A Homemade Luminaria How-To

(Source: Genevieve Garruppo/Lonny)
Confession: I think Valentine's Day is lame. Expensive prix-fixe menus, generic red roses, cheap chocolate hearts—I'll take an unexpected bag of Swedish Fish on a random Tuesday from my husband any day. But somehow, despite being a cynic, I also happen to be a sucker for anything crafty, especially when it makes a holiday—even Valentine's Day—feel more festive.

Take these adorable homemade luminarias (or farolitos, if you want to get technical). They only need about five minutes of active time to create and can be personalized as you see fit. Use them on each charger at a table set for friends or to line a hallway or stairwell.

Materials:
-- white paper lunch or treat bags
-- ruler
-- small colored doilies or craft paper
-- X-acto knife 
-- glue stick
-- votive candles in glass holders
-- long-stemmed matches or lighter

Directions:
1. If you choose to use the doilies, lay one flat against a paper bag and, using the x-acto knife, cut the doily to the size of the bag, making sure to incorporate whichever part of the design you prefer. (I just used a tiny snippet in the above bag on the left.) If you want to make the heart-themed luminaria, simply do the same with whatever shade of craft paper you desire. (*Note: you can use scalloped scissors to trim the top of the bag if you'd like.)

2. Place glue on one side of the doily and adhere it inside the front of the bag; for the paper, adhere it inside the back of the bag. Lay the bag flat to give the glue a good seal. Then open the bag again and let dry for at least an hour.

3. Place the luminaria where desired. Put the votive in the center of the bag and light just as company arrives.

Try them for yourself and let us know how they turn out! @Lonnymag
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