Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Homemade paper lanterns

One of my favourite experiences, when I was living in Austria (was it really 7 years ago?!), was taking part in Laternenfest - the lantern festival, celebrating St Martin's day. The festival is celebrated big style in Austria and Germany, and involved all our little Kindergartners making their own lanterns and then going on a lantern walk in the evening together, all the while singing...

"I'm walking with my bright lantern,
and my lantern's walking with me
Above, the bright stars are shining
And down here its us you can see.
On Martin's night, a sea of light
Dum-diddle, dum-diddle, dum-dee"

Oh so very cute! I just loved crunching through the autumn leaves with my lantern in hand, accompanied by wide-eyed children just soaking it all in. There was something very special about getting out in the great outdoors with children wrapped up tight in their winter boots, hats and scarves and walking through the forest with lanterns alight. There was a real sense of wonder and excitement...

So a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for our own Lantern Party, Ava and I had a go at making some of our very own homemade lanterns for displaying during Laternenfest!

Here's a VERY easy how-to (and quite a cute craft to do with small children!)

All you need is paper (plain or patterned), glue and scissors... can it get any easier?

Paper needs to be rectangular (A4 is ideal, or if using larger paper, as I was, cut it in half...)

Fold each strip in half, and then cut slits into it, leaving about 2 centimetres at the bottom
To turn it into a child friendly craft, simply go for plain paper, and allow children to decorate with
pens, glitter, sequins or stickers - age appropriate (we're just getting the hang of colouring pencils in our house!)

Open out your paper and roll into a circle, gluing along the side edge. Add a few
tealights and you have one satisfied customer... And a bit of seasonal decoration!

Voila! Beautiful paper lanterns!
Happy crafting!

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