Luminaria Project – It’s Christmas Time Charlie Brown

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So, just in time for you to stop thinking about Christmas, here is a pretty cool Luminaria project from Woodworker’s Journal. If you have any artsy-fartsy friends like I do, you’ve probably seen these. Or, if you have really cheap artsy-fartsy friends like I do, then you’ve seen candles inside of paper bags filled with sand. Either way, they are visually appearing and give a nice ambiance to a driveway or walkway. They can create an artistic landing strip to guide party-goers in, and, eventually help them stumble their way out without trampling your landscaping.

According to the plans they say that you can make these in a weekend. However, if you work anything like me you should have two or three done by at least late August. Either way, by the time next Christmas comes around you could have a nice, permanent set of luminarias… luminarium… luminarii… illuminati… Anywhoo, the plans, (which can be downloaded from Woodworker’s Journal), call for ½” stock of a good exterior wood like cedar, cypress, white oak, etc. In their plans they use a Dremel Trio and Dremel Multi-max tool, however, you could use a jig saw with a small scrolling blade, a scroll saw, or just let it rot away to make a more ‘natural’ pattern.

After you build your Luminaria, make sure to contain the candle in a glass or metal jar and place some sand in the bottom to keep the candle upright and distribute the heat better. Think about that for a minute and what it would be like to set a candle inside a wood box with varnish or stain… If you really want to play it safe, go flameless and buy a Set of 12 Battery Operated Flickering ‘Flame’ Amber LED Tealight Candles for around $10. They also build the Luminaria using box joints and a dado blade or simple butt joints. However, for you ambitious types, mitered joints or even dovetails could be used here; the choice is yours.

The plans come with a downloadable and printable paper pattern to cut the star. But, I have a much better idea. I’m going to build a lighted path to pay homage to my heroes. Close your eyes and imagine this walkway: John Wayne, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Sylvester Stallone, Arnie and of course the greatest of them all, Chuck Norris!!! If you decided to be a little more festive and not ridiculous, then try the star pattern or create your own Christmas tree or Santa pattern. Happy sawing and just think about Chuck Norris with a Santa hat on?!?

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About Leroy

LeRoy was born into a long line of contractors/carpenters/missing links which maybe why he fell naturally into tools and fishing with his paws, errr, bare hands. He has since punctured, stabbed or electrocuted every appendage that can be discussed in mixed company. Given his natural fur vest, he has never been cold. In his parallel life he is a mild mannered environmental scientist where he builds, destroys and builds again. Which let’s face it is much cooler than Superman’s parallel life.

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