Friends of mine are adopting a Korean boy and I made these luminaries as an accent for the baby shower. I thought it was a great twist on the traditional variety. You can easily substitute any character or design and personalize them.
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Step 1: Prepare Lunch Bags
Cut the top off of a standard lunch bag. I just cut enough off to square ot off and give it a clean edge.
Step 2: Layout the Bags
Here I used a pen and square to mark out where I wanted the holes to be. I marked in 3/4" from the sides and about 4-1/2" tall. I made sure that there was about an 1-3/4" to 2" from the top of the bag.
Step 3: Cut the Holes
Here I used an X-acto knife and a straight edge to cut along the lines I just made. Keep in mind that how these bags are folded, you are also removing material from the sides of the bag as well.
Step 4: Prepare New Paper Windows
Using the Internet and Adobe Illustrator, I found the characters I was looking for (joy, luck, etc.). I imported them into Illustrator, put them in a box and scaled them to size. I also created the side windows as well. I broceeded to cut them out as well. I made the boxes roughly 1/8" to 1/4" larger than the openings that I just cut in the bags. (Looking back on it, I should have given myself a little more overlap for the glue to affix to. Later in the evening, some of the sides seperated.)
Step 5: Adding the Windows
Using a glue stick, I applied glue around the edge of the window and then lined up my new windows pressing them into place.
Step 6: Last Window
I saved a large window for last. Because it's now really tight to get your hand in there to make sure you're applying glue in the right place, I flipped the bag over and ran the glue along the edge while holding my finger on top the bag. (For the sake of the camera shot, I'm showing you with one hand. I held the glue stick with my left and used my right finger to apply pressure to the bag.)
Step 7: Adding the Characters
Just make sure that you align them properly. I didn't want any of the characters to be upside down!
Step 8: Almost Completed
Here's one almost finished. Five more to go.
Step 9: Get Ready to Light
I used standard tea lights and put about two to three cups of play sand in the pottom of the bags.
Step 10: Finished!