How to Make a Christmas Lantern or Parol Using Recyclable Materials

Image by Chin chin
Image by Chin chin

Christmas lanterns or Parol are very popular in the Philippines. They are usually star-shaped lanterns with different sizes and shapes, embellished with whatever makes them standout. Some use plain Japanese paper, cellophane paper, crepe paper, capiz shells, plastic or glass, Some have lights inside them and it's so pretty to look at the dancing lights at night.

I like the Parol because it reminds me of hope. Just like when the shepherds and the magi followed the star of Bethlehem with the hope that they will see the King. Jesus is indeed the hope of all for he is the Savior, the one who came to save all men from sin. For the Filipinos, the Parol also somehow symbolizes hope. Even when the country has been through a lot of disasters, run down by strong typhoons in the past weeks or months, still you will see that lighted Christmas lantern hanging on the window come December or even sooner.

This is a lens on how to make a very simple Christmas lantern using recycled materials. It's actually a project of my son in school. Not only is it economical, it's also environment-friendly as it recycles plastic bottles, colorful magazines and plastic foil wrappers. If not using plastic bottles, other recyclable materials can also be used like tissue rolls and aluminum cans. I hope you would enjoy making this project together with your kids.

Materials

  • Plastic bottle of Yakult or small yogurt drink
  • glue gun and glue stick
  • liquid glue
  • adhesive transparent tape
  • scissor
  • assorted colored paper or colorful magazines or used Christmas gift wrapper
  • yellow cellophane
  • gold or silver laminated paper
  • gold or silver foil paper (plastic foil wrapper of milk or chips can be used also)

Instructions

  1. Arrange the plastic bottles first on the table so that you form a six-pointed star. Then, using the glue gun and glue stick, glue the pieces together. Make sure that they hold together.
  2. Cut out circles from the colored paper, magazine or holiday paper. Make circles double the number of the bottles used in the star. Then, glue each circle to the bottle's top and bottom end. If you can think of other appropriate designs, then do it by all means. Just be creative.
  3. Put glue on top or on the sides of the circles, then lay on top of the star a big piece of yellow cellophane. Make sure that it covers the whole star and that there are no wrinkles. Do this on the bottom side as well. Let it dry.
  4. When the cellophane is dry, you can now cut out the excess cellophane. Cut it about 1 cm from the edges of the star. Then fold down the cellophane along the edges and glue it to the sides. Be sure to cut a diagonal slit on the cellophane where there's an inward corner or curve so that you can fold it nicely without it tearing.
  5. Get the gold or silver paper and cut it lengthwise. The width should be as tall as the bottles you used. Then, put glue on the bottle from top to bottom and stick the paper on it. Go all the way around the edge of the star.
  6. Lastly, use either the gold or silver foil paper or both if you wish to make tails for the star. Cut the paper with a dimension of 5 inches by 15 inches (or whatever length you like). Then cut into 1/2 inch strips lengthwise but leave a 1/2 inch on top uncut. Then, fold the paper lengthwise according to the width of the strips and secure together with an adhesive tape. Make 3 of these tails and stick one each to the 3 lower points of the star.

Another Example of Christmas Lantern Using Recycled Material

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