How to make paper lanterns for candles

Written by michaela davila
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Paper lanterns are a great way to decorate for the holidays or any day that you are hosting a celebration. They can be as simple or as complicated as you like depending on the event and the skill level of the individuals helping to make them. Turn paper-lantern making into a project for the whole family. When they are complete, you can line your front porch, steps or driveway with them to wow neighbours and guests.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Lunch-sized paper bags in brown or white
  • Paint
  • Pencil
  • Stencils
  • Scissors
  • Sand
  • Scoop
  • Tea lights

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    How to Make Paper Lanterns for Candles

  1. 1

    Begin by gathering the materials you need for your paper lanterns. You can purchase these materials at most retailers that carry craft supplies including Target and Michael's. If you do not wish to buy sand, you can get it from the beach or your children's sandbox.

  2. 2

    Decide how you wish to decorate the bags and arrange all the necessary materials on your table. If you wish, assign specific tasks to family members based on their skill levels. If you wish to add paint and cut outs to your paper lantern, assign someone to paint, another to trace the stencils and another person to cut out the stencilled parts. If you are making lanterns for Halloween, for instance, have one child paint black bags and another trace the image of a bat on the bags and another cut out the bats. You could have another child paint bags orange, have another trace a pumpkin shape on the bags and a third cut out the pumpkin shapes. Make sure to allow the paint to dry before tracing and cutting out the stencilled pieces.

  3. 3

    Use a scoop, such as a small shovel to fill the decorated bags with sand. Carefully pour the sand into the bag, filling it approximately half way. Press the shovel down against the sand to make sure it is compact and has a flat surface. Make sure the cut out pictures are above the sand line so that the candle light will flicker through it. Continue this process until each of the bags is filled with sand.

  4. 4

    Take your tea lights and pull up all the wicks so they stand straight up. Push each candle into the centre of the sand inside the bag. You want each tea light to be secure in the sand.

  5. 5

    Place your finished paper lanterns where you want them to be for your guests to see. When the sun begins to go down and the sky begins to darken, light the tea light candles by carefully placing a lighter inside the bag and lighting the wick.

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