Paper lanterns provide a soft, warm light which can be an alternative to standard lighting, especially outdoors. Traditionally used by the Chinese during festivals, paper lanterns are also a way to spruce up parties, living and dining rooms, gardens, and breakfast nooks. While paper lanterns can come in all shapes and sizes, they all share one common characteristic -- the glow that emanates through the paper, illuminating the images on the lantern and adding ambience to the surrounding area.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Paper lantern
- Light bulb (or, alternatively, a candle or glow stick)
- Batteries (or extension cord if using a plug-in light)
- Coloured tissue paper
- Coloured cellophane paper
Purchase a paper lantern from a party or Asian-themed store. Make sure it has colours and designs that you want to see illuminated.
Cover the inside of the paper lantern with different colour tissue paper to enhance the glow and create a deeper, warmer colour.
Cut and fold a piece of cellophane into a cylindrical shape, a bit smaller than the size of your paper lantern, and insert into the paper lantern. This will create a more complex and shadowy glow.
Insert a battery-powered light bulb into the paper lantern and place on the attached light platform. If your light bulb has a socket instead, attach an extension cord into the socket. You can also use a glow stick, or a candle, to illuminate the paper lantern. However, if you use a candle, be sure it is secured tightly to avoid fire. Turn on the bulb (or light the candle), and your paper lantern will emit a magical glow that will add light-filled character to your room or outdoor area.
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to always keep an eye on the lanterns when they are illuminated, whether you use a light bulb or a candle, to avoid a disastrous fire.
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