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All, Make

Make: Black Cat Paper Bag Luminaries

2 weeks to Halloween and dusk already comes too early. Boo! We needed a little something to light up the nights, and these black cat luminaries are just what the witch doctor ordered. Press play on the video below for a preview of their purrrr-fect warm Halloween glow…

And a bit of Halloween sorcery is at play for this DIY, because I turned the template from our witch’s boots mixed media project into an absolutely divine feline!

Use paper bags and simple cut paper shapes (or our template) to make your own Halloween black cat luminaries! | via barley & birch
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Looking for more ways to light up your Halloween with simple supplies? Visit our cardboard box jack-o-lantern shape sorter tutorial – just add a tea light!

To make your own black cat luminary you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • A gift bag or paper lunch bag
  • Black construction paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • An X-Acto knife
  • A glue stick
  • A flameless candle

DIY Black Cat Luminary Instructions:

  1. Trace a circle on to the front of your bag

    Trace a bowl or draw a circle on to your paper bag. This is going to be the bright tissue paper moon behind our cat.

    Trace a bowl or draw a circle on to your paper bag | via barley & birch
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    I used a gift bag for our luminaries, as they were a little larger than brown lunch bags and made it easy to add a nice large moon.

  2. Cut out the circle

    Use an X-Acto knife to cut the traced circle out of the bag. Don’t forget to slide a piece of cardboard or something similar in between the layers of your paper bag so you don’t slice all the way through the other side.

    Use an X-Acto knife to cut the traced circle out of the bag. | via barley & birch
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  3. Add a tissue paper liner to the inside of your bag

    Cut tissue paper into a large square to line the inside of the bag. I used a large square folded in two so there would be a double layer of tissue. This creates a more intense color and makes the tissue more opaque (which will help hide the flameless candle inside).

    Cut tissue paper (doubled) into a large square to line the inside of the bag. | via barley & birch
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    Use a glue stick to affix the tissue to the inside of the bag – making sure you glue down all the way around the edges of the circle.

  4. Trace or draw your cat on black paper

    Trace the appropriate witch boot template on to black paper. You’ll notice that I cut a little further into the template to make our cat’s tail a bit more defined (see that brown line on the template?).

    Trace the appropriate witch boot on to black paper.
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    This is also a good time to cut out whiskers (paper bag scraps) a small nose (construction paper) and almond-shaped eye templates.

  5. Make your cat

    Cut out your cat-shape with scissors, then use an X-Acto knife to cut out the pair of almond-shaped cat eyes (cutting out the eyes will give your cats an extra Halloween-y effect!). Glue the nose and whiskers on to your cat with a glue stick.

    Trace the appropriate witch boot on to black paper. Cut out, then use an X-Acto knife to cut out eyes. Add a nose and whiskers. | via barley & birch
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  6. Glue the cat to the front of your bag

    Use a glue stick to glue your cat to the front of the paper bag.

    Use a glue stick to glue your cat to the front of the paper bag. | via barley & birch
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  7. Light!

    Place a flameless candle inside your bag to light.

    Place a flameless candle inside your bag to light. | via barley & birch
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Absolutely fang-tastic, n’est pas?! And check out how they light up the steps of our porch at night…! They create such a nice warm glow on these chilly nights (just don’t forget to bring them in before autumn showers!).

These easy black cat paper bag luminaries make the cutest DIY Halloween front porch decor! | via barley & birch
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We’ve named our two vigilant nightwatchmen Negro and Noir, and they sit sentinel on the front porch steps every evening now. I like to think they’re keeping their eyes peeled for otherwordly haunts (…or mice).

Use paper bags and simple cut paper shapes (or our template) to make your own Halloween black cat luminaries! | via barley & birch
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For a Halloween coloring and drawing activity that you can prepare in a pinch, download our free printable mini Halloween doodle books. Our haunted picture frames printable make perfectly spooky print-and-go drawing prompts. Or dress up the cutest set of little haunts with our printable costume-a-ghost sticker set.


*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Use paper bags and simple cut paper shapes (or our template) to make your own Halloween black cat luminaries! | via barley & birch
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Use paper bags and simple cut paper shapes (or our template) to make your own Halloween black cat luminaries! | via barley & birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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