Inspired by this amazing photo of Chinese New Year decorations below, we set out to make lanterns for the Lunar New Year. Ours is a faux lantern as it’s purely decorative and not made to house a candle.
Source: Flickr –zTransmissions
Balloon (inflated and knotted; the color doesn’t matter as you will take the balloon out at the end)
Tissue paper (red is traditional)
Red or yellow ribbon
1. Cut the tissue paper into strips a couple inches thick and about 1 foot long. You will need at least 30 strips to cover 1 balloon.
2. Mix the glue with warm water—about half glue and half water.
4. Cover the whole balloon–for a sturdier lantern, cover it twice.
5. After the balloon is covered in tissue paper, paint an extra coat of the glue/water mixture, covering it completely.
6. Let the balloon dry on one side and then the other. We let it dry overnight.
7. Cut out a small circle around the bottom. The lantern will quickly deflate—don’t worry, you just punch it out again and throw away the balloon. (As a note, if you have not covered every inch of the balloon with tissue paper, you will not be able to punch it out well. We made two lanterns but only one worked out because it was sufficiently covered.)
8. Cut some red or yellow ribbon into small strips, to be the decorative tail of the lantern.
9. Glue or tape the tails around the bottom, from the inside. It was at this point that my oldest daughter said to me in true manipulator fashion, “I have a great idea. How about you surprise us with what it looks like at the end?” And got up to go play. She was very into it up until this point though!
10. Attach some string to the top of the balloon to hang.
Ours was a great addition to one of our living rooms windows.
Happy New Year!