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Water Balloon Luminary


Create a beautiful, translucent candle holder with the help of a water balloon.



  • Small Water Balloon(s)
  • High-Melt Paraffin Wax
  • Saucepan or wide metal can specifically for melting wax (you won’t be able to re-use a pan for other purposes)
  • Larger saucepan for boiling water (double-boiler method)
  • Cookie sheet



  1. Fill the larger saucepan partially with water and bring to a boil. Place your wax chunks into the smaller saucepan or wide metal can for melting wax. Grating the wax helps it to melt quicker. Place this can into the larger saucepan to melt the wax. Or, use a double boiler specifically for this purpose.
  2. You ideally want to keep the wax around 180 degree Fahrenheit while you work.
  3. Completely fill a small balloon with room-temperature water and tie off the top. Holding the balloon at the tie, slowly dip the water-filled balloon into the wax just under the water line. Do not dip past the water line in the balloon or the balloon will pop.
  4. Hold the balloon dipped in the wax for a few seconds and slowly lift it out. Let the wax cool for a few seconds. Repeat this process two to three more times, letting the wax cool for a few second between each dip.
  5. After the last dip, while the wax is still warm, carefully set the balloon onto the cookie sheet. This will give your luminary a flat bottom.
  6. Continue to dip your balloon into the wax until you reach the desired thickness.
  7. Set the balloon on the cookie sheet again and allow it to cool.
  8. Once completely cool, hold the balloon over the sink and pop with a needle, knife, or other sharp object. Remove the balloon from the inside of the luminary.
  9. Heat a cookie sheet on the stove or in the oven until quite hot. To level the top of the luminary, place it upside down on the hot sheet so that the edges melt until even.
  10. Allow to dry right-side up again. Once cool, place a tea light inside and burn, preferably on a candle holder. See how it glows!



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Reviews More Reviews

Jan 22, 2012

I saw this demonstrated on PBS and they used beeswax. One of the cautions they stated was to fill the balloon completely and not leave any air in it at all. Instead of using just small warmer candles you could also use taller ones. They also worked some dried flowers and leaves in the last two drippings. You have to be careful not to get burned. They used their fingers but I think tweezers would have been better. Just glue the items onto the bowl (while the balloon is still in it) using some of the melted wax as glue. It was very pretty that way


Jun 19, 2011

A picture would be very helpful. I believe what you are trying to make here is a luminaria, since a luminary is a celebrity who inspires others.


14 Ratings

Jan 16, 2011

please give us some pictures, it would be helpful.


Jan 4, 2011

Thanks, Can't wait to try this:)


Nov 25, 2010

I havent heard of this, great idea


Nov 11, 2010

This sounds like a fun project for my kids. I will definately give it a try.


Aug 27, 2010

this is a great way to recycle scented candles and make ur own scent... makes great project for girl scouts


Apr 5, 2010

I used this same technique for making chocolate bowls....you can put ice cream, berries, whatever you like to eat with chocolate in them. My grandkids loved eating them making them.


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