Festivals of Light
No matter what culture you are from or what religion you belong to, most holidays at this time of year have one thing in common and that is light. Whether it is a menorah for Hanukah, Christmas lights for Christmas, lights for Diwali, a crown of candles for Santa Lucia Day, or a Yule log for winter solstice, people all over the world have always wanted to light up the darkest days of winter. So what better time to be making lanterns than right now?
Paper Star Lanterns Are Easy to Make
I have long admired paper star lanterns, but always thought that they would be too difficult to make. I finally decided to make a paper star lantern this week and it ends up that they are not at all difficult to make, especially once you’ve done it once.
- Watercolor paints
- Watercolor paper
- Glue stick or other type of glue
- Template (printable)
- Cooking oil (optional)
- Tea light (battery operated or candle type in a votive)
- Either use some old watercolor paintings that you have lying around or paint several sheets of watercolor paper with bright watercolors (I personally did washes of color, but anything is okay)
- Once your watercolor paintings are dry, print out the template
- Using the template, cut out 11 pentagons
- Fold all of the pentagons on the dotted lines of the template. This will create five “flaps” on your pentagons and when all five flaps are folded, it will form a star. Unfold all of the flaps.
- Glue the flap from one pentagon on top of the another.
- Continue gluing the pentagons together until you have glued five pentagons together. Glue the flap from the last pentagon to the first pentagon. You will now have a ring with a star opening.
- Repeat these steps to make another ring.
- Glue the two rings together with the star openings making the top and bottom of the lantern.
- Fold all the flaps on the top of your lantern inward/down, glue down if needed.
- Fold all the flaps on the bottom of your lantern inward/up, glue down if needed.
- Attach your last pentagon to the bottom of your lantern to cover up the hole.
- If you desire, paint your completed lantern with cooking oil. Be sure to let the oil dry all the way before you try to use the lantern.
- Either put a battery operated tea light in your lantern or put a tea light candle in a votive and insert the votive in the lantern. (These lanterns are flammable/not flame resistant in any way, so never leave the lantern unattended and practice common sense safety whenever using an open flame, especially around children.)
Turning It Over to You
Have you made a paper star lantern before? How about other types of lanterns? My understanding is that wool is naturally flame retardant, so I’d like to try making a wool lantern some day. Any other thoughts or comments?