Epsom Salt Luminaries

Epsom Salt Luminaries

Epsom salts are perfect for creating a crystal snow effect on any craft project. We used recycled glass jars to create these Christmas Epsom Salt luminaries for decorations.

What you need

Glass Jars
White Acrylic Paint
PVA Craft Glue
Epsom Salts
Clear Spray Varnish
Candle for Luminary


Start by taking your glass jar and remove any labels.

Pour the paint into the inside of the jar and swirl it around until it is well coated.

The white provides a nice background to the Epsom salt crystals. Pour out any excess paint and allow it to dry inside.


Coat the outside of the jar in white craft glue. You need a thick layer to allow the crystals to attach but not too thick that it drips off.

Roll the jar into the Epsom Salts until it is well coated. Stand and allow to dry.

Finish it off with a coat or Varnish to help prevent the crystals from popping off.

Add a candle and you are finished.

We added a snowflake to a green jar for a different effect.

Looking for more magnesium and Epsom salt recipes? Check out these DIY recipes

Epsom salt lotion

Epsom Salt Lip Balm

Epsom Salt Facial 

And these Epsom salt crafts

Epsom Salt Christmas Word Art

Christmas Bauble Using Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt Snow Candle

“Frozen” Ice Queen Ring Using Epsom Salts

Mason Jar Epsom Salt Christmas Terrarium


  1. Carol Brogdon says

    Instead of real candles, use a battery operated “candle”. There are many different types of these. I LOVE Luminara battery operated candles. They give the effect of a real candle without the worry of fire. They also have remote controls to turn the candles on and off. These luminaries are so cool! I plan on making these as gifts. Thank you for sharing the instructions.

  2. Cheryl Cunningham says

    I love the look of these and would like to make a set of holiday jars to hang on a shepherd’s hook outside. However, as we know, salt dissolves in water., so, does the varnish protect the salts from melting in the rain or snow? Also an idea for the inside lighting; Amazon has solar mason jar lids with fairy lights connected. I have plain jars on shepherd’s hooks along a path with these lids and they look so pretty!

  3. When candle it lit for a while, the glue and salts on the outside melted away. It also can be flammable.

  4. Wonder could you use it on reverse salt sealed inside of a Glass like when building a todum

  5. Kids love to do this. The epsom salts start out with water ‘trapped’ inside MgSO4 . 7H2O so after the candle has heated the jar for a while the water molecules bake out of the crystals and leave a white pure salt behind. Using the electronic candles should slow that down. While magnesium metal is flammable, it takes a very hot flame to ignite it – MgSO4 is a salt and will not burn like pure magnesium metal. However, it is prudent to have the flame on the inside of the jar and the salts on the outside.

  6. I love it , I made a small jar one but used the salts for snow only in bottom, with candle thin set the jar on greens for a fire place setting, going to use your idea for the same thing.

  7. What kind of spray varnish did you use? I make these but can’t keep the Epsom salt from falling off. I sprayed mine with a spray varnish by Arleene’s and it didn’t do anything to keep them adhered to the candle. Also, once you spray them, do you put a live candle inside them or a flameless candle? I prefer the look of the live candle in them, but with the varnish I use the fake one. Also, the Epsom does turn white after a day or two and I’m unsure if the varnish is supposed to stop that from happening. In my case, it didn’t and they turned white, which still looks great but just not as pretty as when they’re first done. Love these DIY projects though…. so fun!

  8. Betty Manley says

    Another site said that the Epsom salts turn white after a few weeks. Did you find the same thing happening?

  9. Love it! I live in Florida & travel in summer only. Never experienced snow. But this should be very cute. Maybe I’ll make a snow theme this year! 🙂

  10. My husband uses a diamond tip drill bit. He has the drill in a drill press and squirts water on the bottle while drilling to keep from shattering the bottle from the heat of the bit

  11. The result is beautiful! I love scientific project like this 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  12. This can also be used safely with small Christmas lights.I use wine bottles with a hole my husband drills at the base and feed the lights in,looks really pretty.You can also color tint the salts with a small amount of food coloring mixed in

  13. Have done this project in the past,but did not work out well as instructions did not say to spray with varnish.The salts kept popping off. Will try again with the coat of varnish.Now I can use up all the salts I have LOL Thanks so much for this post.

  14. Thanks. This got me to thinking about the little bear again. If I took some of them, maybe even some of those small tree shaped candy containers, attached them to a shiny garland, it could make a fun decoration for the window or staircase. I bet the kids would love it.

  15. These are so cute. I think maybe I will use a ball shaped votive, so it looks like a snowball. Maybe even turn it upside down on top of the battery operated candles or even put a little scene on the flat side of the ball. This project makes the imagination run wild. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Love it!

  17. I did something very similar last year for Christmas. I used a little bear honey bottle and filled it with white paint, craft glue and Epsom salts mixture then added more salts as it dried until I got the effect desired. I then filled in the eyes and nose with a black marker, gave it rosy cheeks with a pink marker, glued on a little scarf and hat that I cut from red craft felt and put one of those little Dollar Store flickering candles in the bottom. It was really cute. I’m sure it could be used for other types of bottles/containers as well.

  18. Marie Palluotto says

    also the acrylic paint on the inside will blacken and burn

  19. Marie Palluotto says

    varnish is also highly flammable; I do not recommend using it

    • if the varnish is dry it will be safe but it is a whole lot easier to put a cheap LED light inside
      and they last a long time, no cleaning out the jars when the candle burns down

  20. G.B. Miller says

    You can use the LED tea lights and not have to worry about a flame. You can buy them fairly cheap at the $1. stores and I’ve found packs of batteries for them as cheap as 10 for $1.00. Love this idea.

  21. Aren’t epsom salts magnesium? Magnesium is highly flammable. Is it safe to use this with an open flame?

  22. All these projects are fast and easy and very clever..

What do you think of this project? Let us know!