I find the paper bags that artisan coffees are packaged in quite charming. I spend most summer and autumn nights in my garden and I love to decorate with found or upcycled items. With that in mind, I decided to transform some of my Queen Bean Coffee Company bags into paper lanterns. Whether hung from trees in the garden or weighted with sand and lined up along walkways, these small bright bags are charming and can be designed to highlight the season. Not only are they useful, but they allow you to stretch your imagination, as the design possibilities are endless!
What you will need
- LED tea lights. (If your bags are non-flammable you can use traditional tea light candles.)
- Coffee bags (paper or tin lined)
- X-Acto knife or craft scissors
- Stencil or stamps if desired
- Small piece of cardboard
- Thin wire or ribbon (optional for hanging 12″-18″)
- Grommet pliers and grommets (optional)
- If your bag has a tie back on top, cut it off and cut slits down each edge of the bag.
2. Fold your coffee bag into itself so that you create a smooth edge around the top.
3. Flatten the bag and add on a design of your choice. You can use a stamp, one of the many free stencils available online, or try sketching a design freehand. Allow your imagination to take over! The stencil will illuminate best if placed closer to the bottom of your bag (especially if you are using LED candles).
4. Place a piece of cardboard in the bag under your stenciled design. This will stop you from cutting through to the other side of your bag. Carefully cut out your design using an X-Acto knife or craft scissors.
5. Leave your design as is or use some metallic markers to outline it.
6. If you want to hang your luminaria, punch grommet holes through the outside edges of the bag.
7. Create a handle from your cut wire and affix it through the grommet holes. If you are using LED candles feel free to use a ribbon instead of a wire.
8. If you are lining your bags up along a walkway you can use a layer of sand, (dirt or pebbles will also work) on the bottom of your bag to weigh it down.
9. Turn on your LED tea light (or light your candle) and enjoy the glow!
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