How to Make a Romantic Valentine's Day Luminaria

With a layer of sand and a tea candle, you can turn a paper bag into a luminaria to light a walkway or become a beautiful table centerpiece. Modify the technique and add decorative touches to create a romantic version for your Valentine's celebration.

Gather one white paper lunch bag for each luminaria you want to create. Keep the bag closed and insert a thick piece of cardboard or small self-healing mat inside of it while you add the design.

Create a design by lightly drawing a shape like two joined hearts or you and your significant other's initials inside a heart on both sides of the bag. Use an Anywhere Hole Punch and hammer to make holes along the lines, spacing the holes about a 1/2 inch apart. (See Resources.)

Add romantic messages around the bag with colored pencils or rubber stamps and ink. Consider using quotes about love, touching song lyrics or lines from love stories that you've watched together.

Embellish the design with pretty swirls and shading with craft chalk. You can also make reduced color copies of your favorite photos of the two of you and add them to the short sides of the bag.

Consider adding a drop of essential oil into the bag that will heat with the candlelight and deliver a beautiful aroma to the room as you dine or reminisce about times you've shared together.

Pour a few inches of sand into the bottom of the bag to keep it from tipping over, then settle a lit tea light into the sand to keep it stable. Design a hanging luminaria by omitting the sand and inserting a wood dowel through the short sides of the bag to keep them from buckling. Use ribbon to suspend the illuminated bag.

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Things You Will Need

  • White paper bag
  • Cardboard or self-healing mat
  • Pencil
  • Anywhere Hole Punch
  • Hammer
  • Craft chalk
  • Rubber stamps and ink
  • Photos
  • Sand
  • Tea light


  • Exercise caution by extinguishing each tea light when you leave the room. Although the tea lights are small, the paper bags will still catch fire easily if a gust of wind or family pet knocks the bag and candle over.

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