DIY Tissue Covered Luminaries

I present to you, DIY project meets West Elm style decor meets happy crafting time with my bff Jenna. Look what we did :)

Long story short, I’ve been dying to make something not only wedding-worthy but something you could use for home decor, and this idea swooshed on in to my little mind. I wasn’t sure initially how these tissue luminaries would turn out but the final product really exceeded my expectations. These beauties are now sitting on our fireplace mantle, pretty as can be :) So without further ado read on to find out how to make these super easy (but rather time consuming) DIY Tissue Covered Luminaries.

{Step 1} You’ll need to make a whole ton of tissue medallions with your craft punch. Like a whole lot. I punched 10 sheets at a time almost six rows across, so thankfully the process didn’t too take long to get the number I needed. But depending on the size of your vase and the number of vases you are covering, I would suggest 75 – 100 medallions per vase. Once you start gluing them to the vase, the last thing you will want to do is stop to punch more medallions. So punch lots up front.

{Step 2} Next up it’s time to make your glue paste! Make sure the water to glue ratio you use, results in a nice and thick mixture to the point where the mixture looks almost as white as watered down milk. I made one luminary after Jenna had left to go home from shooting this DIY, and the mixture didn’t have enough glue; by the time the tissue has dried, the medallions started to peel away from the vase. So glue it up! And make sure to really stir around your mixture to eliminate chunks.

{Step 3} Start covering your vase in tissue medallions. I found it easiest to start gluing on my medallions by holding the vase over my hand (like in the above photo; beware your hand will get sweaty :) Using your paint brush, paint on a thick layer of paste over a bottom section of your vase. Then using a tissue medallion that has been cut in half, start gluing on your first ‘line’ of medallions, carefully matching up the edges, and remembering to glue down each piece as you go.

{Step 4} Continue gluing tissue medallions around the remainder of your vase until the entire thing is covered and painted in a coat of glue paste. If you hold your vase up to a window or light you will be able to see your pattern a bit better. You will need to use half pieces of tissue medallions to finish off the pattern around the top, in the same way you did when you started your pattern at the bottom. Make sure to set your luminaries aside to completely dry before putting candles inside. When they are dry, they look pretty spectacular, almost like a mermaid’s fin; the metallic colour of the tissue really looks awesome, like so:

But that doesn’t even compare to how these look when you drop a small pillar candle inside….

Out of all the DIY projects I’ve done, even Apb said he liked this one the best. As I type this these still sit on our mantle :)

I also made an attempt to create an ombre luminary but not only is it so tough to find tissue paper in diverse shades of colours, but the white (and the teal) tissue was so opaque you couldn’t even see the beautiful pattern on the vase. And the black was so dark, the luminary sort of lost it’s pizazz. I found the metallic tissue paper had the overall best look and biggest impact :)

Happy crafting bloggies, and enjoy your Wednesday :) xoxo

125 comments on DIY Tissue Covered Luminaries

  1. Such a cute look! Another fab tutorial my dear:-) Inspiring.

  2. Oh my goodness, I LOVE these! You’re a genius!!! :)

  3. Oh my goodness- This is an awesome DIY! Totally going to have to try this one!

  4. WOW. Love these- and they’re husband approved?! Genius lady!

  5. rhi!!! this! is! amazing!!!! brilliant idea!

  6. Those are so stinkin’ cute!!!!

  7. Neallie on

    Seriously Rhi! This is amazing and you are too too cute. Loving each and every one of your DIYs, you are so talented :)

  8. Holly on

    Wow, Rhi! These turned out SO GOOD! :)

  9. Lena on

    This is every kind of adorable-and such an impressive final project! Love them, and will absolutely have to try my hand at ‘em!

  10. Absolutely brilliant I have some time off soon to play with bits, and I think this will be first on my DIY projects hit list. Lady, you are just too creative!

  11. Lori on

    How cute are these ~ one to put in the gotta do this file! xo

  12. Rhi, I swear. You are the next Martha. These are AMAZING!! xo

  13. Love it! It’s so beautiful and looks professionally-made.

  14. this is absolutely my favorite DIY of yours thus far! I love how simple and how little you need to do this – and such a huge payoff! (I also love all your outfits, nail color, and Jenna’s photography!)

  15. Kody on

    LOVE these, they will look perfect in our bedroom built-in

  16. These are lovely! For homes as well as weddings too! Wonderful idea, Rhi!

  17. Was getting my craft on last night, but now totally want to abandon that project and make these! I LOVE the design that is illuminated when the candle is lit. Looks stunning. Thanks for tips and pointers along the way. I’m not looking forward to a sweaty hand;) haha.

  18. I love it! What a cool idea! I think I’m going to have to try this one soon…

  19. LOVE this! Very creative!

  20. Yup, this is adorable. Well done lady!

  21. Meghan on

    This is brilliant. I think I’ll try this because I have those exact vases left over from my wedding! thank you, thank you!

  22. Lisa on

    This doesn’t look DIY-ed at all! They are so pretty, and seriously girl, how great is your mantle? Love it! I will be trying this project for sure! :) xoxo

  23. Victoria on

    The grey ones are beautiful! I just love how they would look on a table this fall:)

  24. Pretty, pretty. Such a creative mind you have. Not sure I have the patience for this project but I love the luminaries!!

  25. Kim C on

    These are absolutely beautiful. I’ve been wavering on our approach for our centerpieces for the wedding…I think I just found my inspiration! Thank you for posting! :)

  26. Assaf on

    You’re a superstar! I’m a guy and can admit these are cool

  27. Johanna on

    These are so beautiful. I never would have thought to do this…heck, I’m married but I want these for my home! Just lovely!

  28. Megan on

    oooh i LOOVVEEE this Rhi! can we make these for W2?

  29. What a fabulous diy! These are gorgeous!

  30. Ashleigh on

    This is awesome! It looks absolutely stunning lit or or not.
    The coordinating nail color is a nice touch as well ;)

  31. natalie on

    what is that fabulous little mint green table?!?!

  32. Pretty much on of the best DIY projects I have seen… Love it. This would be great for the holidays, too.

  33. Kerry on

    Rhi, I adore these! Great for any time… but so perfect for the holidays or even a simple DIY for a wedding centrepiece! You have the best projects ever! Will for sure have to try this one out!

  34. LOVING these :) Also loving the overlapping of the mirrors on the mantle.

  35. Amber on

    Those are beautiful!
    I wonder if i could pull those off.
    I am SO not crafty at all!!

  36. simple and very pretty! Great project for home

  37. OOO! Very pretty and seems easy enough! Thanks for sharing :)

  38. Anna on

    oh my word, i love this!! is there nothing you can’t do? i thought this would be all complicated and too hard for me to attempt. they look so good on the mantle. lovelovelovelovelove!!!

  39. wow Rhi, where did you get all that talent lady! You are a super star! I would say I will try this but it probably wont work so I will just seat here and admire you xo

  40. Amber on

    Oh, I love these! Super cute and seems really easy! I wonder if you could do a similar thing with vellum? I bet there is a wider variety of vellum colors. It’s pretty see through and flexible. Might require a different glue though. Any ways, I think these are fabulous!

  41. Oh my gosh! How fun!! Turned out amaze!\

  42. I’m obsessed with that pattern…so I just gave it a try tonight. I hand cut out circles and glued them onto a vase..which only took my an hour total. I absolutely love it and it was super easy! Without a lit candle it just looks like a metallic vase, so I’m thinking I may need to buy a battery candle to see that beautiful pattern more often!

  43. Nicole on

    Wow, what a great project! They turned out great! Definitely going to try this.

  44. This is sooo pretty! I want! :)

  45. Wow! I’m impressed. Such a great idea and well done explaining it all. After reading it I thought, yeah, I could do that {when usually I’m completely lost}. By the way, can’t wait to see how you decorate your new pad. :)

  46. Rosie on

    sooooo adorable!!!

    On another topic, looooove your polish color, can you share what color and brand it is?

  47. Liesl on

    So, so pretty! I just had this idea last week, not to do the circles glued together, but just layer tissue paper over glass…yours is a much classier idea with a design and I must do this! Love, love, love!!!

    Liesl :)

  48. Becca on

    Too cute! Love them.

  49. I’m soooo loving this idea. I’ts so perfect with the overlapping! Sweetie Z Gallerie has nothing on you! When does the book come out…:-) xo

  50. jessica on

    What a fantastic idea! These would make such great holiday gifts too!

  51. Love these! They look beautiful on your mantle…I love the look of your entire mantle!

  52. Alisha on

    Sooo pretty. Your mantle is gorgeous! And they seem so easy to make. :)

    PS Love the grey nail polish on the hand model in those pictures!! Perfect touch hehe

  53. Great job, Rhi! They’re just gorgeous. I might have to try this!

  54. SHUT.UP! This is simply gorgeous!!! They look magnificent on your mantel!! :)

  55. So simple yet so beautiful. They look awesome on your mantle, Rhi!

  56. michaela on

    Loving it!!! So beautiful, romantic and perfect!! So creative.

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  58. Elisa on

    I love these! A nice change of pace from the gazillion candles I have around the house :-)

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  60. michelle on

    These turned out so great!

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  62. Jenna F on

    Soo amazing and beautiful! I’ve been looking for a safe way to incorporate candlelight on the tables (my centrepieces are coffee filter roses). Thank you so much! You are seriously talented!

  63. Laura on

    That is seriously gorgeous! Wow, I so want to try this!

  64. Amanda on

    Absolutely adorable!! Next weekend’s project :)

  65. katie on

    these are beautiful- what a brilliant idea! love your blog!

  66. Pingback: handmade jewelry - Romantic lantern: DIY Tissue Covered Luminaries | kids crafts ideas at -

  67. Kirsten on

    I LOVE this…the pictures are absolutely beautiful!

  68. hollie on

    oh my goodness, how amazing is this?! I’m going to keep an eye out for some cool tissue paper and try it out.

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  70. Ele on

    These are gorgeous! So simple but very effective! :) x

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  73. Rosa B on

    I love this DIY! Where did you find the metal pot on the mantel?

  74. Chelsey on

    Thank you! I just made three different versions to test them out for my centre pieces. We will alternate the tall ones like you made with blue lanterns on other tables. I tried this on a shorter..”egg shaped” vase and its nice but the tall one is totally beautiful!
    thanks so much for helping me make affordable centre pieces!

  75. Marissa Roth on

    Stunning! Cant wait to make them. You have the best ideas and crafts, Thank you for sharing

  76. Pingback: DIY: Tissue Covered Luminaries » Jenna McKenzie

  77. Alicia on

    Love it!

    I think I’ll wait until it turns off cold before I try this though. Try and trick myself into thinking it’s Spring ;)

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  79. Sharon Kroll on

    It’s amazing how a few cheap supplies can come together to make such an impactful, personal accessory. Gorgeous! As a designer for more than 35+ years, I always tell my clients to go with personal touches.

    Keep bringing us great tips!

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  89. LOVE.. Added a link to this project on my blog.

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  91. Chelsea on

    I came across your site thanks to Pintrest and I fell in love! These luminaries are just the thing I was looking for and I can make them which makes them even better in my book! I do have a question about them. Did you just put glue on the glass or did you put it on top of the tissue too? Thanks! :)

  92. Holly on

    Love your nails!!! How do you think ModPodge would work on these?

  93. S. on

    Wow. Gorgeous. No wonder your blog is called Hey Gorgeous!
    I thought it was just one sheet of paper encircling the glass. I am amazed that you pasted on all of these.

  94. Wow! This is amazing. You guys did a good job and I really like the placement of it. Great tutorial and really good photos. Thanks for sharing :D

  95. vicki on

    Thanks for sharing! I really love it. I wanna know how big is your punch you are using for this project?

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  97. Nellie on

    Beautiful work! I could see so many elegant things to do with these types of candles!

  98. angie on

    I so love these! They look amazing. Going to copy….yes I am.

  99. voula on

    can modge podge glue be used for this? looks amazing!!!!

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  102. Lynne on

    I tried this and they turned out absolutely gorgeous. So easy and very inexpensive. Thank u for sharing this fantastic idea!!

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  106. I love your blog!
    Great presentation and really great ideas to put in practice :)
    Greentings from Portugal! :)

  107. Amanda on

    What size punch did you use? I love this idea!!

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  111. Wow! Those candle holders look stunning! I guess I better start punching my medallions…. Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial.

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  113. Alicia on

    Question: Where does one get those lovely clear luminaries on the cheap?

  114. Wow Amazing, I love this Idea :)

  115. Emilie on


    I love want you have done. I was trying to do the same at home, but it really doesn’t look the same. I’m french, and i was wondering what do you call tissue luminaries ? I used tissue paper and it was a disaster. The paper absorbed the glue, it crumpled.. Do you have an idea of what i should use ?

    Thanks for your answer,

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