How to Make a Luminaria

During the Christmas season there is nothing better than using homemade Luminaria to lighten up different areas around your home. Traditionally from Mexico, Luminaria is easy to make and using some creativity, you can make a special seasonal display to show off your festive spirit. Making Luminaria is a great activity that you can do with your family as it only takes minutes to put them together, using things that you probably already have or easily get from the nearest shop.

Things Required:

– Votive candles
– Paper lunch bags
– Long matches or lighter
– Sand or dirt


  • 1

    Start by taking out some paper lunch bags and create a lip of about one inch by folding the top down. You can use any size of paper lunch bags. There are many different types of paper bags that you can find at different hobby or craft stores in your area. You can also use patterned bags that are specifically designed for use with candles. It is important to use the same type of bag throughout your entire seasonal display.

  • 2

    Put about 1 cm deep sand or dirt inside the paper bag. Make sure that there is enough dirt or sand to keep the candle secure. It doesn't matter about the type of sand or dirt as it is only used to hold the candle and keep the bag upright.

  • 3

    Gently place the votive candle in the sand or dirt. Ensure that there is enough space between the inside of the bag and the candle. Also, check that the candle is sitting deep in the dirt or sand. If you want the candle to burn all night long then it should be at least 3 inches tall. You can also use wider candles to ensure that they burn for a long time and also maintain an even flame to prevent any bag from catching on fire.

  • 4

    Make a plan as to how you want to make a large display using your Luminaria. You can place them a few feet from each other on your walkway or around the boundary areas of your house. It is entirely up to you to select the size and style of your Luminaria seasonal design. Remember not to make your display very large as it will take some time for you to light all the candles in the evening.

  • 5

    Once you have placed all the bags where you want, take the long matches or lighter and light up the candles.
    Make sure that each candle is secure and the flame is uniform.

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