Custom Light Up Christmas Pictures!

Snowy scene of horse drawn carriage going over a bridge with a house in the background.

Have you ever made gifts for Christmas or other holidays? These light up pictures are one of my favorite gifts to make. They are cozy, Christmasy and glittery. And they light up! What could be better?

What’s better is that these pictures are easy to make, cost about $4, take about an hour, and almost everything you need can be bought at Neiman Marcus. Ha Ha. No, not Neiman Marcus. Everything can be bought at the Dollar Tree!

The picture above is made from a gift bag. This year, I had the idea to make custom light up pictures for 3 of our neighbors featuring their home at Christmas time. Here’s how those turned out:

Bill and Connie’s Home
This is a duplex. Sue lives on one side,
and Jean lives on the other.

Here is what you’ll need:

Photo of supplies needed.
  • Picture frame
    • 8 1/2 x 11 or 11 x 14
    • I used 8 1/2 x 11 for photos, and the larger size for the gift bag pictures.
  • Display Easel
    • Silver, Gold or Black
  • Floral Garden LED Lights
    • Requires 2 AA batteries
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
Krylon Glitter Blast

Step 1: Decide what you are going to light up. I have used Dollar Tree bags with pretty scenes on them. I have also used photos of homes. If the picture is not glittery, spray glitter on. This gives it a magical quality. You can get two pictures out of one Dollar Tree bag. Just spray glitter on the side without glitter.

Note: For the pictures of homes, my son took the photos at night using his iPhone. Then I went to the library where I resized them to 8 1/2 x 11 inches before printing them.

Step 2: Decide where you want the lights on your picture. There are 12 lights, each about 4 inches apart. You’ll want to end with the last light near the bottom right corner (as you are facing the picture.)

Step 3: Put the batteries in the LED lights and have them on when you tape the lights in place. This way, you can check to be see you are putting them in the right spot. For some pictures, I have poked a tiny hole in the picture for the light to shine through. For most pictures, I prefer the light shining through the paper without a hole. It’s a “softer look.”

Step 4: Almost done! Put the picture in the photo frame. Put the back on. Hot glue the light switch on the bottom right with the switch on the outside for easy access.

Back of Picture
Back of Picture with light switch glued on.

Step 5: Put the picture in the display easel. I squeeze the display easel so as to make the picture stand up straighter, i.e. – so the picture does not lean over so much. When buying these display easels at the Dollar Tree, check them out to find the best ones. You’ll know what I mean once you see them. Ya ain’t at Neiman Marcus, ya know!

Step 6: Give your gift, and prepare for compliments!

Here’s a couple other light up pictures I made:

Snowy scene with lit up Christmas tree, homes, a bridge and a horse going through the snow
Snowy scene with red barn, wishing well, Christmas tree, red chair, cardinal and tree lamp

I’ve also thought about making these light up pictures featuring people’s campers. Imagine the moon up above with the light shining through. Now wouldn’t that be fun? I hope you enjoyed this holiday craft. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading, and Enjoy the season!


  1. Those are amazing! You are very ambitions. The custom pictures are something to be treasured. I do think homemade is the best. One year my sister and I tried to convince our family that we should only give gifts that we make. Our dad said, ok, I’m going to give money because that’s what I make!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very clever idea! I have a couple of projects in mind, one being a wall paintingthat the battery pack under the back lining cover is bad! Thanks for sharing and Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!🎄💙💚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fantastic gift. They are beautiful. I immediately passed this on to my sister who is the “craft person” in our family. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. When and should we meet, I’ll have to take a picture at night of Elvira. She might just be my first featured light up RV picture. Enjoy your day!


  4. Wow! What a great idea. You are very creative. I’m sure your neighbors will be thrilled with these gifts. It kind of relates to what I said on your last post that handmade gifts are the best way to express ones caring and thoughtfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since the pictures are Christmas decorations, we went ahead and gave them. Our neighbors were surprised and did really like them. I agree – homemade gifts are so much more meaningful than just buying something, at least to me. Now, making these from gift bags wasn’t my idea – that’s all over the Dollar Tree groups; however, I did have the idea to make custom ones of people’s homes. But I am sure someone, somewhere else had the same idea. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!


  5. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


  6. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


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