Back in the Springtime, Mum and I went to Amsterdam for a weekend which we spent in cafes, galleries, stores, bars and – most of all – walking along all the beautiful canal streets, picking the houses we most wanted to live in, transfixed by the rooflines with every conceivable shape and architectural feature. These were some of my favourites;
With the nights slowly but surely drawing in, I wanted to recreate the houses as delicate luminaries which could be backlit with candlelight on the mantle. I drew different house shapes (templates at the bottom)…
Then printed them onto A4 sheets of cardstock (go for card as thick as your printer will take – mine was quite flimsy which made it very easy to cut, but the luminaries will be more likely to curl and bend over time).
Carefully cut out all the tiny windows with a craft knife and self-healing mat. Use a safety-ruler for this if you have one, the kind with a deep groove for your fingers, particularly if you’re as easily distractible as me.
…fold the side-flaps so that you have a self-standing shape, and then simply glue a sheet of vellum or tissue paper on the back.
Stand them up on your cluttered desk and admire them with the natural daylight shining through…
…and then watch them come into their own by placing candles (in jars! Safety first..) behind them as the light fades.
With the festive season around the corner I designed two styles; one plain, and one with a sandstone texture and snowflakes. You could also print out the plain one and paint or decorate it and send as a greeting card…You can colour in the windows to avoid having to cut them all out (cunning, and very labour-saving… life’s too short to spend too much time with an x-acto knife in hand).
We love our small canal-house street, and lighting the luminaries has become an evening ritual as we shed school bags and coats, briefcases and umbrellas and head for the warmth of the snug to catch up on the day’s events. Just don’t forget to blow them out before bed!
Templates below to download… enjoy