I have found a way that you can transform your landscape in to an icy Christmas wonderland for pennies. If you have water and a freezer you can create a look that is very elegant and classic or whimsical and fun depending on the garnishment you use. These decorating ideas will survive longer in northern climates; however the icy touches on patios and centerpieces in a warmer climate will be a refreshing look for a holiday party.
A beautiful inexpensive and impressive way to light a path to your door is luminaries. The whole paper bag with a candle always seemed a bit risky but here is an easy solution that is safe and makes a great statement.
1. 2 containers one smaller than the other, I have used everything from milk cartons to plastic bowls that nest inside each other. You can use just about any container and add a balloon with a rock in it for weight. The important thing is that one container is bigger than the other.
3. Freezer, outside works if it’s cold enough.
4. Various greens, berries, etc.
Pour water in the larger container, put smaller container inside. You want water to be on all sides as equal as possible as well as under the smaller container. You will need to weight the top container as it will usually try to float. Add greenery, berries, sticks or any other embellishments you want to the water between the containers. This is optional. Your luminary will be pretty either way.
Put them in the freezer at least over night, the time needed will be determined by how thick the layer of water is between the two containers. When completely frozen remove the smaller container, add some warm water to the smaller container if you are having trouble taking it out. If you used a balloon for the center can just pop it. Add a candle and presto, changeo you have a luminary.
Just a side note: One year I made them votive size and put them in a tray with fresh greenery and roses for a centerpiece. They look great and help keep the greenery and flowers watered.
You can also make Ice Globes; fill a balloon with water and freeze. They will freeze from the outside in. Check them regularly; you want the “shell” to be frozen but the center to be liquid. Once you have a solid shell you can take them out and pop the balloon. Drain the remaining water out of the center cavity and you have your globe. You will have to chip an opening. This is an easy task. Now add your tea lights and you’re done. You can make these any size. Use your imagination, make a glowing ice snowman or pile them up in a pyramid…Line your driveway, sidewalk or patio. You’ll love the effect.
Plant sticks and branches in your flower pots. You can “crystallize” them if you live in a place with freezing temperatures. Using a spray bottle filled with water mist them periodically. Eventually they will be come encased in ice and have the appearance of crystal.
You can also use your ice and candy molds to make ice ornaments. You can hang them from trees or your potted sticks and branches. Lay a ribbon, wire or string in the mold when you freeze for a hanger, these also make an excellent addition to your holiday centerpieces.
Use a Jell-O mold to make an ice wreath. For years this trick has been used to keep the punch cold but why not make it a hanging wreath. Add cranberries, greenery and/or some water proof ribbon. Orange, lime and lemon slices look great also if you are using a nontraditional color scheme. Simple and stunning. These can be very heavy if you use too much water so make them thin. (You can always make more.) These look especially good on light posts or porch railings.