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How to Make an Easy Homemade Lantern

Updated on March 7, 2015

Homemade Lanterns

A great craft project for any occasion and they look fantastic.
A great craft project for any occasion and they look fantastic. | Source

What You Will Need to Make Your Lantern

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You Need  
three long sticks
five short sticks
a length of plastic covered bendable wire
battery operated tealight or glowstick
tissue paper (white or coloured)
pva glue mixed with water (non toxic and non staining)
Various thin sticks to decorate the sides
a sponge
scissors
Seven Simple Materials are all that is Needed for Your Lantern

Making A Homemade Lantern

Here are the instructions to make a easy homemade lantern in around 30 minutes. I have included a step by step photograph guide to make it even easier. Most of the materials are already in the house and the wooden sticks can be found outside.

The glow sticks or battery operated candles are easily accessible and can be bought from local shops or online at Amazon. Easy and fun to make, and looks awesome.

First Make a Triangle with 3 short Sticks

Secure with masking tape.
Secure with masking tape. | Source

How to Make the Basic Lantern Frame

Take three short sticks and form a triangle shape. Join the ends securely with masking tape.

Make a Cross Shape across the Triangle

Use masking tape to secure the cross shape across your triangle.
Use masking tape to secure the cross shape across your triangle. | Source

Making a Base to Hold your Candle

Use two short sticks secured by masking tape to form a cross shape across your triangle.

Making and Securing a Candle Holder

Plastic covered wire can be shaped to make a perfect candle holder.
Plastic covered wire can be shaped to make a perfect candle holder. | Source

Making a Candle Holder

Use plastic covered wire to make a circular shape then use the wire end to keep it closed. Make four five inch pieces of wire coming out from the circle. One at the top, bottom and also both sides. Secure the four pieces of wire to each part of your cross at the base of the lantern.

Put the 3 longer sticks upward to form a pyramid shape

Secure at the top with masking tape.
Secure at the top with masking tape. | Source

Making the Pyramid Shape

Now use three long sticks to go upwards from your three triangle corners and to meet in the middle. This creates a pyramid shape. As before secure firmly with masking tape.

Decorate Your Lantern

Use circled or straight sticks to pattern your lantern.
Use circled or straight sticks to pattern your lantern. | Source

Creating a Pattern on Your Lantern

Use thin sticks to either make circular shapes or straight lines across your lantern sides. Attach the sticks with masking tape.

Be creative and let the patterns flow.

Cover the Whole Lantern Frame

Use your tissue paper to cover the gaps.
Use your tissue paper to cover the gaps. | Source

Covering Your Lantern

Use white tissue paper to cover your lantern. Use a sponge to soak the paper with a water/pva glue mix. Put the sheet over the lantern frame till it is completely covered.

The Finishing Touches

When your paper has dried, you just need to put in the light. Use either a battery operated tealight or a glowstick. For safety reasons these lanterns are NOT suitable for using real candles. Also for safety reasons and even though it is battery operated candles in your lantern, do not leave your lanterns on unattended.

Now you have your very own really arty and cool glowing lantern.

Use Glowsticks or Battery Operated Tealights

Source

Lots of Different Choices

There are no limits. You can make more than one lantern and use different coloured glow sticks for a multicoloured effect. Or by using different coloured tissue paper you can completely change the lantern. The plain white lanterns are my favourite as they give off a shining white glow.

There is no limit to the possibilities. Just remember the most important thing is to have lots of fun.

Let There Be Light

Once the paper has dried, insert either a battery operated tealight or glow stick.
Once the paper has dried, insert either a battery operated tealight or glow stick. | Source

Good for the Kids and Adults too

As well as providing fun for the kids this lantern allows them to make decisions and also exercise their artistic skills.

They learn the value of using natural resources and off course they can take great pride in showing everyone their brilliant finished product!

For those with no kids in the house. This lantern is also a great adult craft project. It is great fun and in our modern, busy world it can provide a small oasis of creative, relaxing time within your hectic day.

The Finished Product

Your brilliant homemade lantern.
Your brilliant homemade lantern. | Source

Lanterns for Xmas, New Year and Birthdays and Halloween

This lantern is very versatile and can be modified to suit all occasions. Plain white lanterns are suitable for all the different holidays and by changing any images you stick on you can customise your lantern for almost any occasion.

So keep crafting with those sticks and paper all year round. Thus keeping your own little space always filled with a warming glowing light.

Happy Crafting

Enjoy Your Creative Holidays
Enjoy Your Creative Holidays | Source

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© 2013 Anna Haven

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    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Hi DJ :)

      I miss you too. The most surprising thing I have found about writing online is how you find friendship and a connection with some people, so far away. I always like your wise and witty words.

      I have been writing my paranormal tale so I haven't abandoned my writing, it has just been kind of quietly ticking along . I haven't really been on Hubpages as I just haven't had very much free time recently.

      The good news after the referendum is that as a nation we are all still very politicised and the early signs for next year's election are very encouraging.

      I had checked when I logged in, to see if you had written anything and I noticed you hadn't. Your novel sounds intriguing and a real labour of love. Your research must be extensive and exhausting. When you finally hold your finished... back breaking, painstaking and ultimately beautiful piece of work in your hands it will be an amazing feeling.

      We are doing the tree and decorations today. :) Thank you, and Happy Christmas to you too. x

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Hi, Anna,

      Wanted to say, "Hello". Been missing you.

      I do understand that you needed some time to get over the loss for your

      nation's freedom. A disappointment this great takes some time to get

      back on that horse and continue your life's journey.

      I don't publish much these days. Work on my novel takes up most of my time. It has been two years, and I am still pounding the computer keyboard. LOL

      Here's wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

      DJ.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Hi FlourishAnyway

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting. I think you could create a myriad of effects with different mediums. :)

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi Anna,

      What a wonderful hub showing us how to make something in sequence, and that is what I need anymore.

      Such a lovely addition to any celebration and thanks for sharing.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Very cool craft project. I like that you start with "natural" materials. It would be neat to experiment with different types of tissue paper or even cellophane.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi poetryman6969

      That sounds a good idea. It would be good to see how

      they look as Laura said. :)

      Thank you for reading.

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      poetryman6969, it'd be awesome! What a way to be festive--and frugal and fun/crafty at the same time! Send us photos or write an article if you do it--I'd love to see what you come up with and how it looks! :-) Cheers!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      This could be cool for the Chinese Lantern festival

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you JPS0138. They are great fun to make too.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment Kathryn :)

      It is fun to do even without kids there; messy, crafty and it turns out all pretty in the end.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      A great idea for the upcoming season. I will certainly try this out.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      What a cool idea! I don't have kids, but if I did, I would definitely be trying this project out!

      Glow sticks are abundant around October, and are sold very inexpensively around Halloween. I worked at an arts and crafts supply store, and we always had box after box to try to stock on the sales floor, and they're very popular.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Laura Schneider

      I am sorry I thought I had replied to your comment but it seems to have disappeared!

      We use child friendly paper glue. I think any paper glue would be suitable.

      Thank you very much for your kind comment and again sorry for the delay in response :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much epbooks for reading and commenting. It is a fun project to undertake.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      After Halloween and Bonfire night in my house it is time for Christmas. We usually manage to prepare for it, for a good six weeks :)

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      What a fun and creative way to spend an afternoon. Love this idea!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a creative idea! I like this for all the reasons you state - you do not have to spend a lot of money to make this and you can use wooden sticks from nature. This is fun for kids to make during the holiday season and something that can keep them busy when they are inside because of inclement weather. I see you are in the holiday spirit also! LOL

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much for reading Lisa and for your kind comment.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very Faith Reaper. They are great fun to make :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome lanterns. Excellent hub of creative fun to be had by all for sure!

      Up and more

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 3 years ago

      Anna,

      This idea is so creative. You explain the process so well. Excellent article.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Troyangeluk. Good name! Yes they are quite adaptable to the occasion. Thank you for taking the time to read and for commenting :)

    • Troyangeluk profile image

      Troyangeluk 3 years ago from UK

      This is actually a very cool project to do with the kids :), these look like they could also be used for many other things than haloween, nice work.

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Great project! What brand of glue do you recommend using? I wasn't familiar with the acronym you used :-( --I'm a crafty geek, not the other way around. LOL I can't wait to try this fun project! Love the results--great photos and helpful, too!

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Nell :)

      They are good fun to make, especially putting the paper on.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Joelle. The theme park sounds great. I have candles burning in my house everyday as I love them. Alas this lantern just would not be fire safe.

      The Halloween party isn't till Thurs so everyone is exercising patience :)

      You have a great weekend and Halloween too when it comes.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Looks like a fun project, especially this time of year! Voting up and awesome and sharing this one.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      That is so clever! Oh I want one now! lol! I love it when something that looks so beautiful and clever is easy enough for me to tackle! voted up and shared! Awesome!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Hi Anna!

      I would prefer anything than real candles because I am always afraid of fire especially with children! But I remember once, I was in a very special amusement park and in the evening they decorated the trails with pierced paper bags (so the little holes would give a design with the light) and a real tea light candle in each bag. We were few thousand people walking through those trails and everything was just fine.

      It's very kind of you of looking if I had published something similar .... but even if it were the case, I think we would have each of us had our individuality in our projects :-)

      I suppose your children must be on pins and needles with all the preparations for Halloween.... and waiting for the big night!

      Enjoy the anticipation of your children.... they grow up fast :-)

      Have a great weekend and a fantastic Halloween :-)))

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi WiccanSage

      Thankyou for reading and commenting. I am glad you like them :)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Those are just really cool. Nice work, thanks for the tutorial.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much Mhatter99 for reading and for commenting.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much Frank. It was fun :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you CrisSp.

      I love decorating the house and all the holidays :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you DJ. I was only the apprentice, they were the arty ones :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Joelle

      I actually checked your page before publishing to make sure you didn't have anything similar on. Definitely battery operated, I think it would go up in flames with a real candle.

      Your paint for black light sounds really cool.

      Thank you :) We are now offically Halloweened up in my house. You have a good weekend too :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Bill. You have a great weekend too :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      it looks ;like a great deal of fun too :) voted up and useful :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Anything inexpensive...I'm in specially seasonal stuff! :) This is very creative!

      Passing it long!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Oh, Anna, you are so creative. I'll bet the kids love helping to make this.

      You gave an excellent presentation and the instructions were clear and would be very easy to follow. I would never have thought of the plastic covered wire to form a holder for the light. Ingenious!

      I enjoyed watching the progress of the lanterns being built and then covered with the paper, and finally, the finished product.

      Your kids have an awesome Mom!

      DJ.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great Halloween project, Anna! Are you using real candles or LED candles? If you use LED candle, you could paint the light according to the season .... definitely orange for Halloween :-)

      I just experimented a project with "glow in the dark" paint and it was quite good; I want to try the same project using a paint that react with black light. Always experimenting to see what works best :-)

      Thanks for sharing this nice project! It's different, original and the end product is very nice! I just love it!

      Have a great weekend.... probably preparing for Halloween :-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is so cool! You creative people always leave me feeling lacking. I would have never thought of this in a million years. My mind just does not work that way. Thanks for a great idea. I'll pass it on to Bev and maybe we'll give it a try this year.

      Have a great weekend Anna!

      bill