The inspiration for this project comes from when the kids needed light up in their tree fort. I thought about some hanging lanterns up in the tree, but it needed to be safe. Flickering LED lights to the rescue! This version of the lantern is more indoorsy. The good news is that one forage through your recycling bin will yield you a whole roomful of lovely soft lights.
Step 1: Supplies/Tools
Flickering LED tea light (I got some from the local dollar store - super cheap!)
Glue gun/glue sticks
Wrapping paper (decorate it any which way you like, right?)
Thread, ribbon, string, or chain to hang the lanterns
Step 2: Cut the main body of the lantern
Step 3: Cut the vertical slits
Step 4: Measure and cut the windows
Step 5: Add the screens to the windows
Step 6: Roll the lantern into an octagonal tube
Step 7: Make the lid
Holding one side firmly against one of the faces of the lantern, cut through the top layer of the cardboard so that you have a joint that follows the shape of the lantern. Repeat with the other edges until you come full circle.
Next, cut an octagonal piece for the lid and join the two pieces. I used a lighter weight cardboard for the top of the lid, so it had an ugly pattern all over it. I used reflective silver duct tape to cover that (which also reflects the light).
Step 8: Make the bottom
You will need a way to keep your LED candle from falling out, so now's a good time to add a bottom to your creation. You will need about four stubby pieces of cardboard and another piece of octagonal cardboard. Glue the stubby pieces up inside the bottom of the lantern. Take the top off your lantern and slide the bottom in through the top.
[I wasn't very precise on this project and sometimes had to be very patient with getting the bottom to fit in there. Having a pencil handy was a help in order to guide it into place]
Step 10: Variations
Voila! Safe, pretty, and pretty lighting!
Pretty fancy - using wrapping paper or cloth and a glue stick, you can dress these up in any fashion and style you like: seasonal, personalized, event-specific, or part of the everyday decor
Display - wire can be bent into a bow to hang the lanterns; several make a romantic setting. Wire can also be fashioned into feet for standing on surfaces, rather than hanging. On that note, they can sit on any surface as they are. A mixture of hanging and standing lanterns looks really nice!