This project is rated as: DIFFICULT (it requires some woodworking and electrical wiring.)

There is also an EASY version of this project.

Materials needed: Computer paper, wood, light socket and bulb (optionally a Christmas electric candle), wire and plug, glue, crayons or colored pencils

You will make a luminaria (for indoor use only) that looks something like this:

First, you will print this picture twice.

If you do not have a color printer, print the black and white image twice. If you have a color printer, print the color image twice.

The size of the color image is 742 by 995 pixels. Depending on how your browser sizes your printout, the image should be approximately 7.5 by 10. inches. The black and white image has no borders, therefore you have more flexibility in sizing your luminaria.

If you printed the black and white image, color it with crayons or colored pencils. Do not use paint because the colors need to be transparent.

If you printed the color image, trim off the white (unprinted part) on the left side of the printout. Then glue the two pictures so that the colored part of one covers the unprinted part of the other. If you printed the black and white image and colored it, you can trim and glue it to a size that is convenient for you.

You need a base to hold the light and to support the paper cylinder. The width of the printout is needed to determine the diameter of the base. Measure the width of the combined images (do not include the part that will be overlapped) and divide that value by 3.14 to get the diameter that you will need for the base. (In our prototype, the diameter turned out to be 4.9 inches. Use a 1 inch (actual 3/4) thick board and cut out a circle with a the diameter which you determined. Drill a 0.75 inch hole in the center, and drill a 5/16 inch hole from the outside edge to the center hole (this is for your wire.) Cut a smaller circular piece (about 2 inch diameter,) drill a 0.75 inch hole in it and mount it on the larger piece. You may fasten the pieces together with glue or screws. A cross section of the finished base will look something like the following drawing.

You will need a 110 volt Christmas tree light socket (or a similar socket.) Glue the socket in the center hole of the base and wire it with the wire running through the horizontal hole; and affix a plug on the end of your cord.
Fold down about one half inch of the top edge, making the fold toward the back.
Glue this folded part against the back of your printout. (This gives the top edge some stiffness.)
Wrap and glue the printout around the base with the bottom of the printout aligned with the bottom of the base.
Overlap the right edge of the printout with the left edge of the printout and glue.
(Note: You will need to make an opening in the paper where the cord goes into the base.)

When the glue dries, you have a completed luminaria. Put a bulb in the socket and plug it in. It will provide a soft light in your room while you watch TV.


If you have a Christmas electric candle (the type you put in a window), this project becomes very easy.

Print two copies of either the black and white image or the color image.

If you printed a color image, trim off the unprinted left edge of each copy. If you printed the black and white image, color it to suit yourself.
Glue one copy to the other copy, overlapping the uncolored part of one of the images.
Fold the uncolored parts, at the top and bottom, toward the back.
Glue these folded parts to the back of your printout. (This gives some stiffening to the edges of your luminaria.)
Roll the paper into a cylinder with the printing on the outside.
Glue the left edge to the right edge, overlapping the uncolored part at the right edge.
When the glue is dry, the cylinder can be placed over a Christmas electric candle to complete the luminaria. (You will need to cut out a small semi-circular piece at the back, bottom edge of the cylinder to provide an opening for the electric cord to pass through.)
It is best if the bulb in your "candle" is at about half the height of the luminaria. However, the result is still acceptable as long as the bulb is lower than the top of the luminaria.


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