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Halloween Luminarias

Through the cold nights of fall and winter, luminaria are beautiful lining walkways, garden paths and sitting on porches -- particularly on Halloween.

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You can make reusable luminaria to decorate your porch, stairs and walkways -- not from paper bags, but from aluminum and tin cans plus other things you have around the house. It's easy and fun (but children shouldn't partake in this project without adult supervision).

Here are the materials you'll need:

Clean aluminum cans in various sizes

Simple fall and winter outlines (like cats, jack-o-lantern faces, leaves, stars, bells and trees from coloring books, magazines or your simple sketches)

8.5-by-11-inch paper
Black marker
Hand towel
Nail punch (or very large nail)
Hammer
Yellow and black spray paints
Sand
Votive candles

With a pen, trace your design onto paper, one per sheet of paper. Fill cans with water and then freeze until solid. Wrap the design around the frozen can and tape the paper in place. Fold a hand towel into thirds and place the can on its side on the towel.

Using a hammer, tap evenly around the design using the nail punch (or large nail) to make holes in the can. Hole size will vary depending on pressure used while tapping. Once you have completely outlined the design with holes, remove the paper. Run the can under hot water to remove the ice. Allow the can to dry. Spray interior with yellow paint and the exterior with black paint and let the paint dry.

Fill bottom of the can with sand to a depth of about 1-inch. Place the little votive candle in the center of the sand.

Place your luminaria along walkways or to decorate your porch. Once lit you will offer a gift to all who pass by -- the beautiful sight that will forever be lodged in their memories!

By Kathy

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