Upcycled Japanese Paper Lantern



Introduction: Upcycled Japanese Paper Lantern

About: Crafter, college student, and full-time-dream-chaser.

It all started with a glass vase...


  • Red tissue paper (I got it from the Dollar Store but Michael's sells it cheap too)
  • Black sharpie or marker
  • Scissors
  • Google Translate or basic grasp of Kanji (if you want to decorate your lantern that way)
  • Geometrical dodecahedron vase (something like this would do the trick)
  • LED Candle (you can use a traditional wax, but LED candles are safer and you don't have to keep getting new ones. Amazon sells some nice Inglow models like this one. Michael's has a few too, but their variety is smaller.)

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Step 1: Wrap Your Vase in Tissue Paper

The amount of layers is up to you, depending on how strong you want the glow of your candle, but just make sure to cover every last inch of the vase.

I didn't use any fancy methods, but I do recommend that when you wrap the vase, you stuff the inside as well. As you can see in the photos, I tucked the corners into the vase (and taped them down which you can't see) and that really helped me fit the tissue paper to the vase.

Don't be afraid to get messy with your taping on the bottom (I know I did) because nobody will see it anyway!

Step 2: Fill in the Facets

You know how geometric vases have those sharp lines/angles that look opaque and give the vase its shape? You want to trace over those in this step.

Step 3: Decorate the Vase

I opted to just write a Kanji character, specifically, 'Saisei' which means 'a return to life' or 'rebirth.'

Other things you could draw would be cherry blossoms, butterflies, geisha -- in the traditional Japanese asymmetrical art style of course, basically whatever you can dream up that wouldn't look out of place on a paper lantern.

Step 4: Add the Candle

Don't forget about this little guy! It wouldn't be a lantern without a light after all. Once you do that, you're done!

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