How on Earth do you make a china ball paper latern?

I have searched all over the internet for a simple how-to when it comes to making those sphere-shaped lanterns , and no one seems to have bothered to do any. I'm interested in making some large ones but the first attempt didn't have that clean round look.

Has anyone made one or know of a tutorial? Hopefully one with pictures or video.


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cityville7 years ago
im obsessed with these. they are awesome and im shocked they are legal at the same time. i mean, you cant do anything that MIGHT have a 1 in a million chance of doing harm to anything but yet sending fire into the air is fine.
You're shocked they're legal?
I think he's talking about the ones that you put a candle in and let float into the sky.
CrLz7 years ago
Here's a great documentation of the "traditional" method to make a Japanese paper lamp.  The author, Anja Marais, did a great job documenting the basic process:
  1. Wind wire around jig forms that create the proper shape and spacing. 
  2. Then cut paper and glue to the outside of the wire frame. 
  3. After drying, the globe can be painted. 
  4. Finally the jig is removed and the light is installed.
  • If you want the lamp to be standing, not hanging, you need to attach internal, vertical support wires to the wound wires, and a base-stand of some sort.

Check out the famous artist Isamu Noguchi, who popularized these lights in the 1950's.  I used to live near his museum in Queens, NY and was astounded his creations. 

Initially he experimented with lamp forms to master the technique.  Noguchi then explored the lamps as sculptures of light.  I remember a huge 6 foot in diameter sculpture on display at his museum.  It dominated the room it was installed in with solid light and was awesome.

Love to see an Instructable of your work!
lamp forming jig.jpgisamu-noguchi.jpgWhatissculpture2.jpg
Ed Van (author)  CrLz7 years ago
Woo Hoo! Thanks, CrLz!

It's a bit more work than I thought, but at least I know what to modify in order to make my own!
CrLz Ed Van7 years ago
trungdeplao7 years ago
I think it's a kind of cotton, not papper
nickodemus7 years ago
Illegal? In what country? I bought one at a dollar-store several years back...