The Spider Luminary, Another Halloween Decoration

This Spider luminary lantern looks great in the dark!  Halloween is a great time to make luminaries!  Make several and string them together or use some of the other luminaries that will be posted soon.  Another ghost ball luminary I posted the other day can be found here.

Paper Selection for the Spider Luminary

I stuck to the standard Halloween colors and did this luminary in black with yellow vellum.  Patterned paper looks nice but when it is dark and you light it up you can’t really see the pattern.  The vellum needs to be light.  I tried black vellum on another luminary and it didn’t glow well.


Cutting the Spider Luminary
This is fairly straight forward to cut out.  This lantern can be made larger if you want.  Just increase the height to 11.5 inches and it will still cut on a regular mat.  The web has many little cuts and can be hard to take off the mat so be careful.

Vellum can be hard to cut.  Make sure it is sealed properly to the mat.  Take a scraper and smooth the vellum down flat.  Any air pockets will cause the vellum to tear.

Assembling the Spider Luminary

This project is very easy to make.  First you want to re-crease the folds.  Then glue the vellum to the back of the sides.  Put the glue on the back of the paper so that it doesn’t show through.  Make sure that the vellum covers all the gaps in the paper so that it shines properly.  Make sure the glue is dry before you continue to assemble the rest.

Start by gluing the two pieces together at the side tabs.  Then fold the large pieces of the bottom under.  Next fold the small flaps under and interweave them into the bigger tabs.  Glue the tabs to hold them closed.  The bottom is not strong enough to hold a light without gluing it.

The tops are all joined together with each side of the top being glued to the two next to it.  The score lines and the curves help with this.  This creates four loops.

Once the glue is dry, you can insert a battery operated light by inserting the light between the holes in the handle.  I used a battery tea light but you could use a battery operated string of lights too and they have so many shapes of these!  If you want to string the luminaries together, run the string between the holes and string several together.

And your Spider Luminary is done!  Have a great Halloween!

The History of Luminaries
  • The first luminaries in North America were bonfires of crisscrossed pinon boughs arranged in 3-foot high squares. 
  • Later luminaries were small paper lanterns, which were made when colored paper was brought to this continent from the Orient. 
  • Instead of hanging these delicate lanterns from trees or on wires, they were placed on the ground, on rooftops and along pathways.
  • Other writers place the tradition back even earlier, linking it to the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, when people mark the miracle of the container of oil that was only meant to last one day but lasted eight.
  • It’s the multiple lights, and their use throughout history in guiding, saving and celebrating, that cause some writers to see the Hanukkah candles as forerunners of luminaries.
  • Luminarias are also linked through history to the ancient tradition of communicating, warning and celebrating through linked bonfires.

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