Monday, December 5, 2011

Cut Paper Luminary Tutorial

For this project you will need a surface to cut on. I use a self healing mat. They come in all different sizes. I have two shown here. One is 24" X 36" and the other is 11" X 17". You will also need a sketchbook, templates for making nice curves and circles, double sided tape, a ruler, stencil cutting X-Acto Knife, regular X-Acto Knife, mechanical or regular pencil, pencil sharpener,  8 1/4" X 5 12" card stock and vellum. 

Here is a close up of the knives. I prefer the small stencil knife because it makes nice curves but the blade does sometimes get wobbly and needs to be tinkered with. These knives are sharp so be very careful!

Draw your little design that you want to make on your luminary. This can be done for a wall hanging too. 

Use the sketch book paper to do your draft of the design. This will ensure you are not making mistakes on expensive materials.  To help you think in terms of light shining through shade in the parts that are going to be cut out. You want all of the paper to be attached in one unified piece. You don't want any paper islands in your sketch. 

Use a ruler to help you make your folds on the card stock. I make a small tab at the base about 3/16 of an inch. This will be used to close the luminary when you are done.

Once you have the tab fold it in half below the tab. You want every side to be the same size accept the side that will have the tab on it. 

After folding it in halves fold it into quarters. 

This tab will attach to the opposite side making a seamless luminary. 

Draw your design onto the inside second one in opposite the tab. 

Start cutting the card stock with your X-Acto knife. My hand looks funny here because I was taking a photo with the other. lol

You want to apply double sided tape to one section at a time while focussing on lots of tape on the folds. Apply the tape, line the vellum up as shown below, smooth, fold and move on to taping the next section.  

Again use a ruler to help you make the folds. It makes the straight and crisp. 

The key is to do one section at a time or you will get lumps in the vellum. 

When finished add your tape to the tab you left behind before and secure it to the opposite side of the luminary. 
I use flameless tea light batteries in my luminaries. You can buy this one at . It is ok to use my luminary tutorial for home projects. It is not ok to use my designs to sell. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!