DIY Luminary Cityscape

With nights getting earlier and the sunrise coming later, it sometimes seems like we are living in the dark!  Instead of lamenting the lack of sun, let’s celebrate it with some fun, new (and safe!) luminaries. I decided to go with golden bags for a true “glow” from within and the plaid edger punch for two different effects.  The first is a simple plaid border cutout around the top of the bags, creating little pockets of light at the top of the luminaries and a glow from within.  Secondly, I wanted to add a few “windows” to the corners of the luminaries to give an abstract vision of city window lights twinkling in the winter.  Want to make your own?  Let’s go!

First things first, grab some supplies and make sure you grab a bowl from the kitchen.  It is essential!

Supplies needed to make your own luminary cityscape:

To create the border around the top of the bag, simply open the bag and punch the first pattern into the middle of the top.  The second punch is where it gets a tiny bit tricky.  You want the pattern to go around the bag seamlessly, so you have to be thoughtful when you move the punch.  There is a guide on the punch to help you line up the pattern, but I found that the guide gives spacings between the punches and I wanted a continuous pattern.

With this particular punch, I simply moved the pattern a tiny bit to the right of where the guide told me.  See the darker grey on the guide?  That is technically where the paper should be, but it is shifted just slightly.

The result?  A plaid border around the bag without interruption in the pattern.

This pattern went all the way around the bag, but left a tiny bit of extra material.  I placed this on the corner where it was less noticeable.

Whether you are creating the plaid border or the windows, make sure to put a bowl under the punch!  Catch all those little gold pieces for insta-confetti!

Curious about the “windows?”  They are super simple.  Choose seams randomly and punch through the two layers at once.  Stack all your luminaries together and you now have a city block full of twinkling “windows.”

Once you have the bags punched and open, drop in an LED tea light and switch it on for a realistic glow.  These tea lights are seriously amazing,  They last for up to 100 hours and give that great flickering candle look without any of the worry that you are going to burn the neighborhood down with your decorations.  The bags are also better quality than I was expecting.  They are nice and thick with a matte finish — perfect for this project!

Have you ever created luminaries?  What did you use!  Would love to hear your ideas!

About Amy Renea

Hey y'all! I'm Amy Renea, a freelance photographer and writer based out of Hershey, PA. I spend my days chasing children and chickens around the back yard, sipping on dandelion tea and munching on sweet potato chips. Come visit the Nest for All Seasons to learn more about my food, photography, DIY designs and modern garden living!



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