Light Up Halloween Luminaries – Kristine

The seasons are changing and we here at Sweet LOVE fall! Kristine shows us that it’s never too late to start thinking about the next holiday with her cute and simple luminaries!

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Hello again, Sweet friends!  It’s Kristine with you again today, and I’m looking ahead to the fall holidays!  I know it’s only September, but I always seem to think I have plenty of time to shop and make decorations for the holidays – then boom, there I am a few days out with nothing!  So this year I’m starting early, with some unbelievably easy Halloween luminaries.  Come along and see how simple these are to make!

First off, you need some basic supplies: paper lunch bags (these are 5 inches across and around 11 inches tall), some tracing paper (I initially tried parchment paper, but it wouldn’t take the ink well), a stamp set that works for your holiday (I used the Apples set for Halloween, but it would be easy to adapt this to any occasion), a coloring medium (I used Copics, but the blending is lost with the backlighting in the finished product – go ahead and use your cheaper markers!), and ink (I used Memento because of the Copics, but I tested several inks, and Versafine Onyx Black made the darkest, sharpest image).

The first thing I did was cut off 4 inches from the top of each of the bags.  Having a cutting mat with lines already on it makes this so easy – all you have to do is line up you bag with the lines, place your ruler at the line that’s 4 inches over, and draw a line on the bag with the pencil.  Then cut.  I used scissors with a zig-zag edge just for fun, but you could certainly use regular scissors.  You can discard the top part of the bag or save it for another use.

Next, it’s time to locate and cut out a hole in one side of the bag.  Again, the lines on my cutting mat made this so easy!  I went in an inch from the top and both sides and drew pencil lines, then went down 3 inches from the top and drew another line.  My finished square is 3″x3″. (Depending on the stamp set you use, you may want to make your hole a different size or shape.  Play around with a practice bag first!)  Make sure you are drawing on the side of the bag that does NOT have the seam

Now it’s time to cut the hole.  You only want to cut through the top layer of the bag, so you need something inside the bag to stop your knife from cutting all the way through.  My smallest cutting mat was still too big for this, so I just put a couple layers of scrap cardstock inside the bag, and that did the trick.

With a craft knife and straight edge, cut out the hole.

Now that the bag is prepared, it’s time for the fun part – stamping and coloring!  Stamp your image on pieces of tracing paper that are 1″ larger than the holes in your bags.  (Since my holes are 3″x3″, I made my tracing paper pieces 4″x4″.)

Give this a little time to dry, or hit it with a heat gun or blow dryer.  Then color!

Once all the coloring is done, all that’s left to do is tape your tracing paper inside the bag.  I found that the easiest way to do this was to lay the bag down with the hole facing my table, then turn the stamped image upside down and center it over the hole.  You don’t have to measure or anything here – you’ll be able to eyeball it.  Leave about the same amount of border all the way around.

Use several pieces of clear tape to secure the tracing paper to the inside of the bag.  Make sure to have one piece on each side so that the tracing paper doesn’t gap away from the bag; you may also want pieces on the corners.

And you’re done!  Your luminaries should look something like this (you can see that the pencil lines are still there, but once the bags are outside and it’s dark, you’ll never notice!):

They’re super cute already, but add some flameless candles (safety first, friends!) and your walkway will be ready for all the ghosts and ghouls to come trick or treating on Halloween.  How adorable is this?

I surprised even myself with how well these came out, and the best part is that you can fold them down and store them away until next year.  Easy peasy!

I hope you decide to try this project!  It was simple to do, and FAST – including time to stop and take photos along the way, it only took me an hour to make all four of these, start to finish.  Now, that’s sweet!

Thanks so much for joining me today! Feel free to ask any questions down below and I’ll answer lickety split!  And if you try this yourself, post your project in our Facebook Fan Club or tag us on Instagram (@sweetstampshop).  I hope your holiday season gets off to a sweet start!

All the best,
Kristine 🙂

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