DIY Thanksgiving Luminaries

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I can’t believe that it’s nearly Thanksgiving! Too soon, too soon! Fortunately these DIY Thanksgiving Luminaries are a quick project that you can complete during a crafty afternoon…and then you’ll be able to check “feast table decor” off of your to-do list! Hooray! Let’s make some luminaries shall we?!

DIY Thanksgiving Luminaries How-to:diy-thanksgiving-luminaries-suppliesthanksgiving-lumiary-printable-button

Gather your supplies. You will need:

  • Free Thanksgiving Luminary Printable | Printed onto standard copy paper
  • Translucent Vellum Tracing Paper | Available in craft stores
  • Paper Cutting Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper
  • Ruler
  • Battery Operated Tealight Candles | Do not use flame candles with this project
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Craft Glue – such as Elmer’s brand (optional)

TIP: Click on how-to images below for a larger view (opens in a new pop-up window)

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Download and print your luminary designs onto standard copy paper. Place your ruler along the grey guidelines shown on the outer edges of the page. Use a pencil to lightly mark a straight line across the printed design. Avoid marking through any portion of the birds in the design (see image on right).

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Cut out along the straight side and base edges of the printed design, and then along your straight pencil lines and around the bird illustration. Next, place your cutout on top of a piece of scrap paper and apply glue (glue stick) to the back of the design, taking special care to apply glue onto the outer edges of the design. Place glued side of design down onto a piece of vellum paper, lining the base of your design up with at least one straight edge of the vellum. Use your fingers to smooth and adhere the two paper layers together.

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Use a ruler and pencil to determine and lightly mark guidelines for the height of your luminaries. I made my small luminaries 4.5″ tall, but you can choose any height that you’d like. Cut out design along your pencil guidelines.

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Help give your luminary shape by gently rolling it up for moment. Finally, apply glue (glue stick) to the inner edge of one end of your luminary design. Roll paper and place glued edge atop the other edge to adhere. You may need to hold the edges in place for a few seconds to help the glue set. Repeat with as many luminaries as you’d like and finish by placing a battery-operated tealight inside.

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For the larger turkey luminary, follow the basic luminary steps above, but increase the height of the vellum paper for a taller finished design.

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Optional: You can add a bit of sparkle to your luminaries by applying a fine bead of glue (such as Elmer’s brand) along the upper edge of your luminary and then sprinkling it with the glitter of your choosing.

Enjoy crafting friends! Happy Thanksgiving in advance! xo Ez

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The illustrations used for this project are from the Biodiversity Heritage Library and were provided under a Creative Commons – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike copyright.

Note: this project was intended for use with battery-operated non-flame candles only. For your safety, please do not use open flame candles.