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Topic: beautiful paper lanterns  (Read 13001 times)
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Joined: 22-Mar-2005

Miette la chat noir

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« on: May 11, 2005 02:05:29 AM »

So sorry guys! This is my first photo post!

and unlit..

Please let me know what you think!

Here's the tutorial ...I wrote this as a column for a friend. 

Projects with Tissue Paper
Warning: You may become a gift wrap saver!

Paper Mache Candleholder

If you read the last column I hope youve been creatively inspired by nature and are ready for some nature inspired crafting.  First you will need to press some flowers and leaves.  You can buy or make a wooden flower press but I find that a stack of heavy books works just as well.  Sandwhich your foliage finds in between newspaper to protect the pages of the book, and then place inside and close.  In a few days your specimens will be pressed flat and prepped for the project.

You Will Need:

Tissue paper ripped into small pieces

A bowl (deeper rather than shallow works best)

Glue thinned with a little water

Cooking spray

Pressed botanicals

Paintbrush (optional)

Rip up several sheets of tissue paper into small pieces.  Ripping rather than cutting with scissors will create a more natural effect.
Spray the bowl with cooking spray.  This will be your mold for the candleholder.
In small sections, drape paper over bowl and hold in place with the glue solution. Because tissue paper is already somewhat delicate when dry, Ive improvised on the usual paper mache method of dipping the paper directly in the glue and then applying.  To avoid complete paper disintegration, I place the paper on the bowl and then apply the glue with a paintbrush or finger.
You will need to make at least 3 layers of paper to have a sturdy candleholder.
For best results you should wait until the bowl is completely dry or at least mostly dry before adding flowers because in my haste I discovered that the coloring on some flowers may bleed.  My culprit was a purple pansy.  Arrange your botanical pressings on the bowl in a design that pleases you using the glue to hold in place.
Drape last layer(s) of paper over entire bowl including the plants.  The least amount of layers will allow the plants to be more visible but it is important to reinforce them so nothing inadvertently pokes through.
Let dry.  Place candle within.  Enjoy!


If your paper bowl doesnt easily slide off of the mold bowl, slide a metal nail file or thin knife in between to loosen.

These bowls make awesome Easter or spring baskets to give or enjoy as centerpiece.

My best friend gave me one of these bowls that she had made years ago and Ive found her technique to work in many different ways and have used it to create texture in many projects.  For weeks I brainstormed ways to improve the ugly and dusty white cloth lampshade that my boyfriend salvaged from the Salvation Army based on its cost and not style.  I finally covered it with tissue paper and then painted the entire thing with a watered down red acrylic paint.  I was so happy with the results that I thought of other ways to use this diffused and colorful lighting effect all over our apartment.

Tissue Paper Lantern

You Will Need:

Tissue paper ripped into small pieces

Wax paper

Glue and water solution


Thread or yarn or some kind of lacing material

Large sewing needle or hole punch

Im a try it and see kind of girl so I started with 2 big pieces of wax paper that will later be cut into half to create 4  sides of the lantern.  I just figured that it might be easier to glue the paper onto 2 pieces and then cut them but do whatever is most comfortable for you and your craft space.
Glue at least 2 layers of tissue paper to the wax paper.  I make the first layer using bigger pieces to save time and use small pieces on the second layer to create texture. 
You will need to wait until the paper is mostly dry to apply color.  The key feature of the lantern is its transparency so you should thin your paint with water.  I usually apply 2-3 coats to achieve a deep yet transparent color.  Let dry completely.
Run a hot iron over the wax side of the paper to flatten and bind together.  Dont let your mother/roommate catch you using their good iron, and its a good idea to use a thin towel or paper in between to prevent a melting, crafting disaster.
Cut into 4 equal rectangles.
I received design inspiration on the internet at a site called The Stencil Library and drew a couple of stencils of my own using cardstock.  Our printer is currently out of order but Im sure you could print the design and cut into a stencil or just buy the thing if you feel completely drawing impaired.  I made a couple of flower stencils and used black India ink to color the designs onto the paper.  All 4 sides are similar yet different and the ink is glossy and opaque against the translucent colored background.
Measure and poke holes along the right and left sides of all 4 rectangles.  I used a large sewing needle so the holes would be less visible than using a hole punch.
Wrong, (or back) sides together, lace up the sides of each rectangle to one another until you have a cube.  I had some fancy yarn left over from a knitting project that worked well but you can get creative and use all sorts of things to join your pieces together.  Adding beads, sequins, and your idea here will further bedazzle your lantern if you desire.
To hang my lantern I criss-crossed lengths of loose yarn to make an X shape across the top.
One thing you may need to buy is a hanging light bulb fixture, basically a light bulb socket with a power cord attached.  Luckily they are cheap and I encourage Chico area crafters to get theirs at House Of Rice so you can gloat over your artistic abilities when you see the commercially made lantern for sale there.


Experiment with different colored tissue paper and lantern shapes.  You can make boxes or pyramids for a table lantern using Christmas lights to illuminate.

Use the plant pressings and no paint to make a botanical lantern.

Use the wax paper method to create a layer of stained glass on a curtainless window.  One you dont often look through would probably be best.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2005 07:41:23 AM by quarkiegirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!

Edna St. Vincent Millay
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...but what do I know.

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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2005 02:31:40 AM »

tutorial, please

which is to say, magnificent!
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2005 04:48:27 AM »

I think the green is my favorite. But they're both awesome.

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Joined: 22-Mar-2005

Miette la chat noir

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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2005 06:59:46 AM »

I have lots more...I'm trying to sell them among other things.  I basically am trying to make staying at home with my kitty and crafting all day somewhat realistic.  Any ideas on how I should try this would be most welcome!

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!

Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Posts: 170
Joined: 10-May-2005

Linnea, one of the dolls I've made.

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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2005 10:31:26 AM »

Very beautiful!  I love the stencil that you created.  How about taking them to House of Rice and seeing if they would sell them?

Success isn't final, failure isn't fatal;
It is the courage to continue that counts.
-Winston Churchill
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2005 11:36:09 AM »

Those are so beautiful. I have a paper lantern in my room from Target, but it doesn't match to yours. I think I'm going to have to re-do mine and make it prettyful!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2005 11:44:17 AM »

Soooooo pretty! Excellent job.
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2005 12:43:35 PM »

Those are so shockingly beautiful. I LOVE the first one.

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Joined: 22-Mar-2005

Miette la chat noir

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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2005 12:49:15 PM »

Thanks for all the great comments, it's making my first posted project really fun to share and I keep logging on just to see if there's new responses.  If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me!  I would love to help!

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!

Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Posts: 303
Joined: 29-Mar-2004

I am the Llama Queen!

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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2005 02:56:09 PM »

I was thinking that these would look good as patio lanterns under an umbrella.  So if your painting them do you just use white tissue paper?
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