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Seasonal Crafts: How to Make Luminarias

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Brighten the night. Here's how to make luminarias anytime you want the outside of your home to look festive. Line a driveway or a sidewalk, or set out on a deck or porch railing.

Resuable Luminarias

  • Collect large metal juice cans.
  • Punch holes in the sides of the cans using a nail or hole puncher.
  • If you're handy, you can punch out designs such as stars.
  • Next, paint the cans with flat black paint. (Spray paint makes this easy, but use cautiously with small children around.)
  • After the paint dries, pour 2 inches of sand into the bottom of each can. Settle a votive candle into the sand and light.

Simple Luminarias

You can also make simple luminarias by setting votive candles in sand inside white paper bags. These require a bit more vigilance and are best used when there is snow on the ground.

The Magic of Candles

Here are other ways to bring candle light into your home.

  • Float tea lights in shallow bowls of water along with some flower petals.
  • Use small terra-cotta pots as candleholders. Paint them with craft or fabric paint and add a votive candle or tea light.
  • To make any candle a scented candle, add a drop of essential oil to the melting wax just next to the wick. Consider cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, pine, or bay for traditional holiday fragrances.

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Yes, Brenda is correct.

By Tom Grabiek

Yes, Brenda is correct. Luminarias typically refer to small "bon" fires, very small, placed along a drive or road entrance. One would probably not want to do this in the Fall in New England or anywhere, for that matter.

Farolitos is the true term

By Brenda Trujillo 2

Farolitos is the true term for these little lanterns; Luminaries are bonfires.


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