I Love to Create: Altered Chinese Paper Lanterns

I’m delighted to join the ranks of crafty bloggers for I Love to Create. Here’s my first installment in my bi-weekly Kid/Teen Craft blogs. All of these projects are “Mom Crafted, Kid Approved.”

We’ve been redecorating my daughter’s room and she wanted to get some Chinese style lanterns to hang from her ceiling. We found these for 3 for $5.00 at Five Below. They have a built in battery operated light! We wanted to give them a little pizzazz, so we punched out circles of patterned tissue paper and adhered them with Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. Then we added some Tulip glitter and ric-rac trim accents. We love how these turned out and they were so easy and fun to make! Avalon did a more streamlined version that looks fabulous!

You can find the larger lanterns online and do a series of these in different sizes and shapes...I’m seriously thinking about putting some in my studio. Try using different sizes and shapes of punches and adding some Tulip flat back crystals to give them even more sparkle!

Altered Chinese Paper Lanterns
I Love to Create
Margot Potter

Paper Chinese style lantern
Patterned tissue paper
Ric-rac trim
Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Tulip GlitterDimensional Fabric Paint in Crystal Sparkles
Fiskars 1” and 1.5” paper punches
Card stock sheets
Bubble wrap

1. Stuff your lantern carefully with bubble wrap to give it structure.

2. I chose tissue paper for the polka dot accents because it’s thin enough to easily adhere to the surface of the textured lantern, thicker paper doesn’t work as well because it’s too stiff to be molded to the base.

3. Fold the tissue paper over heavy card stock and insert into punch. Smooth any wrinkles with your fingers. Punch shape. (Designer tip: The card stock gives you some structure so the tissue paper will cut more easily, without that base the tissue will tear.) Cut 5 large and 5 small circles.

4. Spread a thin layer of Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue on the back of your tissue paper circles using your finger tip. (I chose this glue because it’s not too runny, adheres quickly and it didn’t saturate the tissue paper, this is a better choice for this specific project than decoupage medium.)

5. Apply the tissue paper circle to the desired spot on your lantern, carefully working from top to bottom gently smoothing the tissue on to the lantern. Take your time and be patient!

6. Continue adhering circles working around your lantern. Allow them to dry.
7. Spread a layer of Tulip glitter on some ric-rac trim.

8. Adhere small segments of pre-cut trim to the front of the larger tissue paper circles. Allow to dry.

9. Use your finger to spread a thin layer of Tulip glitter on the surface of each of the small circles. Allow to dry.

Avalon and her Altered Chinese Paper Lantern!


Plaidcrafter said...

So cute and what a great tip about stuffing with bubble wrap!

Unknown said...

Love how you kicked the paper lanterns up a notch! Cute and easy craft project for the "tween" and teen in the house.

Thanks for sharing it! Awesome as always!


Sherri Osborn said...

This is such an easy and fun project. I have a party coming up in a few weeks and just may use this idea for decorations!

Carter said...

What a fun project! A perfect easy afternoon project to spruce up a room that needs a little touch of color.
And the bubble-wrap tip is perfect!

Anonymous said...

They look great. Go Avalon!

Sharon said...

These are just so festive and fun! Who wouldn't want to see these hanging in their bedroom. The instructions are easy to follow. Love the design.

~drew emborsky~ said...

I love this project!! Thanks for sharing your crafty goodness!! Now to get me one of those circle punches!! (Where should I look?)

Melissa J. Lee said...

Wow, the polka dots really punch up the lanterns. As usual, I love your copious how-to photos and the tips (punching the tissue paper over cardboard) are first-rate. Thank you!

sandi said...

These are great - my mind spins with more options, like add a few flat back crystals? As always, thanks for sharing.

Margot Potter said...

Thanks for your kind comments! Drew you can find these punches in the paper crafting aisles. I love them. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are super easy to use.

Sandi! Yes the Duncan Flat Backs would look fab on these! Or buttons...or lace...or...it's endless!


Eileen said...

These make me smile just to look at. We don't have Five Below where I live. I wonder where I can find the lanterns here. Maybe a party store.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

This is great, great, great!
What happy memories I have of my parents' summer evening parties, outdoors, with paper lanterns colorfully hanging in the trees, and their friends, the grownups, cheerfully wandering the lawn as the sun went down. My sister and I would walk around in our nightgowns and wrappers (bathrobes) holding glasses of water we had colored blue, so we would look like we both had something dramatic and special to drink.
The lanterns made everything completely magical! It's great to see that sometimes, things don't change! :)
Your daughter RULES!!!

xox jean!

Tammy said...

These are brilliant! My favorite part is the glitter on the rick rack.

Alexa said...

What a great project that's fun for kids and adults alike. So simple too!

Cyndi L said...

How clever! What a great way to may them your very own :-)

Lisa Crone said...

You two make a great team!! Those colors are so bright and cheerful. There is something so special about crafting with your family and friends. This is a great project for all ages!! Thanks for sharing such a cool idea!

Aileen said...

Love your altered lanterns, what a great idea! You gave them Pizazz!

Thanks for sharing!

Andrew Thornton said...

Lovely lantern project! Seems like a nice project that can be done at any age. I think I'm going to try to get Azalea to make one with me. Her's will feature "all the scariest, creepiest things ever" instead of glitter though.

Rock on, Margot Potter!