The real "trick" in making the Ice Lantern is not to let it freeze solid. Ice freezes from the outside in and if you take the luminary out of the mold at the correct time, the luminary will be full of water. If you use your home freezer it will take about 12 - 14 hours to make your luminary, however, if you are freezing outdoors, the temperature will dictate your time. A good rule of thumb is 2 hours for each average degree of temperature. My experience is a temp. range of zero to 15 will require about 24 hours to make a luminary. The real problems occur when the temp gets very cold. If the temp ranges between -20 and zero, it is only going to take a few hours. If possible, I would not even attempt to make the luminary, but if you have to, make them in the daytime, when it is the warmest.

EXAMPLE: I put the mold out at 6pm the low is going to be 5 with a high of 20 the next day. That's about 12 degrees average times 2 for a freezing time of 24 hours. (click here to download a PDF Freeze-Guide)

• Use distilled water, or boil water for a clear lantern.

• Add some color with sweetened Kool-Aid.

• Put about an inch of water in the mold and add cranberries, acorns, or anything you like. Freeze just the inch of water to hold the items in place, then add the rest of the water.

• Use a glue gun to attach greens, cranberries, or anything you like to the sides of the mold. The glue and the item will be encased in the ice when the luminary is removed.

• Fill three quarters full and let the ice form on the base. Add some cranberries or twigs into the base.


Q. What kind of candle do you use.
A. I use an 8 or 12 hour votive. Most cost around .50 to .75 cents.

Q. Will the ice melt with the candle in it.
A. No, only when the temperature is above freezing.

Q. Why does the bottom of the luminary get bumpy on one side?
A. I don't really know, but my best guess is that the minerals in the water congregate in one place as they get colder. I know this DOES NOT happen if I use distilled water. When this happens to me, I run some hot water over the base to smooth it out before I take it out of the mold.

Glue battery operated LED lights into the mold and add greens and water.


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