Designing Luminaria

Recently, I’ve been trying to get to grips with a workable design for paper lanterns or luminaria. Inspired by a small ceramic candle holder I have at home, which casts an interesting light with a tealight in it, I began browsing luminaries online. I had the germ of an idea to create a Cycladic village which was lit up from the inside, with light spilling out of the windows.

The first draft was a black & white drawing of a Cycladic village – wrapped into a cylinder. The naive drawing style just followed on from the feta tin villages and painted stones I’ve been preoccupied with recently. I was pretty happy with this initial rough drawing and cylinder design.

The second draft, using a new drawing, was shorter. The skyline and windows were cut out to allow the light to peek out from the inside. I like the idea of the rugged skyline and open windows. I also added a little colour to this version – just picking out some elements in blue.

I then drew a third village scene and finally decided to paint all three designs with acrylics & watercolour. Hopefully I may have found a Greek printer who can both print and lazer cut the design for me… fingers crossed!

The mock-up designs worked well wrapped around a glass jar with a night light inside. As long as the jar is tall enough, there’s no danger of fire. Small LED votive candles would be better and safer though, so I’m now looking into suppliers of those as well…I really hope I can eventually turn these sweet luminaria into a viable product which can be available via the website as well as from the shop…

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2 thoughts on “Designing Luminaria”

  1. Beautiful! Will these be for sale eventually? Also, what are the “feta tin villages” you mention here? And the painted stones…do you sell those?

    1. Yes… we will be having the luminaries professionall printed. They are designed to fit into an A4 envelope so should be simple to send by post. It may be a few weeks before they’re ready yet. The Feta tin villages are something I make just for my shop in Greece. They are hand-painted, using recycled feta tins and as they take many hours to paint, I cant produce enough of them to offer online! We do have plans to get a special printed wrap made to adhere to the tins, so hopefully that will allow us to produce them quicker and more economically. Again, it may take a few weeks…. The stones were primarily created for my Greek store but they could be posted… it depends where you are? You can email me at if you’d like to talk more about the stones…

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