That’s correct, Mod Podge, roll in salt, let dry, seal. :) REMEMBER these are temporary as stated in the post, they will eventually turn white and lose their luster.

  78. says

    Thanks for sharing, love all the posts. Was wondering if you could do this with a wine bottle, drill a whole in the back to put L E D Christmas lights in. Didn’t know how to get this look.Will drill the whole then try the epson salt. I also heard you can buy lights that have a swich to turn on & off. This would make beautiful Christmas gifts!

  79. Janette says

    Great idea. I will be saving jars for next christmas and my preschoolers can make them.

    What is Modge Podge? Is just a brand of white glue that you use for wood craft etc or a special glue?

    I live in Australia so would need to find the equivalent.



    • says

      You could certainly use them outside, but NOT in inclement weather. So if the weather is clear it’s fine. However, rain could be a problem. Snow might be okay, but if they are sitting in wet snow that might cause them damage.

  80. Alesia says

    I am going to attempt to do this with clear glass ornaments for my Christmas tree this year. I was wondering if anyone had tried making the salt a little bit darker in color. My tree skirt is red, blue, and green. I’m worried that if I add red food colouring that my ornaments will end up being pink…

    • says

      Hi Alesia. I have made a glass ornament, not with color, just white, BUT wanted to let you know that they will only last this season. The following year when I unpacked my ornaments, the epsom salt one was all chalky white and flaking off all over the place. However, the good news is that you can wash the salt and glue off and do them again, if that’s something that you want to do. Just keep in mind, this is a temporary decoration.

  81. Katie says

    Found these on Pinterest and just tried them – they are great! I used white decorative sand from Michaels instead of salt. No word yet on if the color stays, but so far they look very similar!

  82. patricia magliochetti says

    love this idea,they are so pretty.thank you for a great idea.i will be making them with my family.thanks again

  83. June Smith says

    I have a whole box of glass vases in different shapes and sizes in my storage shed. You know the kind when you get with flowers delivered from the flower shop. I’m thinking some of them would work nicely with the Epsom Salt. Can’t wait to try it.

  84. Christy says

    Trying these Epsom salt luminaries and it was a little tricky at first. Do u mean i should paint the jar with MP, then roll in salt, let dry, put another coat of MP, then roll in salts a second time, let dry then spray with sealer? Also MP was a bit expensive so i tried mixing Elmer’s (generic) glue with water. Is that ok or should i stick with the MP? Beautiful idea! Cant wait to find more!

    • says

      One coat of Mod Podge and one roll in the salt. Adding Mod Podge on top of the salt will remove their sheen, it “muffles” it, for lack of a better explanation. And yes, a mixture of white glue and water will work fine :)

  85. Ann says

    About the salt turning white issue….could you color the jar (with mod podge and food coloring on the inside, baked) and then use plain white epsom salts on the outside with the mod podge and sealer?

    • says

      it won’t stop the salt from turning white. I haven’t experimented yet with additional coats of sealer, but a lot of people are asking so I may just do that this weekend and report back in a couple of weeks.

  86. Ashley Ward says

    I just finished these and they look adorable! I use baby food jars instead since I have a ton that I’ve been saving. I printed out a template I made of Christmas trees and holly and pasted them onto the jars then applied modge podge and epsom salt. That turned out super cute and can’t wait to see them lit up with a candle! Thanks so much for the idea.

    • says

      Click the link that says “printable version”. You’ll see it right above the list of supplies:

      Epsom Salt Luminaries
      by Amanda Formaro
      printable version

  87. Beverly says

    How do I register so I can become a part of Pinterest? Your registration form should be on the bottom of each page or at least on the home page.

  88. Sammy says

    I’m so making this for my mom for christmas. I’m seventeen and i am her mothers day present because technically im born on mothers day:) anyways yea im making this into a “hope” jar. sO IMMA DECORATE IT aND im making it so i can put pieces of paper with encouraging words and ecetera for her in. According to my dad she has been wanting this for a long time. This is the perfect way to decorate!
    Much Thanks!

  89. Moonangel says

    I made these this week with my 9 and 7 year old boys as gifts for their teachers. I didn’t use a mason jar, I found a set of tea cups and a pair of wine glasses, and I didn’t color the salt (short on time). It was very easy and really fast. Thanks for the idea.

  90. Lois Player says

    thanks for posting this again.I must have missed seeing the part about the sealer.I have made a couple of these and the salts just flake off without a sealer. Will try that step this time….Thanks for the re-post.

  91. Thegirl Nextdoortattoos says

    check it out though for sure. its beautiful when done correctly and pretty when done by me.

  92. Marie Wendel says

    Why do you say that if you are using them for an event you shouldn’t make them more than 1 week in advance?

  93. says

    Hi there!!!
    I am preparing for service with Peace Corps and was looking online for some simple crafts to do for my family when I came across your instructions for these wonderful luminaries. I just did 4 small ones and a couple of mason jars in various colors. Boy will my family be surprised to get such a gift while I am away (that is why I am doing the crafty stuff now, before I depart, so they get a gift from me while I am away- whew! Did you understand that?). Anyhoooo…. thanks for such a great tutorial. I had fun and found it to be very easy to do.

    • says

      Hi Becky and thanks for writing! I’m so glad you had a good time making these :) Hopefully you read the part in the post about the salts turning white and flaking off. This is not a permanent project and I hope you understood that from what was written in the post.

  94. denice says

    I had used this on my bathroom window except for the clear spray at the end makes window like nice & no one can see in, works on glass doors for cabinets or patio doors too

  95. Judy Vert says

    I made these last December and added a thin silver ribbon around the lips. I placed them on the white tablecloth, with a silver runner then the candles. I then added some sprayed silver twigs to go around the candles. I had 7 ladies for our weekly get together. The table was beautiful and have made some of them for gifts. Thank you for sharing this.

  96. Cindy says

    These are very pretty! Do they last forever or only a certain time limit? I am asking because you said if your going to use them for a wedding to do it a week before. You would think they last forever. Again they are pretty! :)

    • says

      Hi Cindy :) There’s a link at the top of the post that takes you to an article I wrote about epsom salts and the discoloration that results. The moisture will eventually evaporate from the salts, leaving them white and chalky looking. That’s why I suggest doing them no longer than a week prior to your event :)

  97. gale says

    do you think you could use lavender Epson salt on these and spray them after if they would work and would the salt start to fall off.


    • says

      Hi Gale. Without having done that myself, I can’t predict how they would last. If you have time, I would recommend making one and letting it sit for a week or two and see what happens!

  98. [email protected] says

    I must try to make these for the holidays…

  99. Elizabeth Molnar says

    I read the comments on these luminaries from epsom salts. I do understand that they will dry out(so being temporary), however you mention using a coat of paint of top of a design created with the salts. That made me think there must be something that stops the air from getting to them and drying them out to a dull white. The exposure to air seems to be the thing that you are saying causes a temporary condition and not a permanent condition. Also, I would think a brush on would be better than a spray. Just a thought.

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth. It’s true, it’s the air that’s the enemy. I did spray mine with a clear sealer, but they still dried out eventually. However, I didn’t go crazy with the spray either, I only did one coat. So it is possible that you could preserve them longer with several coats of clear spray. As for a brush-on sealer, I tried three different types of Mod Podge with unattractive results. They gave the salt a muddled appearance and took away the pretty sparkling sheen.

  100. Shannon Sakelarios says

    I want to make these as centerpieces for our Christmas Party. I wondered if it would work okay if you added glitter in with the Epsom salt to roll the jars in? Thank you for sharing this! These are beautiful!

  101. Samantha says

    I apparently did a few things wrong? 1. I didn’t read about the crystals losing color an flaking off. 2. I used too much of either mod podge or salts or both. 3. I did too many coats? Is there a way to fix this?

    • says

      Hi Samantha. Yes they will lose their color eventually. This is a temporary project. If you have problems with the salts sticking, your best bet is to just start over. Soak the jars in warm water. This will dissolve the salt and soften the Mod Podge enough to clean it off so your jar will be clean again. Good luck!

  102. Kandy says

    I read your info piece about the epsom salts losing color. When you seal them with the clear sealant, does this stop the color loss?

    • says

      Hi Kandy. I sealed mine and they still lost color. However, I only used one coat of sealer, so it’s possible (I don’t know for sure!) that additional coats could seal in the moisture and keep them from drying out.

  103. says

    hi Amanda and all herein …. i just saw this really cool project uve come up with ,Amanda and tis a GREAT idea … but i will be using more of the Plastic type containers , see through of course… for the LED lites ill place in each container once completed … for the Nursing Home Residents i see often throughout the years , as i have several friends there now.. and too .. this particular nursing home, has become a very familiar home to me .. for my late hubby was there recouperating prior his passing 6 yrs ago… i too have a special area with hubby and my ONE professional pic hanging with plants and what not in memory of our travels throughout our wonderful marriage of 30 yrs.. this idea u have shared Amanda is something ill be using , as one or several others herein mentioned about placing the lit jars at hubbys and my portrait .. what a terrific idea … everyone i know is getting a jar , as well as the items needed along with the instructions herein .. so they too can enjoy the fun of it all.. ty ty ty for sharing.. ur a gem .. keep up the good work, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to one and all….. Blessings !

  104. says

    I was looking for something to do him several cases of kosher sea salt given to me and this was similar to what I have in mind and could not remember if it was glue or not. Thank you it is a perfect craft for my Junior Church group.

  105. Jodi says

    Amanda, you are a life safer!!! These are fantastic! We have VERY limited means this year and I hate the thought of not being able to give to those I love. These look fabulous and will not take much time or money to make! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

  106. Gina says

    Made these frosted luminaries for my cousins this year and they turned out to be really pretty! I hated the sealing part though and they had a bad paint smell to them afterward. Even though I let them air out on the patio overnight. I’ll leave them out a bit longer next time! :)

  107. says

    OI found you through this other blog official pacific merchants – I just wished I had seen this post before x-mas. THese look so great! But now I am following you so I will not miss one more brilliant idea :-)

  108. Marya says

    Amanda, These are so lovely! I don’t understand why the salt would flake if you use a sealer. Can you please explain? I’d like to do some in white, so fading would not be an issue. In that case, how long would they last? Thanks!

  109. Mariss says

    Love this idea. All the comments put my thoughts to work. Wondering if the salt would stick more permenantly using a adhesive glue that is not water based. Also rather than adding food coloring to salts how about using a stain rub either per made purchased or making your own with stain medium and acrylic paints and rubbing over salt after adhered to jars and then sealed with a good sealent maybe heavy duty non water based with a brush. Just some random thoughts.

  110. Deb Edlebeck says

    I made several of these using pretty long stem margarita glasses.
    I put the mod pode and salts on the unside too.
    They have colored crazy shaped stems and then
    the white salts. They are gorgeous. After I spray
    them with sealer (inside and out) I was worried
    these would be a fire hazzard! What do uou think?

    • says

      Hi Deb. Sealer spray is only a fire hazard while it’s being spray or is wet. Once it’s dry it’s fine. However, if you put salts on the inside as well as the outside I don’t think I would put a candle inside.

  111. Yvonne says

    i was wondering…you come up with good ideas so i was wondering if you had any ideas for the litte wood containers that brie cheese come in….i know they can be covered for containers but i thought you would figure out something really neat….thanks

  112. Devon says

    Hello! I was thinking about making these for my daughters frozen themed birthday party. I wanted to make some of them light purple. I saw somewhere that you can color Epsom salt with chalk. Have you ever tried that or do you think it might work. Thanks!!

  113. Renee says

    Could you add the food coloring or maybe a drop or two of paint to the modge podge, then brush on the glass or jar and then roll it in the salts. Would that give it the same see thru color. Do you think this would work. Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give me.

  114. Christine says

    I have done something like this using” diamond dust” but I have never colored it. I don’t like using candles as I’m afraid of fires. I have some battery operated candles that are on timers so that would make decorating so much easier.

  115. says

    So beautiful and creative! Pinned!


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