Introduction: Picture Luminary

A picture luminary can be a great decoration for an end table in your living room or even a great gift for a friend or family member. This project can feature pictures of your family or pictures that help you decorate for the different seasons or holidays.

TIME: It takes about 45 minutes to make a Picture Luminary.

NOTE: You must choose and print images before beginning the process of making the picture luminary.

CAUTION: Be careful if children under 12 are helping. The scissors and super glue should be used with supervision.

Step 1: Buying Materials Required

  • 4 Picture Frames (5x7)
  • Mirror (8x8)
  • Vellum Paper
  • LED tealight candles (2)
  • Super glue or hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Printer
  • Highlighter

NOTE: Before you start, open your materials if they are in packaging.

Step 2: Choosing 4 Images & Printing

You can choose pictures of…

  • Family or Friends
  • Quotes
  • Season Symbols (snowflakes, snowman)

** I chose to use my family (Mom, dad, brother, my fiancé and I, and a quote.)

NOTE: It is a great DIY project for giving as a gift. I am giving mine to my mom for her birthday which happens to be Valentine’s day!

CAUTION: Make sure the images you choose can be printed to fit in a 5x7 frame. Portraits work the best.

Make sure to print your pictures on vellum (transparent) paper to ensure the light will shine through and be visible.

CAUTION: Be sure to follow your printer's directions for printing on vellum paper.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Images & Inserting Into the Frames

Put the vellum paper on top of the cardboard back and then cut around the edges to ensure you cut it to the correct size for the frame.

NOTE: You will not need the cardboard back of the picture frame.

Use the clasp and tape to insert the images in the frames firmly with no loose corners.

NOTE: Clasping and taping pictures can be challenging since the paper is flimsy.

Step 4: Gluing the Frames Together

NOTE: This step is better performed with two people!

Begin by placing one frame on the table face down and applying glue to the outer ridge and placing the side of the other frame to the glue to bond together. Make sure the frames are level at the bottom so it can sit evenly on the mirror.

CAUTION: Make sure not to glue your finger to the picture frame with the super glue. It dries within ten seconds.

NOTE: If you want the frames to be in a square shape make sure to alternate the sides that you glue together. Each individual frame should have glue on the outer ridge on one side and on the side of the frame on the other side.

CAUTION: make sure your images are facing the same direction.

REPEAT step until all four frames are glued together and secured.

Step 5: Gluing the Frames to the Mirror

Put the picture frame on the mirror and make a mark of where you would like each corner to be placed on the inside of the square. Then put glue on the bottom of the frames all the way around the side and place back over the marks you made.

NOTE: Take measurements if you would like it centered and are not good at “eye balling”.
For the measurements to center it you do the width of the mirror minus the width of the frame. 8 - 5 = 3
Then divide that answer by 2. 3 / 2 = 1.5
So for the frame to be centered make a mark at 1.5 inches and 6.5 inches on two sides of the mirror across from each other so each corner is marked.
After making the marks then you can glue.

** I used a highlighter to make my marks because it would erase off and not be permanent.

Step 6: Applying an Extra Bead of Glue...

Apply an extra bead of glue around the outside of the frame to help secure the frames firmly to the mirror for more support.

NOTE: A bead is a line not a dot of glue to seal the air gaps.

NOTE: The glue will dry clear but try to do it neatly to avoid making a mess.

Step 7: Placing Candles Inside the Frames

Place the candles inside the frames on top of the mirror.

NOTE: You can use command Velcro strips if you want to secure the candles in a specific place.

** I prefer two candles to put off enough light, for a room with the light on or off.

NOTE: Tealight LED candles put off the best light rather than a larger LED candle that has the plastic surrounding the light.

CAUTION: Real candles can be a fire hazard!

Step 8: Turning the Candles On

Directions: Place the picture luminary on an end table in your living room or use as a centerpiece of your dining room table.

Safety Tip: Put on a high table if you have pets or kids so it does not get knock over because the glass will shatter.

Enjoy your work of art masterpiece!