How to Create Safe Paper Bag Luminaries


Paper bag luminaries are an easy way to add sweet ambiance and a warm glow to holidays or special occasions. By using battery operated candles, the kids can help out with this fun craft too. (No fire hazards here!)

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Things You'll Need

  • Paper bags
  • Battery operated candles
  • Pinking shears
  • Decorative hole punch
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Step 1: Cut the Tops of the Bags

Measure two inches from the top of the bag and make a mark with your pencil. Cut a straight line across using your pinking shears. This will give the bag a nice finished look.

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Step 2: Punch Out Your Pattern

Decide what type of pattern you want to create on your bag with your decorative hole punch. Punching out a pattern in the bags will give your bag a unique look, allowing the light to peep out through the holes.

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)


  • You can find decorative hole punches from most craft stores. This is the Martha Stewart doily punch from Michaels.

Place the paper bag into the hole punch according to the instructions with the punch and press down.

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Move the punch to the other side and punch out the same pattern.

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Remove the bag from the hole punch and repeat with as many bags as needed.

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Step 3: Assemble the Bags

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

Open up the bags and place the battery operated candles inside.


  • If your bags won't stay open you can bunch up a paper towel and place it in the bottom of each to keep them open.

Step 4: Turn On the Candles

Wait until almost dark then place your bags outside and turn on the candles.

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)

The luminaries light a path welcoming your guests and create a fun conversation piece!

(Image: Safe Paper Bag Luminaries)
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