Luckily for me, a chronic mistake maker, I love them all. But this post is just about one: luminaries.
I've been eyeballing different luminaries for quite some time. There's something romantic but also something profound about them. I think of the Relay for Life luminaries, and while my wedding will be much more self-centered than a Relay for Life ceremony, there is just something very powerful about them that I love.
Thus, I knew I had to make these for our wedding. I found a lot online that had designs or lace, but what I really wanted was for it to spell out our names, like these:
Lindsy's Slightly More Imperfect Luminaries
white large paper sacks
tealight candles & sand
1. I typed up some fonts that I thought would look nice and let Adam pick.
2. Adam picked the most difficult of the fonts: Papyrus (as you can see its kind of splotchy). I enlarged the font to 300pt and then printed off the template. Since it was patchy, I filled in the gaps with a sharpie and then cut out each letter individually.
Note: If you leave some white space around the letters when you cut them out, it is much easier to position the paper inside the bag on Step #4.
3. With each white paper bag, I measured 3.5" from the bottom and marked it so that my letters would be the same height on each bag.
4. I arranged the letters from the template the way I wanted them inside the bag and then started to trace it (keeping in mind that my 3.5" line was at the bottom edge of the letter).
5. With all the letters traced, now it was time to start cutting!
6. Sorry no picture...shame shame!
In order to not cut through the entire bag/side flaps, I slid a "cutting mat" inside the bag, underneath the top layer. I did not have a self-healing mat on hand so I cut a plastic, pliable cutting board that I bought at Dollar Tree years ago down to the width of the bags. With that in place, I started tracing the pencil lines with my craft knife
7. After I cut out all of the letters, I cut vellum paper to the size of the bag front (3 3/8 x 8 1/2). I wasn't sure if you would be able to see the edges of the paper when they were lit up with candles, so I just chose to cut the vellum to be the same size as the bag.
8. I applied glue to the edge of the cut vellum paper. I also ran the glue stick along the inside of the bag - around the edges of the letter to make sure that they would stick.
9. With glue on both the bag and the vellum, I slide the vellum inside the bag along the left edge (shown below). By running along that edge, it helped to line up the vellum correctly, and avoided touching the bag and sticking before it was in the right spot. Then I just smoothed it out until there weren't any creases from the front.
10. And repeat! Until you get your finished product.
11. With tealights:
- I don't cut very well with craft knives.
- If you're going to do anything fancy with the top of the bag, I would do it first.
- Check to make sure that the bags open before you spend lots of time tracing and cutting! I had one bag that was very difficult to get open because it was glued to the bottom of the bag. I had to very carefully rip it apart without destroying all my hard work.
- I am going to need a larger place to display these: with 11 bags/letters it turned out quite big. I haven't quite decided where they are going in our reception hall - either in the main entrance, at the gift table or maybe outside. Our venue has a marquis sign out front, so I'm not sure how necessary these will be out front.
- I am deathly afraid I am going to burn the venue down with these. They're durable, but I'm paranoid. I think I am going to buy LED tealights to use instead. I could put them in a glass votive, but the cost would be about the same.
white large paper sacks - $2.99 at Hobby Lobby
vellum paper - $2.39 at Hobby Lobby for 10 sheets (I only used 5.5) with a 40% off coupon
glue sticks - $0.97 at Wal-mart for 3
craft knife - $3.49 at Jo-Ann (50% off sale this week!)
cutting surface - on hand
tealight candles - on hand
lighter - $1.00 at Dollar Tree (I only had matches and small lighters to I bought this "long-reach" one)
Overall, I think they turned out pretty nice considering you can pay $50 for these on Etsy. Mine aren't as super awesome, but they'll definitely do the job. What do you think? What types of lighting are you including in your wedding?