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Sky Lantern Answered

Has anyone built anything like this, or know of an instructable that could help to design something like these floating, hot air balloons that are popular in Thailand?
I am looking for, in particular, the method of obtaining or creating the fire-proof paper or fabric that is used for the balloon itself. Also of interest is the object at the opening of the balloon that is lit and provides the heat. It doesn't look like a small candle, like I thought it might be. But rather, it's a small pad, about the size of a note card (3x5") that is flammable and completely burns. I think I could figure out the metal loop and bamboo skewer cross-bracing that holds the base of the balloon open and that holds the lit pad in place.
You may send responses to my email, as well...
uncleplayground (at) yahoo (dot) com


Sky Lantern



6 years ago

Is it possible that my sky lantern will work if I use japanese paper instead of tissue or rice paper? PLEASE reply.

As mario1776 said; good basic instructions at skylighter/blog/can a mere mortal make sky lanterns. It covers main important points; materials, size to WEIGHT of balloon, fuel, FIREPROOFING the paper. There is satisfaction from making your own, but frankly I have found them so cheap on E-Bay that I couldn't possibly make them for less. Look for them in larger quantities.. 10 or more...and be sure to pay attention to shipping cost! Many ship from overseas...low price but shipping will kill ya! Look for "buy now with free shipping", they can be under a couple bucks each. Even if you want to make some yourself later, it's helpful to have a few premades as a pattern/example, then you can go off on making one bigger and better. Also; ones I've bought are "fire resistant" bio-degradable rice paper with a bamboo loop, only a tiny amount of thin wire in the base, and they include the fuel cell. I've launched over 100 {they can be addictive!}, have never had a concern with starting a fire, the flame burns out high in the sky. Still; caution must be used...you are sending fire aloft, keep a sharp eye on it. STAY AWAY FROM THE DRY CLEANER BAG BALLOONS!!! They are too flammable and won't bio-degrade.

Sky Lantern Instructions

i've made one before. i could try and make an instructable for it

I believe the square at the bottom is tissue paper soaked in wax.


9 years ago

i sell these lanterns for $4.50 ea and $2.36ea when you buy a case of 36

Try - Sky Lanterns 2u They actually make these sky lanterns and work out cheaper than $6USD Each. I'm sure they will let you know exactly how they are made.

As far as I'm aware, the paper is not fireproof, it's just far enough away from the flame to not catch fire.

So, most lightweight papers will do the job.

I've also seen this done with plastic bags...

(rummages on bookshelves)

...Backyard Ballistics, p121

"The Dry Cleaner Bag Balloon"

looks like a way to start forest fires if one is not careful