Diy: How To Make And Decorate A Paper Lantern

Follow these easy instructions for making a paper lantern using vellum. Included are ideas for lamp shades, Christmas ornaments, and unique hanging lanterns.

The craft of paper lantern making is not just for children. You can make beautiful paper lanterns reminiscent of those made during childhood, but with much more detail. These paper lanterns can be used as decorative shades for candles, or they can be hung for display near a window or door where they will occasionally catch a breeze. They can also be used in the creation of beautiful Christmas decorations and ornaments.

To make a basic paper lantern you will require a sheet of colored vellum, clear drying craft glue, and pointed craft scissors. Vellum used for craft purposes is lightweight and translucent, and it is available in an array of colors. It has a fine texture, and it is similar to parchment paper. The fact that vellum is translucent makes it a perfect material for making paper lanterns and holiday ornaments. Since rubber stamping enthusiasts quite often use vellum for their projects, it can be found in most craft stores that sell rubber-stamping supplies. Optional supplies for this project are a paper punch, a ruler, a pencil, a silver or gold pipe cleaner, decorative hole punches, 1/8 inch wide satin ribbon, clear thread, iridescent glitter, and fine-tip markers. Metallic markers are a good choice for this project as well. You may also want to consider purchasing a votive cup and candle, or a larger candle with a glass holder if you plan on using your lantern as a candle shade.

Begin making your paper lantern by folding a sheet of colored vellum in half lengthwise. Cut slits vertically across the entire sheet of paper. Space them as evenly as possible, and use a pencil and ruler if necessary. Unfold the sheet of paper, and join the two narrow ends to form a cylinder. Use clear drying craft glue to secure the ends. Hold the ends in place until the glue begins to set. This completes a basic paper lantern.

To make the lantern fancier, you can use decorative paper punches to create holes of various shapes and sizes in the vertical slits. This option will look especially good when the lantern is used as a candle shade. The light from the candle will shine through the holes and cast shapes on nearby walls and objects. The lantern may be further embellished with iridescent glitter and designs created using fine-tip markers. Add glitter by spreading a thin layer of clear drying craft glue around punched out holes. Sprinkle on generous amounts of glitter, and shake or blow off any excess.

If you use your lantern with a candle, remember that vellum is very flammable, and never leave a burning candle unattended.

To use a finished lantern as a hanging indoor decoration, punch holes on opposite sides, and hang it using clear thread or 1/8-inch wide color-coordinated satin ribbon. Place the paper lantern near an open window or door if desired.

Make a unique grouping by connecting and hanging lanterns of various sizes over one another. Punch holes on opposite sides of the lanterns, and use equal lengths of clear thread to connect them. Place the largest lantern on the bottom, and complete the grouping with the smallest at the top. Make a hanger for the display with either clear thread or 1/8 inch wide satin ribbon.

A miniature paper lantern makes a fun and festive Christmas tree decoration. Turn a small paper lantern into a Christmas ornament by punching holes in opposite sides near the top. Thread a silver or gold pipe cleaner through the holes, and bend them to form decorative curled ends. Hang the paper lantern on your holiday tree with twinkling lights tucked inside to create a beautiful and unique Christmas ornament.

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