Introduction: Preston's Paper Sky Lantern
Sky lanterns (typically Chinese) are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in East Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The Sky Lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern floats back to the ground. They can achieve quite a height and launching them in strong winds is not recommended.
For my project I used products that were available to me. So instead of using rice paper and bamboo. I used tissue paper (that you would see in gifts), and a very small gauged wire that I had laying around the house. The only thing I purchased was clear tape and two different sized candles for my fuel cell. I started off making a frame out of the wire to enclose the tissue paper around, I gently taped the paper securely around the frame making sure that their were no holes for the heat to escape. I then placed an additional round piece of tissue paper to the top for the hot air to get trapped. Lastly, I made a wire bracket to secure the small candle in place just under the one opening of the circle. After lighting the candle it didn't take more than three minutes for the sky lantern to start rising. :) I had a lot of fun on this project and I hope you will to. Thanks very much