Introduction: Freestanding Paper Lantern Table Decorations
We wanted to use paper lanterns at a wedding, but didn't want to have strings of them hanging from the ceiling. We decided instead to create paper lantern lamp centerpieces for each table. They have a heavy base made from concrete to keep the lamp from tipping over, a PVC pipe stem, wire for hanging the lanterns, and tulle to cover the base.
This paper lantern decoration was one way that we were able to stay within a budget of $2,000 for our daughters wedding reception.
- 3/4" PC Pipe. Each table was 36" long.
- 3/4" PVC T
- 3/4" PVC cap.
- Heavy wire. I used the type of wire that is used to hang ceiling tiles. Each table decoration had 3 pieces of 36 - 48" long.
- Concrete mix. One bag made 6 table decorations.
- Pie Tin
- Duct Tape
- Hot Glue Gun
- White Spray Paint
Step 1: Make the Cement Base
I placed the 3/4" PVC T in the middle of the pie tin.
To make the base a little deeper, I cut a piece of cardboard 2" high enough to go around the pie tin. I wrapped it in duct tape to keep it from disintegrating.
Mix the concrete in a small bowl. I used a large salad container to mix the concrete. It seemed enough for a base.
Pour the cement into the pie tin until the PVC T is covered up.
Smooth the surface out. It is not going to be seen so it does not need to be perfect.
Let the cement sit for a few hours until the cement is set up. Once the cement is set up, you can remove the card board and the pie tin.
Don't worry about pits in the cement, you will be covering it up. I did spray paint the bases white to hide any color through the cloth. Cut a circle out of felt the same size as the base, then glue it to the bottom of the base to protect the table surface or tablecloth that it will be going on.
Step 2: Build the Pole and Ball Holders
At this point, either paint the PVC pipe or sand off the lettering on the pipe.
Bend the wire like a shepherds crook. I wrapped the end around a one gallon can for a pattern.
With a pair of pliers, bend a hook in the end of the crook. This is where you will hang the globes .
Place the PVC cap into a vice and drill three holes in it, using a drill bit the same size or slightly larger than your wire.
Place three wires into the PVC cap, straight end first. Place cap on the PVC pipe and the pipe into
the cement base. How much wire put through the cap depends on how far you want the globes to be away from the base. When you have it the way you want it, you will use some hot glue to help hold them at that position.
Hang the globes on the wire.
Wrap some tulle or other cloth around the base to hide it. We used white, but other colors could easily be substituted. Other colors of paper lanterns can be substituted for white as well.
We used LED candles inside the lanterns to light them so that we didn't have to pay for pre-lit ones. Just duct-tape the candles to the wire that is inside the lantern.
Place the PVC pipe into the base.