Customizable Paper Luminaries

7 Comments
3 minutes
November 11, 2022
Carole Jones
For my daughters wedding, I knew I wanted some type of light or luminary on the outside steps of the church.  When I saw this amazing idea from Alexa over at The Swell Life, I knew they were perfect!  These will be lining the steps leading up to the front door of the church and they were quite simple to make.  These would be amazing to use as a holiday or party decoration so be creative and customize, customize, customize!
Tutorial to design and print paper baby luminaries
I used cheap brown lunch sacks, but you could also use white or colored paper bags as well.  Just be sure they aren’t too thick or the candle light won’t shine through the paper.
Next, you need to decide on your design.  First, set your document size to something close to the measurements of your bag.  Mine were 6″x 10″ so I used the preset ISO B5 setting in Microsoft Word.  Now you can decide what you want your bags to say or what pictures to display.  I made some with the names of the bride and groom, some with a black and white picture of them and some with the adorable free download that Alexa made.  You can download it here as well!

Once you have your design ready to go, you need to prepare your paper bags.  You want to print on the non-seam side of the bag so pick through and find the ones that are the smoothest.  You will need to fold over the end (see above) so the bottom of the bag doesn’t get stuck in your printer.  That would make you really mad at me!!

Once you have your bag prepared and loaded in the manual feed slot of your printer, be sure your printer settings are correct.  You need to set your printer to print on the same 6″x10″ size as your bag so it knows it isn’t printing on a normal sheet of printer paper.  You can find that setting in your “print” menu on your computer.  Each printer is different so keep searching until you find it 🙂

Be prepared for a few bags to get stuck and having to unjam the paper feed in your printer.  I had a good handful that got stuck or printed off center and needed to be redone.  Be patient and don’t give up.  Once you figure out how to make it work best on your printer, it goes smoothly from there.  I tried both our inkjet printer and our laser printer.  I liked the results of the laser much better.

Tutorial to design and print paper baby luminaries
One you have your bags all printed, you might want to do something to the top edge.  To me, they scream “school lunch” a bit too much, so I just gently ripped off the top half inch to give them a rustic looking edge.

When it comes time to light these babies up, fill the bottom portion with some rice or sand then place a small candle or two inside.  You can also use the flameless LED lights to keep them fire-safe!

Tutorial to design and print paper baby luminaries

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

7 comments

Minnesota Prairie Roots
11 years ago

I love these, but don’t know if I would have the patience to figure out the printer settings. But you give detailed instructions and I’m sure it would not be that tough.

These will look perfect for your daughter’s wedding, especially if there’s a layer of fresh sparkly snow.

Louann
10 years ago

Love your ingenious ideas for decorating weddings! Very creative.

Carole
10 years ago

Thanks so much Louann! It was so much work but worth it all in the end!

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[…] When you think of luminaries, you probably think of glowing paper bags. DIY this upgrade of the classic by printing pictures or quotes on them. Then fill the bottoms with sand or rice and let them light up your porch or yard with customized glow. (via My Kitchen Escapades) […]

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[…] When you think of luminaries, you probably think of glowing paper bags. DIY this upgrade of the classic by printing pictures or quotes on them. Then fill the bottoms with sand or rice and let them light up your porch or yard with customized glow. (via My Kitchen Escapades) […]

Autumn Hoy
3 years ago

Hello, I absolutely love this idea and want to do it for a 50th anniversary vow renewal. I also like the idea of using the flame-less candles. What size candles did you use or would you recommend and how much rice did you need for the bottom of your bag? Thanks so much!

Carole
3 years ago

Hi Autumn! I did a cup of rice in the bottom of each bag to keep them from blowing away and actually just used the small votive flameless candles but did 2-3 inside each bag.

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