- Melt wax in a double boiler. 180 degrees is optimal temperature.
- Fill a balloon with barely lukewarm water. The best size is about a tennis ball size, (which will eventually look like the far left side in the above picture). Try to get as much air out of the balloon as you can before you tie it. The middle one was full of water. The far right one... well, the balloon was goofy and it had a weird shape when I filled it with water. You can try to blow up the balloon to stretch the latex and then fill with water to get a more round shape.
- Slowly dip the balloon in the hot wax, but be careful not to dip above the water level or the balloon may break.
- Repeat this process at least several more times.
- Once I got the thickness I wanted, I placed the balloon in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Take a skewer, pin or toothpick and carefully pop the balloon in the sink. You WILL get wet! It's best to pop the balloon quicker, rather than slower for a couple of reasons: A small, slow hole will squirt water a lot higher and farther than you'll be prepared for, and if the wax stuck to the balloon, it will make your luminary fall apart. Here's another important tip: manipulate the little air bubble to the top in the balloon and pop a hole there. Much quicker, more efficient and you'll get wet. Just sayin...
- Now we'll perfect the top. I used a glass pie pan and placed it on a very, very low heat on the stove. Set the top of the luminary on the warm plate until the edges are even.
These luminaries were a pain in my bee-hind to make. I used a 2-pound block of wax, 11 balloons and I only got 3 luminaries in two days.... all for one of the kids to poke a side in and ruin my one and only best luminary (it was my 11th one I made). These babies are super fragile but oh-so-neat. The good thing about this project is that if you screw up, put the wax back in the double boiler and use it again.