Luminaria Lights are simple and inexpensive to make and provide lovely and sentimental outdoor Christmas Eve decorations. Lining your walkway or driveway with paper bag candle luminaries makes a stunning and memorable holiday light display!
Be sure to check out the DIY Christmas light projects that my friends Kippi, Jayne and Janet created at the end of this post!
Inspiration for Christmas Eve Luminaria Lights
In the small village where I grew up, candles in paper bags on Christmas Eve are a tradition. Every year as we drive into town for the Christmas Eve church service, there are hundreds of luminaria lights lining the streets. It is magical to see them all aglow and it makes the occasion extra special. I still look forward to seeing them every year on Christmas Eve!
Luminaria Lights Supply List
- white paper lunch bags (50 bags are less than $2 at Walmart)
- small taper candles (I found a box of 75 candles for only $7 in the Kosher section of the grocery store)
- sand, kitty litter or crushed rock
How to Make Christmas Luminary Bags
Fold over the top of the bag (about and inch and a half) twice to form a cuff.
Pour about 3 inches of sand into each bag.
Place a candle into the bag.
That’s it! You’re ready to light and display your luminaria Christmas lights.
I brought my luminaria lights over to my friend’s house at dusk. I wanted to set them up on the stone wall outside her home. Her cat, Toofie, was very curious about what we were doing!
Aren’t they pretty? Imagine how amazing hundreds of them look!
Frequently Asked Questions
In the early days, Roman Catholics believed that the lights would guide the spirit of the Christ child to people’s homes at Christmas. Today, luminaries are seen as another type of Christmas light…decorative and beautiful all lit up at night.
Luminaria, also known as farolito, is a small paper lantern that usually consists of a brown or white paper bag filled with sand that has a candle nestled inside. They are most common in the Southwestern United States during Christmas time and especially on Christmas Eve. They are also popular in Hispanic culture.
More Christmas DIY Projects
More Christmas Lighting Ideas
I love how Kippi from Kippi at Home decorated her window boxes for Christmas. The addition of the faux outdoor candle and string of white lights makes it glow at night!
Jayne from Chalking Up Success made this amazing Wooden Triangle Christmas Tree. Add a star garland and twinkle lights and you have a gorgeous lighted tree to display inside or out!
I’m obsessed with these frosted Christmas Mason Jar Luminaries made by Janet from A Life of Balance. She made them with her Cricut, and they can be used inside or outside!
I hope you found some ideas about luminaria lights and other ways to create Christmas lighting this year.