These round paper lanterns look beautiful in the daylight but even more stunning when lit up at night. They’re super simple to make, great for all ages to get involved, & because they’re upcycled they don’t cost the earth either.
Ideal for any Light Parade, Light Party, Advent, Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Hannukah celebrations, or New Year! Here’s how we made them.
I love that children can be really creative with these eco-friendly lanterns, adding as little or as much colour as they like, the lanterns are a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed into something beautiful.
To make our lanterns we used white paper lanterns like these & added a thin layer of PVA glue using a thick paintbrush. We found chunky paintbrushes worked best for this activity as the thinner ones tend to go straight through the paper.
To add colour we used pre-cut squares of tissue paper in assorted colours. The great thing with this activity it that you can be as creative as you like, covering the whole lantern with overlapping coloured tissue, or adding a few random pieces here & there.
If you can hold the inner metal frame of the lantern while decorating it also makes the process much easier but obviously little hands may find it easier to rest the lantern on a table while they are creating.
When you’ve finished covering your lantern it will need time to dry. We hooked ours onto a stick & left to dry in a warm room for around 3 hours. Alternatively, you could use them before they’re completely dry, but obviously they’ll be much stronger & sturdier once all the glue has set.
To make our Lantern Cane we used a short length of dowel & screwed in a small eyelet.
We wanted our lantern to stay secure on the cane, so we added a safety pin to the eyelet & then secured it to the centre of the frame once our lantern was dry. To do this, we carefully folded the two round metal sections in the middle of the frame together. This helped hold the safety pin in place & allowed the lantern to have a little movement without it sliding around too much.
To light up our lantern, we added a small LED flashlight torch like these, which we hung from the safety pin on the frame. Alternatively, you could hang a small battery-operated light, or tape a battery-operated tealight. When using any small lights with young children, always make sure an adult is supervising.
With our mini flashlight added, our lantern was ready to shine bright & light up a dark night with its beautiful colourful glow.
We’ve made these lanterns before at several Light Party events & the children (& adults) have had a great time decorating them. At the end of the Party we’ve held a Lantern Parade where the children & their families have carried their beautiful lanterns outside illuminating the darkness with their colourful lights. Here’s a little clip of the lanterns in action.
Not only do these lanterns look fabulous, but they’re also pretty robust & will last for years if you wish to keep them. You could even reuse them as a colourful lampshade! If not, then they can easily be recycled.