These paper candle holders are the perfect size for tea lights and can be decorated for any holiday or occasion. Perfect for that Fourth of July barbecue! They can be further embellished using decorative scissors and border punches for that extra special touch. NOTE: These luminarias are intended for outdoor use!! They are not flame retardant and therefore it is highly recommended that they be lit only outdoors and placed in a safe area.

Download our template for the bag (see bottom of this page) and then add your own art and decorative touches. If you experience any problems with the template, drop us an email and we will send you the file.


Luminaria bag template

clipart to decorate

decorative scissors (optional)

border punches (optional) --see our Products page

tea light candles

small piece of cardboard

sand or gravel (fish tank gravel works well)

aluminum foil

glue or scotch tape

NOTE: If you are using a small glass votive instead of a tealight, you can skip the sand/gravel and the foil)


1) Open a blank page in landscape orientation in your graphic program. Import the template and resize, if necessary, so that it fills the page from left to right (don't forget those printable margins!) Then add your choice of clipart on the front and back sections of the template (above C and D).

2) Print and cut out the template along the grey outline.

3) Snip the lines between C and A, A and D, and D and B to make the small flaps on the bottom of the bag that will be taped or glued together.

4) Fold along the lines for the sides and all flaps.

5) Crease the yellow lines to make a "valley" fold (folds in, not out) the same way a paper grocery bag folds.

6) Fold in (also a "valley" fold) on the yellow triangle lines.

7) Apply glue to all flaps and fold bag in, attaching all flaps at the bottom. (Hint: using the eraser end of a pencil, stand the bag up when all flaps are in place and use the eraser to press the flaps together on the inside of the bag.)

8) Glue tab E on the letter side and attach to the inside of the bag side.

** All flaps can be attached with scotch tape rather than glue.

9) Trim the top of the bag with a decorative scissor.

10) Use a border punch on the front and back just below the top of the bag.

11) Trim the tealight candle wick to 1/4". Take a small piece of aluminum foil about twice the height of the candle and wrap it around the candle base allowing about 1/4" - 1/2" of foil to extend above the top of the wick. Fold any extra foil under the tin base of the tealight. The candle will now have a protective cylinder of foil that will help to prevent hot wax or flame from reaching the paper luminaria.

12) Trace the bottom of the bag onto the small piece of cardboard, cut out the piece and place it in the inside bottom of the luminaria.

13) Fill the bottom of the luminaria with sand or gravel (to weigh it down a little) and insert the wrapped tealight into the luminaria bag.

If you do not have fireplace matches to light the tealight inside the bag, a piece of uncooked spaghetti will work just as well! It will take a few seconds to light, but once it does you will easily be able to reach the candle in the bottom of the bag!

To copy the Luminaria Template, click on the link below. When the page with the template opens, right click on it and chose "Save picture as..." from the drop down menu. Make sure you change the file type to .GIF or .BMP and chose where you want to copy the template to. Once you have saved it you can open the template in your graphics software to add your own art. If you run into problems saving the template, drop us an email and we will be happy to send you the file.


Luminaria Template

Luminaria Instructions

For a print friendly version, click on this link.

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