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Picture Frame Luminaries

Happy Sunday friends!  I hope you are having a fabulous weekend!  I am REALLY, REALLY excited to share these picture frame luminaries with you today.  They are perfect for your HOLIDAY table or really…any time of the year!  I am pretty sure I will find a place for this up year round!  :) Last year I shared my wine bottle luminaries…I tend to like things that light up during the holidays!!!

25 Days of Christmas Banner Day 10


Supplies Needed:

  • (4) 5 x 7 frames (I found mine at my local Dollar Tree)
  • Gorilla Glue or other strong adhesive
  • 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 Vellum
  • Home printer
  • Family photos
  • Square mirror (I also found these at my local Dollar Tree)
  • Tea Light Candles

I started off by finding four photos that I wanted to feature on my centerpiece.  I took some photos of my boys in August and so I used one of Michael, one of Ryan, one of both of the boys and then I had to dig back to the really, really archives and dig out a photo of Fred and I …FROM OUR WEDDING…(in 2008) because apparently that is the LAST time we took a decent photo together (read: that is the last time I was not BEHIND The camera taking the pictures!). 

I bought two pieces of vellum at Michaels.  You can find it in the open scrap booking paper section.  It looks like wax paper (opaqueness) but not waxy!  It’s awesome.  Find some that is pure vellum, not  a print. I thought “Hey what will this faint vine print going to do to my photos…probably nothing”…WRONG!  It shows through! 

I then printed my photos on my home printer directly onto my vellum…and then I trimmed them down to size.


I took out the happy family that was in the dollar store frames and I replaced it with our family photo printed on vellum…ON TOP of the GLASS!  So it goes frame, vellum photo and then glass on the back.  I did this so that when you place the candles inside…you don’t risk lighting your house on fire!  Just sayin…kind of important! 

Once in your frames, glue them together into a cube.  NOTE:  Gorilla glue (which is what I used) expands when it dries…so be sure to apply a thin line and towards the inner side of the joint.


Then you are ready to assemble your centerpiece.  Simply put the cube frame over the square mirror.  This will help reflect the light from your votive.  Then place the votive inside and light! 


I lit this during the day…

IMG_4406{{See the vine print running through our faces…yeah that’s why you should use plain vellum!}}

And here is is lit at night!  How cool?!?!?  What a great centerpiece this will be on your holiday table or mantle! 


Don’t forget that I will have a Holiday Happenings link party open until the 5th of January. Please link up all posts related to the Holidays {Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s, etc.}

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74 Responses to Picture Frame Luminaries

  1. this is really cute!! i love easy – and cheap! – crafts, this may make a great xmas present for the in-laws!! thanks!!!

    • Thank you! I was thinking perfect present for grandparents also! They would love this and you can make several and not go broke :) Thanks for the nice comment!

  2. How did I miss this yesterday? This would be a great Christmas gift for the grandparents! Lovin’ the creativity, friend!

  3. I love this!! I have it bookmarked now so hopefully I will remember to make it. You should add a little pin it button so everyone can easily pin it too!

  4. You girl have been busy and so very creative. Glad you shared this with the dollar tree party. We are almost up to 100 clever and inspiring Dollar tree Christmas ideas.

  5. This is a great idea for a graduation party too. Just use pictures from k through 12 and place on your tables. My daughter loved this.

    • Thanks Janet. You just cut the vellum the size of a photo. Then just sandwich the vellum between the frame and the glass (just opposite than normal with the vellum on the outside of the glass) like normal. No tape or adhesive needed.

  6. Do you have a video tutorial on how to make this photo frame luminary? I love this and plan on making for Xmas gifts. Thanks

  7. Did you use an inkjet printer or a laser printer? I have had unpleasant experiences printing onto different “papers” in the past :-)

  8. Hi! I love this idea for a Christmas gift!! But one question- do the frames just rest on the mirror? Or is the mirror glued on? And does it have to fit the size exactly? Thanks!

  9. I’m so glad I found this! I am making these for my sister, mom, mother-in-law, and both of my sisters-in-law for Christmas! Are the picture frames you used plastic or metal? Thanks!

  10. Please help! I can’t figure out how to get the frames glued together. I bought the same ones from dollar tree. The sides are flat but there is only one thin line of plastic to try to glue it to when you are putting them together. What am I missing?

  11. hi I love this idea and am in the making of making one. my question is how did you get the glass from the frame to stay in place?

  12. AMAZING! Just made 5 of these and they turned out beautiful!! You’re a genius and I am so glad I found this pin! Thank you thank you for your creativity!

  13. I made this over the weekend and I LOVE it! Thank you so much for the idea! It is so pretty. Now I just have to find a good place to put it so everyone can see my beautiful, glowing family! :)

  14. Hi, Im trying to print the photos on the vellum paper that i got from Micheals. I doesn’t seem to show clear picture after I print. Please let me know asap.

  15. Hi there, I know this post is old, but I am getting ready to make this as a Christmas gift. I was wondering what kind of vellum paper to use? I was going to purchase it online and there are different weighted vellum papers. It’s pretty confusing. Thanks!

  16. Cute idea! I’m making these for my Mother in Law for Christmas! Question though. I have the vellum prints, then the glass, but what’s supposed to hold them in place? My frames are also from the dollar tree, did you glue the glass frame down?

  17. Hi Cheryl, I love this photo luminary idea and bought all of the materials yesterday. One problem though, when I print the photos on vellum, the ink doesn’t seem to dry. Do I need a different kind of ink? Or just let the photo sit and dry for a long time before using?

  18. Hi! I love this idea! I am attempting to make these for the grandparents as christmas gifts. I have actual color photos that I had printed at CVS. Can I use these or should I print black and images on the vellum? Also what size mirror did you use and are they supposed to fit perfectly? Thanks!

  19. […] Unique picture frames or photo/scrapbook albums make cherished gifts. If you don’t have time for the intricacies of scrapbooking, many sites print photo books where you drop in your pictures and your wording, and they send you a beautiful keepsake book. Check out sites like Shutterfly and Picaboo for more inspiration. How about a beautiful picture frame luminary? This may be something for older multiples or better yet, for you. It is simply gorgeous and you can find detailed instructions by clicking here. […]

  20. Thanks for the awesome craft idea! I made two of these last night as Christmas gifts for family members. It is my daughter’s senior year so I included a baby picture, a kindergarten picture, and 2 senior pictures. I found everything as you said at the Dollar Tree and Michaels. I printed my pictures in black and white as yours looked black and white, and they look cool illuminated with the “fake” tea-lights I found at the Dollar Tree by the picture frames. No fires here – lol! One tip – make sure the picture frames are flat (no curves or indents) as the flat ones glue better. I used a bit of tape with one end folded for easy removal to brace the frames as they dried.

  21. For someone who is not crafty (like me)… maybe my mistakes will help you. The 1st picture frames I bought did not hold the glass in without the backing. The tabs did not reach far enough to hold the glass in by itself. The 2nd frames I bought were “fancy” and were almost impossible to glue together because there was only a small strip. So buy a straight edge for sure!!! Hoping 3rd time is a charm ; )

    Thanks for the awesome idea! Love it!!

  22. Thank you SOOOOO MUCH for this idea! My boyfriend died unexpectedly 6 weeks ago…moneys real tight this year. We’re young…didn’t have life insurance. These are PERFECT gifts for family and friends!! Just wish he didn’t have soooo many!!
    Thank you again!!

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