Icy hot: Easy-to-make ice luminarias cast a warm glow
Four ways to create luminarias from ice, fruit, flowers and items from your garden.
Better Homes and Gardens
Looking for a seasonal and budget-friendly way to light up the yard? Bright flowers, twigs and berries suspended in sparkling ice make naturally beautiful luminarias. Start with local greenery and cranberries or other items you may have on hand. Add some water, freeze and insert a candle for a lovely glow.
Here are some ideas for decorating with luminarias from the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens.
A flexible plastic container, such as a recycled two-liter bottle, is an inexpensive and unbreakable mold for making ice luminarias.
Pour distilled water — it makes the clearest ice — into the container to fill it one-third full. A second, smaller container in the center, weighted with rocks, crates a hollowed-out center in the mold.
Arrange tree branches, such as yellow twig dogwood, and colorful accents, such as cranberries, in the water. Freeze until solid.
Thaw the ice slightly to unmold both containers and place a votive candle inside.
Light up the night with a glowing poinsettia encased in ice. Start with a small bloom clipped off at the base. Seal the stem with a flame and push the bloom facedown into a large plastic cup. Then use the ice molding technique described above to create a frozen luminaria.
BASKET OF HOLLY
Encase holly sprigs and pyracantha berries in ice that you mold in a flexible plastic ice cream bucket. Create a candleholder in the center of the ice with a recycled 2-liter bottle. Branches, berries, and water fill the gap between the two containers. Give it a traditional look by placing a red pillar candle in the center and pose the finished arrangement in a wire basket.
Make a glowing parfait by alternating layers of cranberries and ice. Use a 2-liter bottle for the outside of the mold, and create a hollow place for the candle with a 1-liter bottle. Add a few inches of water and drop a line of cranberries into the gap between the two bottles. Freeze one layer solid, then add more water and berries in the gap and freeze again, then add a final layer and freeze one last time. Unmold and place a candle in the center.
More holiday ideas are on the Web site for Better Homes and Gardens: www.bhg.com/holidays.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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