Paper Lanterns

I first saw these paper lanterns at a Tea Party I went to at a friend’s house. I thought they were so cute! Since we are doing a garden-themed party for my mom for her birthday, I sent my friend an email and asked how she made them. I thought doing a tutorial would be fun. Sorry some of the pictures are blurry. American Idol was coming on and I was trying to hurry. *Speaking of American Idol…. 🙂

Here’s what you need:

  1. Scrapbooking cardstock
  2. Empty 16.9 oz. water bottle
  3. 12 inch Piece of ribbon
  4. Ruler
  5. Scissors
  6. Tape

1. Cut the top off of a 16.9 ounce water bottle.

2. Cut a piece of cardstock into a 7.5 inch by 8 inch rectangle; it will almost look square. (I used scrapbooking card stock; it doesn’t work quite as well with the regular scrapbooking paper)

3. Fold the paper in half along the long side. It should now be 8 inches by 3.75 inches.

4.  Along the folded side, cut into the paper about 1 to 1.5 inches.

5. Next, unfold the paper and fold in the ends about 1.5 inches.

6. Cut into the folded side of the paper about 1 inch. Do not cut all the way through the paper.

7. Repeat on the other side.

8. Unfold the paper and set the cut water bottle on the paper. The lines you cut should run perpendicular to the  lines on the bottle.

9. Roll the paper around the bottle and tape the overlapping pieces together. Make sure you don’t tape on a cut part.

10. Grab the bottle around the non cut part and smush it together so the center flares.

11. Next, smush the outsides until the two outside cut parts flare also. This can be a little tricky with the bottle in there, but just move the bottle up and down so you can get it to smash really well.

12. Stand the lantern up. Take your 12 ribbon and fish it through one of the slits from the outside in.

13. Tie a knot in the top piece and wedge it in the slit, pulling the outside ribbon up.

14. Repeat on the other side of the lantern with the other end the ribbon.

And viola! You have a paper lantern.

 If you didn’t tape the paper tight enough around the bottle, you may need to secure it with some tape so it doesn’t fall out of the bottom. I was reading online about these lanterns, and someone said they fill the bottom with sand and burn a votive candle in it. Seems a little dangerous to me.  I am using mine as just a cute decoration. If you want them to glow I would recommend the battery powered flameless votives.  Below are pictures of more lanterns we made tonight.


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