As Maria in The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sang about “brown paper packages tied up with string.” What a simple but strong image that brings to thought. The simplicity of brown paper, when used as luminarias, can also add an old-fashioned but elegant touch to the holiday spirit throughout your home. Give kids craft luminarias a new look!
Even the youngest child can make these beautiful glowing lanterns.
For your kids craft luminaries here’s what you’ll need:
★ brown paper lunch bags
★ sand or rocks (something to weigh down the bags so they don’t tip over or blow away)
★ votive candle for each bag; glow sticks
★ scissors and paper edger scissors
★ pen or pencil for tracing
★ Holiday shapes to trace designs from like cookie cutters, die cuts, clip art designs, etc.
Find holiday images on free clip art sites and print them out. Use images that are solid versus those with detailed designs, they work best to produce silhouetted shapes. You can also trace the outside of a cookie cutter on dark construction paper; they make for an opaque image so the light glows around it. Cut the images and tape them to the inside of the bags, making sure to use the non-seam side of the bag. Next, cut the top of the bag with edger scissors to create a raw but decorative edge.
To add light to the bags use candles in tins or pour sand in the bottom of the bag and place a votive candle directly in the sand to keep the bag weighted, so it doesn’t tip over. You can also try using battery operated candles – they work well, as do glow sticks. These last two options are best for households with young children.
Many times luminarias are used as outdoor decorations but they are just as beautiful as indoor decorations. The battery operated ones are perfect on a mantel surrounded by greenery, as a dining room centerpiece, as bedroom and bathroom night-lights, and on windowsills for passersby to see.
These charming lanterns may not make the hills come alive but they certainly will brighten your holidays.