Luminaria Lanterns

Here’s what you will need to craft your lanterns: 

- White paper lunch bags (enough to fill your yard or line your driveway)

- Sand

- Gloves

- Glass jar(s)

- ½ cup to 1 cup of hot water per color

- Paper towels 

- Spoon

- Shallow dish or baking sheet

- Plastic drop cloth or news paper (optional)

- Small LED flameless tea lights

- Dye powder (Any festive colors, 2 teaspoons per color)

- Festively shaped paper punchers (stars, snowflakes, etc.) - can be found at any craft store (you can also use scissors to create snowflake patterns).

Once you have collected your supplies, here are instructions on how to dye the paper bags to make your lanterns festive:

Put on a pair of gloves, cover your work surface & make sure you’re wearing clothes you aren’t emotionally attached to ;) Hot tip: If the dye spills, wipe it up with a little bit of rubbing alcohol.

Dye prep:

Dill a jar with ½ to 1 cup of hot water (the more water you use, the lighter your dye will be). 

Add 2 teaspoons of powder dye. Stir the solution with your spoon. Consider starting off with ½ cup (do a test swatch on your paper) then add more water as needed. 

Pour the dye into a shallow tray. The tray needs to be big enough to fit your paper bag. You can also use a baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet. 

Set the paper into the tray, then press down with your hands so that the paper is saturated in the dye. Once fully submerged, lift the paper out of the tray, allowing any excess dye to drip off of the paper. Don't worry if the paper looks dark. It will lighten slightly as it dries. 

Dry the paper between two sheets of paper towel and gently press down on the paper towels to absorb the excess dye. 

Optional drying technique: Iron the paper dry by covering your ironing board with a thin cloth and placing the dyed paper on top of the cloth. Cover the paper with another cloth. Turn your iron to the lowest setting and pass the iron over the paper. This will help keep the paper nice and flat.


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