Copy Paper Luminaries

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These pretty paper luminaries are a very easy and inexpensive way to add a little pizzazz to your table for a special occasion or just because. Make a few to complement other decorative accessories, or make many and group them together to create a glowing tablescape. A simple and sweet lantern for weddings or your next outdoor party.
Making outdoor candles? Try them with citronella.
Small glass or cylinder vase
Copy paper - white
Measuring tape
Decorative edge scissors (scalloped and clouds) and/or pinking shears
Hole punches - a variety of sizes
Tape runner or double-sided tape
Tealight candle or battery operated tealight
Paper trimmer (optional)

Step 1

Have all your materials? Good!

Step 2

Measure the circumference and height of the container with measuring tape. Add approximately 1/2 inch (13 mm) to the circumference so there will be enough paper to overlap when it is wrapped around the container.

Step 3

Use a pencil to mark the length and width on a piece of copy paper. Draw corresponding lines with the aid of a ruler. Use scissors or a paper trimmer to cut the paper.

Step 4

Cut along one edge of the paper with decorative edge scissors or pinking shears. Be sure to stay as close to the edge as possible, using it as a cutting guide.

Step 5

Pierce a hole with a small hole punch in the center of each scallop or pinked V. It may be helpful to dot the centers with a pencil before using the punch. This allows for more precise placement.

Step 6

Use a larger punch to make a row of evenly spaced holes along the bottom edge of the paper.

Step 7

Apply a strip of double-sided tape to one end of the paper. Wrap the paper snugly around the container, overlapping the ends. Try different papers—vellum, parchment, or tissue—for a variety of looks.

Step 8

This tutorial is excerpted with permission from "All Things Paper: 20 Unique Projects from Leading Paper Crafters, Artists, and Designers" by Ann Martin and released by Tuttle Publishing.
Project Designer: A freelance designer who loves to craft and cook in her spare time, Kristen shares her love of paper as the editor of Paper Crave ( and documents her craft and kitchen exploits at Domestifluff (

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