Recycled Creations: Glass Jar Luminaries

n the dark of winter, after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, and after the glitz of holiday decor has been packed away, there seems to be a gloomy stillness that comes over us. We definitely need some bright spots. 

One of my favorite recycled creations to make, especially at this time of the year, is a glass jar luminary. These luminaries are so easy to make and help those dark, chilly nights seem a bit brighter. Repurposing the many glass jars we toss into the recycling bin every week is a great way to keep them out of the landfill, and it is easy to repurpose them into this beautiful and easy home decor project. 

 Using antique doilies, lace pillowcase trims or your grandmother’s vintage lace that you’ve been saving in her sewing box is a wonderful way to keep the past memories alive, while adding a soft glow to your winter nights. These are also wonderful during the rest of the year, as they add a beautiful touch to your outdoor patio, front porch or special gathering, like a summer party or wedding. Trendy Mason jar crafts in boutiques are everywhere for a hefty price tag. So let’s gather up the following materials to create these glowing lanterns ourselves.


  • Various sizes of glass jars from your recycle bin (blue mason jar, jelly jar, spaghetti sauce jar)
  • Assorted crocheted trims or lace, doilies, new or old
  • High-strength spray adhesive (Scotch, Krylon, or Elmers), available at craft stores
  • Vintage buttons, burlap, and jute for embellishments
  • Protective table covering


Begin by thoroughly washing and drying your jars. Using a variety of sizes, colors and heights creates a magical look with your luminaries when they are placed all together. Make sure to cover your workspace with newspaper or a protective covering, as spray adhesive can be very messy.

Measure the diameter of your jar and cut strips of your laces and trims accordingly. Use various patterns of lace and trims to create a shabby chic, vintage feel. If you are using doilies, use various sizes, creating a layered look.

Place your hand or fingers on the inside of the jar to hold securely, and spray a thin coating of the adhesive on the entire outside of the jar. This will create a frosted look, and creates a beautiful aura through the holes of the lace when the luminaries are lit. Carefully place your strips of lace or trim onto the jar and press down firmly so they adhere to the glue. You may want to fold raw edges of lace and trims under so that they do not pull up or unravel. Let the luminaries dry according to adhesive instructions.


Embellish your luminaries with vintage buttons or tie a jute bow at the top. Place tea light candles or LED tea lights down into the bottom of the jars, illuminate and enjoy the soft glow that will add ambience and coziness to your chilly winter nights.

Melissa Eggler resides in Rochester and is a stay-at-home mom and artist. Her Facebook group entitled “Don’t Judge A Book” Recycled Creations has over 500 fans.