- Arts and Design
How to Make Halloween Luminaria
No Carving Required
These jack o' lanterns are so easy to make you'll be able to whip up a punkin field's worth in no time. You'll have all the fun of creating comical and scary faces with none of the mess of carving.
Gather a few simple supplies and recruit the kids to help. Your guests will be welcomed by a merry row of lanterns to light the way to your door!
Photos by bossypants. Please don't use without permission.
Do you decorate for Halloween?
How many pumpkins do you carve each Halloween?
What you'll need
Paper lunch bags
Orange spray paint
Black card stock
Kitty litter or sand
Tea lights (wicked or flameless)
Step 1: Paint the lunch bags orange.
Apply a light coat of spray paint to the lunch bags and allow them to dry.
You only need to spray one side. In the dark, no one will know the difference!
You may find it helpful to set up a do-it-yourself spray booth to contain any over-spray. An old cardboard carton works well.
Follow the directions on the spray paint can and make sure you work in a well ventilated area.
Step 2: Make faces!
Using a scissors (or craft punches if you have them), cut out eyes, noses and mouths from the black card stock.
Don't stress over perfection and symmetry. Remember, these are jack o' lanterns and the funnier the faces, the better!
Lay the face parts on the dried bags and find the design you like. Then, adhere the eyes, nose, and mouth to each bag using the glue stick.
Press the card stock firmly onto the bag to get good adhesion and let the glue dry.
Step 3: Weight the bags.
Using sand or kitty litter, fill the bags about 1/4 full.
Kitty litter may be easier to find than play sand (in the fall). Buy litter with no added chemicals or scent, if you can.
Work in a well ventilated area and use a dust mask if you have respiratory concerns.
Step 4: Add cups and candles.
Take your weighted bags to their final location.
Nest the a plastic cup (one per bag) in the litter or sand, so they are secure. I use regular plastic drink cups ("rocks" size).
Place a candle inside each cup.
At dusk, light the candles.
When Halloween is over, save your luminaria for next year. Empty and stack the cups, pour the litter or sand into a bag (or use it!), and fold up the bags. I've used my luminaria for 3 years and they still look great!