Diwali, the Festival of Lights is a time to decorate you house with candles and beautiful lanterns- however, lanterns can be rather expensive. Althought they are not the traditional star shape often used for Diwali, below are a couple of simple and artsy ideas for making your own beautiful lantern that leaves some cash in your pocket!
Mason Jar Lanterns:
These are especially simple once you have all of your materials- it literally takes less than 10 minutes to make one. Mason Jar lanterns are also versatile in their use, because they can be hung, placed decoratively on a table or used to line the walk-way up to you house. Plus you can find all of these materials at a local craft or art supply store.
*Mason Jar (however many you want, and any size. I am using mine to line my front walk, so I prefer something big)
*Paper: Preferably art papers, but you can also use wrapping tissue (this option also has a wide variety of colors). The paper you choose should not be too opaque because you want the light to be able to shine through a little. You also need sheets that are large enough to cover the height and diameter of the jar. I can wrap about 3 big jars with a 2×3 sheet of paper.
*Candles: Either Wax or LED
*Rice or lentils (this will catch the wax and make for easier clean up)
*Tools: Scissors, double-sided tape, pencil
1.Measure the paper you need to wrap the jar. Make sure the bottom of the paper goes all the way to the bottom of the jar. Make a mark on the paper for the height you want it to be, and then use your scissors to make that cut. Then wrap the paper around the jar and mark it where there is a little bit of over-lap. Put the cut paper aside.
*Before moving to the next step, you can use this time to also embellish the paper by adding ribbon to the top or bottom edges or whatever els you would like to add. Just be sure to do this before attaching the paper to the lantern.
3.Place one piece of tape vertically on the jar, align the paper so that is it straight and stick it to the tape. Put one more piece of tape over the same edge you just stuck to the jar. Wrap the paper around the jar and stick it to the taped edge. If you have excess paper, you can trim or tape it down.
Paper Hurricane Lantern
This is a great one to get the kids involved in- especially the little ones! They can decorate their own paper to use for the lantern shade instead of art paper. Simply give them white paper, markers, stamps, stickers, and even shaped whole punches to create a cool lantern design. Be sure to measure the paper according to the lantern size before they begin designing. **TIP: if you plan on doing this with your kids, have all of the materials cut and ready before they begin!
*Sticks- popsicle sticks, bamboo skewers, tooth picks, aluminum wire (this will be used to create a simple support structure, so whatever you have on hand works)
*Tools: Scissors, wire cutter, hole-punch, markers, stamps, tape or hot glue
1.Place the styrofoam piece flat on your work space. Poke the sticks into the foam along the edges all the way around the circumference. Keep in mind that the length of the stick you use will be the height of the lantern, so if you need to shorten them, do it before you start poking holes.
2.Measure your paper- it should fit the entire circumference and be tall enough that it reaches from the base of the styrofoam to the top of the sticks.
3.Once your paper is ready, use the tape or hot glue (be sure to help your child if you choose hot glue) to fasten the bottom paper edge styrofoam base. Make sure the bottom edge of the paper lines up with the bottom edge of the styrofoam for a clean look.
4.Turn on the LED candle and place it inside the lantern shade. A beautiful lantern for you and a fun Diwali activity for your child!