I was trying to think of a cost and time-efficient gift to give to my neighbors and friends. I wanted it to be handmade, heartfelt, and reflect the true meaning of Christmas. Into my memory walks this picture. Isn't it a beautiful paperbag lantern? There were tons of them my freshman year at Temple Square in Salt Lake City saying different things in different languages.
Here's my cute freshmen self with my old college roommate and friend for life, Whitney. Don't we look so cute and young? Now Whitney is in law school and I have two kids and the next time we take a picture here we will probably be going through a mid-life crisis. ;)
But that's beside the point. It was the paper lantern that inspired me. I didn't have paper bags (at least I didn't think I did. I've since found some. But making little lanterns like this isn't that hard.
Here is one of my creations from today. Not as fancy. But the same message.
I used cardstock so as to be less of a fire hazard (much less risk of the paper crumpling into the flame or anything, but tomorrow I am getting flameless tealights anyways, just to be safe). I also made some pretty ones out of green and red construction paper.
Cut a standard size piece of paper in half. On one side either draw the picture or write the word that you want on your lantern. Be sure to leave about an inch or space between your word or picture and the bottom of the paper. If you are doing a word, write it flipped backwards so that the side of the paper not written on is the side everyone will see. Then take a push pin and poke holes along the lines. You can add embellishments or add thicker lines in some places if you are artistic or know calligraphy.
When you are done punching holes, cut 5-7 darts along the bottom of the paper. Then wrap paper around a cardboard circle, folding tabs between darts over the cardboard and taping to the circle. Tape the piece of paper together at the sides to form a cylinder. Add a handle. And you're done!
This is definitely a project for older kids (at least the punching part), but if you make a lantern of white paper, your younger kids can color on the paper and that shows up against the candle light and looks quite pretty.
Once again, these make lovely gifts, and we handed some out tonight with a real candle burning in them, but will be switching to flameless. I wouldn't leave this lantern unattended for safety reasons, but it was quite fun and pretty to hold while caroling!