Big Paper Bag Luminaries

One day while surfing around I found some awesome looking luminaries on grandinroad’s website. They are no longer available for sale, but when they were they were $99.00! Ouch. I wanted to see if I could make something similar using my Silhouette machine and good ole paper grocery bags.

My inspiration: from grandinroad

They came out pretty cool I think.

The only thing that honked me off was the seam line that goes up the center of the bag. When the light is on inside the bag you can see the seam, ugh. You’re probably thinking “Duh, why didn’t you use the front of the bag where there’s no seam?” Well, because the grocery store logo was plastered all over the front :-P

The other issue I had was that it was hard to find anything bright enough to actually illuminate these bags! Who know grocery bags would be so impenetrable! I ended up going to Home Depot and buying four of these bad boys ($7 each):

I found some cool Halloween fonts that look like blood, though I couldn’t find the one that grandinroad used. I printed them on black vinyl and stuck them to the bags.

Then I measured where I wanted my fonts to be and marked with a pencil.

After applying the vinyl to the bags, I used antiquing gel to stain the outer edges of the bags.

Using a rag to wipe off the excess and smear it around a bit.

Then I mixed some black paint in with the stain…

Then blotted it on with a rag, darkening some of the edges.

Then they were done!

After putting the lights in, I did fold down the tops of the bags to keep as much light inside as possible.



53 Responses to Big Paper Bag Luminaries

  1. 1
    Michele Pacey says:

    pretty cool looking Amanda! and such a simple concept (which is the best kind of craft)!

  2. 2
    Jennifer @ Muse Lodge says:

    These are really awesome! They look just like your inspiration.

  3. 3
    allison @ itstoilegood.blogspot.com says:

    totally awesome! love how some simple and affordable supplies can make such a fabulous project!

  4. 4
    ♥Fran♥ says:

    WOW…pretty cool ur blog,tHE halloween hand print Ghoul Banner and the Jack O'Lantern TV
    are just awesome,love it!Gongratz!

  5. 5
    brandy-son Zen master flash says:

    Those are super cool! I mean it. I am going to have to make them when I have a house some day! I found you via Be Different Act Normal and will def be following.

  6. 6
    smilemonsters says:

    I think they look pretty awesome.

    Jo @ http://smilemonsters.blogspot.com

  7. 7
    [email protected] says:

    They came out super cool! And I love how easy they are. Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

  8. 8
    Jenn says:

    Those look amazing! Great job!!

  9. 9
    Kristyn says:

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!!! :)

  10. 10
    Hello! says:

    this is a great idea! i love it! thanks for sharing!!!

  11. 11
    Lorie says:

    So cute (as always!) I am having a fun time trying to guess which project on CWTS is yours! I can't wait to see if I am right! ;D

  12. 12
    Its So Very Cheri says:

    What a darling project.

    I would love to have you enter this on my party at ItsSoVeryCheri.com and then over at our other site theDIYClub.com We have a weekly DIY Living party over there.


  13. 13
    Kristin @ Daydream Designs says:

    I LOVE this idea! I was going to make some luminaries for our Halloween party next weekend and I just found my inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    You guys rock, thanks so much for your great comments!

  15. 15
    Cindy says:

    i think that is a fabulous redo. i love expensive inspiration to cheap dyi….great job!!

  16. 16
    tishA says:

    Love these! Great Job!!

  17. 17
    Amanda says:

    Thank you ladies!

  18. 18
    Trisha says:

    I have seen these on Grandin Road and thought they were so awesome but not worth the price! These are great!

  19. 19
    Becca says:

    What a fun project !! You did a great job !! *Becca*

  20. 20
    Amanda says:

    Thanks Trisha and Becca!!

  21. 21
    PriceLess Digi Designs says:

    These are really cute! Even with the seem!!

  22. 22
    Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says:

    Amanda, These are super cool! Love them glowing. I'll be adding this idea to next years list – TFS! I'll be featuring this today – stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase – I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Nike@ChooseToThrive says:

    These turned out great! Love it.

  25. 25
    Laura says:

    How cute!

    This week is my blog anniversary and I'm hosting a week's worth of great giveaways. Feel free to stop by if you'd like!

  26. 26
    Jenglamgirl says:

    WOW love them! well done, super cute!

  27. 27
    Courtney {a thoughtful place} says:

    Those are adorable. i don't think the line takes away from them at all. Super cute!

  28. 28
    Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Just darling! Love the idea of using the dot-its, too.

  29. 29
    Corinna says:

    These are fabulous!

  30. 30
    Amanda says:

    Thanks everyone! Thank you for the featured Stephanie and Patty!

  31. 31
    creativejewishmom/sara says:

    great project as always, and thanks so very much for being a regular on Craft schooling Sunday, I really appreciate it and look forward to seeing what you've been up to! all the best and have a great Halloween….then I guess we'll be seeing a whole lot of turkeys and Indians from you?

  32. 32
    Sew says:

    OMG! These are amazing! Please make sure you stop by SewWoodsy.blogspot.com to link these up & enter in a chance to win some spray blood!!!

  33. 33
    she wears flowers says:

    I love these!

  34. 34
    Catch A Falling Star says:

    Way cute!
    Thanks for sharing!

  35. 35
    Amanda says:

    Thanks sara! Yes, watch out for those Thanksgiving crafts! LOL!

    Thanks everyone!

  36. 36
    Deanna Jane (cullenkidsmum) says:

    Very cute, they look great!

  37. 37
  38. 38
    mustard seed memories says:

    I love these! They are super fun and I am tucking the idea away for next year!

  39. 39
    ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says:

    Amazing! Yours are better than the originals.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  40. 40
    Natasha says:

    What a brilliant idea. Your version is heaps better than the original. Great job!

    Best wishes,

  41. 41
    heidi says:

    Pretty cool! (visiting here from "My Romantic Home's Friday post)

  42. 42
    Amanda says:

    Thanks so much everyone! :)

  43. 43
    laurie says:

    I saw those too and thought about making them, I think you did a much better job than I would have and now I plan to copy you next year! Thanks!

  44. 44
    Amanda says:

    Thank you Laurie! I hope you'll let me see if you make them next year! :)

  45. 45

    [...] Big Paper Bag Luminaries: Crafts by Amanda // Filed Under: [...]

  46. 46
    Julie says:

    Love this! I’m sure trick or treaters will get a kick out of it. And it looks so easy.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Crystal Hayward says:

    I’m not sure if they are still made but use to the large grocery bags were 2 plly and you could take the inside one out and it had no writing on it.

  49. 49
    jules says:

    I love this idea, you should’ve flipped the bag inside out so no seam issue or ads!

  50. 50
    Anna Etemadi says:

    Great job! I liked grandin roads too. How about plain white or orange gift bags from the dollar store? Might take some hunting for the colors but hopefully no seams.

  51. 51

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