Intro: Chinese Lantern
In Holland we have a tradition of making Chinese lanterns for many occasions, like Sint Maarten, Halloween and Queen's Day. We call them "lampionnen". After dark, children walk in a procession showing their crafts. When I was young we carried our lantern on a stick with a little candle inside. This was exciting of course, but often went wrong since the lanterns are usually made of paper and catch fire easily. You can imagine the stress of lights going out every three minutes and children on fire or just hysterical because of a lantern in ashes. Today we use battery powered lights. Less exciting, but children seem to be happier now :)
For this lantern I used:
- kite paper.
- iron wire
- black paper (crappy quality is best!)
- glue on a stick
Take a piece of kite paper. Size doesn't really matter, as long as it is rectangular (you have to fold it into a cylinder in the end).
Draw stars on a piece of cheap black paper and cut them out. Folding the paper makes it possible to cut out lots of stars at once (I thought of this when I had finished :-).
Glue the stars onto the paper.
Now for the tricky part: cut 2 pieces of (very flexible!) iron wire of the same length, both a little longer than the long side of your piece of kite paper. Put some glue on the edge of the long side and fold the wire into the paper. The same goes for the bottom end.
You can close the lantern by bending the wires into a circle and gluing the paper ends together.
What I like most about this lantern is that everybody can make it. I chose for stars, but when you are 4 years old this might be too difficult. In that case: circles make a nice lantern as well. If you are a real paper artist you can cut out a landscape or people or whatever you want to.