Hey SaltTree-ers! I’m Christine and I share my latest adventures in random craftiness at Let’s Get Crafty! I hope you’ll visit me as I learn how to let go of the Army soldier in me (learn more about me here) to discover the dos and do nots of DIY. Before we go and get crafty let me just say a huge thank you to Amber for putting together this great collection of guest bloggers. I’m so excited to be among them!
Today, I’d like to rock your Christmas stockings with a traditional crafty Christmas luminary!
Shazaam. I’m lovin’ this easy Christmas craft. And here’s why.
Right now as I type I’m surrounded by moving boxes. Yep, I’m moving into a house in a day and a half! I’m so excited with a splash of OMG. I wanted to get that Christmas feeling both here in the packed up palace AND as soon as we move into our new sweet digs.
And I just couldn’t think of anything more perfect than a uniquely designed and very portable luminary. Even as I thought out my project and this post I realized how this perfect little Christmas Eve tradition could be expanded.
Before I get too far ahead let me explain how the luminary came to be. As I understand it, the luminary originated with Mexico. The tradition of lighting a path to church using paper bags with sand and a candle spread to the US, Canada, and Europe.
I grew up spending Christmas Eve at my Uncle and Aunt’s house in Michigan. We’d eat sloppy joe’s, unwrap one present, light rows of luminaries down the sidewalk and driveway and even along the street in front of the house. I always thought glowing candles along the snow covered streets were just majestic.
Alright, let’s get crafty!
1. Paper Bags — I bought a package of 40 white paper bags from Target for $1.87. You can use brown paper bags too but I knew I was going to print color images onto the bag and I wanted the colors to work with the bag and not against it.
2. Candles — I already had a box of votive candles that I bought from Michaels (with a coupon of course!) I don’t remember how much they were but for the purpose of this project I’m calling it free.
3. Sand — I used the bag of sand I bought for another project so again I’m calling this a freebie too. You can buy a 5lb. bag of play sand from Michaels.
4. Ink Jet Printer
5. Scotch Tape
6. Free Printables!
OPTIONAL: Ribbon and a hole punch. I used ribbon I found at Target in the dollar spot.
1. Prep your paper bag. To do this place a piece of tape on the flap of the bag (the flap is the bottom of the bag once it’s opened) so that it won’t get caught in your printer. Then place 3 pieces of tape over the top of the bag (the top is the opening of the bag).
2. Download one of 6 designs (you can find them all at the end of the post)
3. Place the bag in the tray and print! Don’t forget to change your print settings so that the size of the print space is 5.13 x 10.63 inches.
NOTE: Insert your paper bag with the top of the bag in first and with the flap facing up.
4. Using your scissors cut 1-2 inches from the top of the bag on each corner and fold each flap down.
5. If you’d like to add a little something extra to your flaps you can use any coordinating ribbon. Using your hole punch punch out 6 holes in the front, 2 on each side, and 3 on the back flap. Then thread your ribbon through evenly so that each end of the ribbon finishes in the back and tie it off.
6. Add about 2 cups of sand to the bottom of the bag and press your candle into the sand to steady it.
It’s hard to capture with a camera how beautiful these luminaries are but they are. Trust me.
I know you can’t see all the details of the ribbon in the picture but each bag has a different style ribbon with turquoise and red motifs.
I mentioned earlier in this post that these bags o’ brightness can be used in several different ways. I’m loving the retro naughty or nice series for a Christmas party. Place these luminaries on your dessert buffet or as a night light leading your guests to your powder room.
If you want to skip the whole candle lighting thing you can just print these babies and use them for packing school lunches. Or what about a gift bag and inside a piece of coal if they were naughty and anything else if they were nice!
Well gang, it’s been fun and I sure hope you’ll come over to Let’s Get Crafty! and introduce yourself! But for now enjoy these free printables and have a Merry Christmas!
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