Before you know it, summer will be winding down and cooler temperatures will set in. Savor your dwindling evenings on the patio by adding some d.i.y. paper lanterns. Better yet, add an Asian inspired menu to your grilling plans to complement the decor.
This project is a quick one; work out the kinks with your first one and the rest will be easy peasy.
* Mason Jars – Taller, Skinnier are better. I used a tall half pint jar.
* Measuring Tape (or you can use string)
* Pretty Paper
* Scissors or X-Acto Knife
* Double Sided Tape
* Tea Lights
* Wire – Optional for hanging. I used picture hanging wire. It’s flexible and easy to cut.
- Measure the length of the jar to the bottom, beginning under the lip of the lid. Measure around the jar at its widest part. Add 2 inches to the length and ½ inch to the circumference. For the half pint jar, the measurements were: 8.5” x 6”
- Cut your paper to those measurements. Turning your paper the long way, draw a line ½” in from both edges of the paper, on the wrong side of the paper (the one that will not face out). Fold the paper in at the lines. I used my ruler to help keep the creases straight. Flatten the folds out again (you’ll come back to them).
- Next, use your ruler to measure lines that will run perpendicular to the crease lines, equally spaced. Ultimately you’ll be cutting along these lines, leaving ½” on either edge (the creased flaps). If you have a cutting mat, ruler and razor blade, you won’t need to draw the lines, you can simply cut. If using scissors, you’ll need to fold the paper slightly to get the slit started, but try to avoid creasing it as you go. I cut a slit at every ½”.
- Set cut paper aside. Measure out a length of double sided tape to fit around the top of your jar, just under the lip to the lid. Wrap the tape around the jar, working it slightly to make sure it stays just under the lip. Press it down in areas where it bubbles.
- Take your cut paper and refold the edges at the creases, in towards the “wrong side.” Starting at one end, apply the paper to the tape on the jar, making it stick to the flap that is folded in. This takes a little finagling, but it goes around pretty well. Press down around the jar as you go. Your paper should meet at or just pass where it began. Use extra tape at the end if need.
- Turn the jar over so that it’s resting upside down on your work surface. Find the middle “slit” directly opposite the ends of the paper and cut the bottom flap so that you have 2 sides. I had an odd number of slits so one half had one more. No big deal.
- Measure enough tape for ½ distance around the bottom edge of the jar. Gently push the paper away from the surface. Align and apply the tape to half of the bottom edge, where half of your paper is divided. Press the bottom paper flap to the tape. Make sure the paper flap is touching the jar at all points.
- Repeat step 8 with the other half of the paper, again, making sure there are no gaps. Because the jar tapers at the bottom slightly, you’ll have overlap of the paper, which you can tuck into the other half of the cut paper, equally on both ends. Press all of the paper firmly to the tape.
- Turn the glass right side up, add the tea light and voila!
Bonus Steps :: Adding wire for hanging:
- If you want to make these hanging paper lanterns, measure out enough wire to wrap around the jar and make a loop over the top. Measure half way around the jar with the wire, leaving an extra inch, at the half way point, make a small loop and twist to secure it.
- Bring the wire back around to the other side and twist it together with the other end, directly across from the small loop. One end of your wire should be much longer than the other.
- Take the now joined wire and using the remaining length to feed through the small loop and twist around its self to secure.
A few more thoughts…Buggy in your backyard? Keep the bugs away with Citronella Tea Lights. You can also color the light further by first adding colored tissue paper around the glass, then adding the cut paper.
Questions? Additional tips? Leave a comment!
Enjoy your weekend!