The winter solstice is fast approaching —December 21 at 10:19 p.m. where I live. (This website lets you check the exact time for your location.) If you are planning a celebration, you might want to make some luminaria. This waterlily (lotus) fold makes a nice holder for an electric tealight.
Anne, my favourite aunt, taught me to fold waterlilies from paper napkins when I was about seven. I made these models from Thai unryu. Any thin, strong, translucent paper will do.
There’s an excellent tutorial on The Spruce Craft website, demonstrating the fold with a paper napkin, which seems appropriate.
If you would like to make luminaria, but don’t have a suitable paper for making waterlilies, here’s a copier paper alternative.
It’s a close relative of the traditional twist box used as a coin purse or as a pocket in a Zhen Xian Bao. The model below was made from instructions found here.
You could simplify this further if you are making small luminaria. The pattern below is an adaptation of my coin purse pattern. The sides of the luminaria should be a minimum of 5 cm/2 in across.
If you want to keep these from year to year, reverse one set of diagonal folds and twist to close flat, just like the coin purse.
If life is really too busy and you still want to have some luminaria for the solstice, you can always use small white paper bags.
Please note: if you are making luminaria for use inside your home, please do not use real tealights in them. You may use real tealights or other candles in luminaria that are placed outside in a snowbank. Make sure that you make the luminaria larger than you would for an electric tealight.