Introduction: Cube Lantern

About: I have been a long time crafter of jewelry and collages. I recently started sculpting and am interested in adding leather work to my repertoire.

I am in love with the color green. It is soothing to me and just plain aesthetically pleasing. Green is often the first color I think of when I think about something else that I love; nature. When I learned of the Colors of the Rainbow Contest I jumped at the chance to write my first instructable about the color that makes me visually revel in it. I also have a new adoration for alcohol inks and the sometimes capricious effects they can present. I thought this cube lantern made with alcohol ink was going to be a great way to showcase the color green.

I would rate this project as easy and a fun way to make a functional lantern that could be used as a night light or part of general mood lighting.

Step 1: Supplies

  • pencil
  • 20 popsicle sticks
  • small square of sandpapaer
  • small paintbrush
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint (color of your choice)
  • mod podge
  • ruler
  • string of LED lights with a battery pack
  • Yupo paper
  • alcohol inks (colors of your choice)
  • spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol
  • 8 pieces of decorative paper cut into rectangles .5" by 4.25"

Step 2: Make the Popsicle Stick Frame

  1. Cut off one end of popsicle stick to create a straight edge.
  2. Use the ruler to measure and mark off 4 inches from your new, straight end.
  3. Cut on measured line to create a popsicle stick that has straight sides all the way around.
  4. Drag the newly cut ends over the sandpaper a few times to smooth out any rough spots.
  5. Paint the sticks with your acrylic color of choice and let them dry.

Step 3: Preparing the Yupo Paper

There are several techniques for how to apply alcohol ink to Yupo paper. Here, I am going to share just a couple of techniques to get you started. You don't need to know any fancy methods or have any special tools to make the paper sides of this cube lantern.

  1. Cut the Yupo paper into 4 inch by 4 inch squares.
  2. Lay the Yupo paper down on a flat surface. You can protect your desk or other work area by first taping some foil or parchment paper to desk so that it remains untouched by any ink or isopropyl alcohol. Make sure the protective covering is at least a few more inches larger than your 4" by 4" square.
  3. Spray the Yupo paper with the alcohol. While the alcohol is still wet on the paper squeeze a few drops of alcohol ink onto paper. You can then pick up the Yupo paper and tilt it so that the ink rolls around on the surface. You can also use a straw to blow the ink around in any direction while the paper is flat on your desk. I used a q-tip to move the ink around into patterns. In addition, I sprayed the end of a q-tip with alcohol and dabbed it on the paper to make a repeated pattern of dots. The sky it the limit. This is a great time to experiment.

Step 4: Making a Panel

When arranging the sticks to make the square frame for the Yupo paper you must configure the sticks in a particular way to maintain a true square.
  1. Lay one piece of finished Yup paper down in front of you with the colored side up.
  2. Paint a 1/4" border of Mod Podge around all sides of your Yupo square.
  3. Place the sticks (painted side up) on the glue making sure the sticks touch at a 90 degree angle until you have your square.
  4. Do this to make all five panels and let them dry for easy handling.

Step 5: Connecting the Panels

  1. After the panels are dry fold your eight pieces of paper in half lenghtwise.
  2. Use the paper folds to connect one panel to the next by gluing half of paper to underside of one popsicle stick and the other half of paper to the underside of another stick. To make this process easier I allowed for between 5 - 10 minutes of drying time between panel connections to prevent any accidental shifting of panels.
  3. At the end of this process you should have a cube that is paneled on five sides and open on one.

Step 6: Finishing Touch

  1. Turn on your string of LED lights.
  2. Pop the open end of cube over the light strand and
  3. TA DAAA! A cube lantern.

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest