Monday, February 3, 2014

How To: Atlas Luminaries

A couple years ago I did a lot of crafting for a very home-made wedding for a friend of mine. We made bunting, paper flowers, decorated wine glasses and made luminaries for the tables and to hang from the trees outside the reception site. By far the easiest and most impressive part of the decorations were the luminaries, so I've been looking for an opportunity to make some more since then. For that wedding, I used sheets from a book of Shakespeare, which we painted some blues and purples, but I thought I wanted something a little different for our apartment. At the giant thrift store in Leiden I happened upon a 1997 US Atlas and knew I'd found what I was looking for.

Enough story, on with the instructions!

You will need:
  • Some glass jars with the paper soaked off the outside (if there's still some glue-y residue that's totally fine). 
  • Paper (I used sheets from an atlas, but you can use anything that strikes your fancy)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tea lights


Cut a rectangle of paper to fit around the jar, then glue it.

Drop in a tea light.

And that's it.

I told you it was simple.

The hardest part for me was choosing the pages, because I wanted the pieces of the map to show places that matter to me. Places I've lived or places where people I love live. My little brother lives under the B in Beverly, up northeast of Boston. I've also got luminaries with Rochester, Detroit, NYC, Staunton, Seattle, East Brunswick, Baltimore, Woolwich MN, and DC on them. They feel like pieces of home all around the apartment and it's really nice.

I may use the rest of the atlas to make some bunting for a "return to the states/going away" party.

Do you guys have favorite easy crafts?


  1. Love this, Clara! I may borrow it someday. I hope you are well and enjoying your ex-pat life in Leiden. XO -Juli

  2. Glad you like it! Expat life is getting better all the time. :)


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