Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: Easy paper bag lanterns

Its the weekend!  Tomorrow, Chinese from around the world will be celebrating the Mid Autumn Festival, and over here we're missing our mooncakes (I love the traditional ones with rock sugar and nuts, what about you?).  We thought we'd join in some of the fun by making our own little paper bag lanterns, and here's how you can make your own:

1. Give your child some white paper (A3 size and above, art block is great as its thicker), and some watercolour paints, and let him/her go crazy painting...

2. Fold the art piece into a paper bag (if you are not sure how to make one, click here).  Do try to make the base wider so that it can fit a tea light.  Trim off the top of the paper bag if it appears too tall (we found it was harder to put in the tea light for the taller, narrower bag!).

3.  Trim off a small section of a toilet paper roll, with the width being shorter than the height of your tea light.  Paste down the roll in the middle of the base of the paper bag using tape.  This is to prevent your tea light from tumbling around when your child (or you) carries it, having a shorter "holder" means it doesn't block the light, and reduces the chance that it will catch fire.

4. Using a hole puncher, punch holes at the top of the bag, and give your bag handles.  You can then attach the handles to a disposable wooden chopstick.  (Note: Don't use melamine chopsticks, we tried using one and then left it balanced at the top of the bag, and it melted!)

5. Light the tea light, and place it inside the paper bag.  Give the lantern to an excited kid, and go take a walk at night and have fun!

We tested out the lanterns yesterday.  The holder held the tea lights in place, despite some rather excited  jiggling and swinging from the rather enthusiastic lantern bearer.  While some of the wax did splatter around the base, the lantern didn't catch fire, so we'll be using them again today!

PS: Do check out these lanterns made by another mum using recycled materials.  I thought they were fabulous!

PPS: Have you entered our book giveaway yet?


  1. So lovely! Much prettier than the traditional accordion style lanterns in my opinion. I'm pinning this one on my pinterest board to make with my son when he's old enough to play with lanterns!

  2. Serenely: Thank you! Am flattered it made it to your pinboard! ;)

    Summer: Thanks :)



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