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simple paper bag halloween luminaries - perfect project to make with kids

Paper Bag Luminaries for Halloween

I love the look of luminaries, but they don’t just have to be for Christmas. With some inexpensive paper lunch sacks and some craft paint, you can make some easy Halloween versions that will look great welcoming trick-or-treaters up to your front door.

Using LED tea lights means you don’t have the fire risk and you still get that flickering look that’s festive and a little bit spooky.

Supplies needed:

  • Brown paper lunch bags
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Craft knife
  • Painter’s tape
  • Black or brown craft paint
  • Sponge brush
  • LED tea lights (I bought mine at Lowe’s)

Draw or print an outline on your white paper (I am the world’s WORST artist, so I definitely went the printing option).


Place your paper stencil on top of the cardboard and, with your craft knife, carefully cut it out.


Using painter’s tape, attach your stencil to the bag.


Holding it flat with one hand, sponge paint it in (make sure to use up and down motions, rather than wiping motions, so it doesn’t bleed).


Remove the tape and peel off your stencil.


Let your stencil dry, then open the bag and place an electric tea light inside.

Set outside (if it’s extra windy, you may want to add a few rocks to the bottom of the bag to keep it from blowing over) and admire your handiwork.


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Janssen is a former librarian and avid reader who is always maxing out her library card. She now stays at home with her two-year-old daughter (with another girl on the way) and blogs about books for readers of all ages, her favorite recipes, and parenting adventures at Everyday Reading.