I’ve loved homemade paper lanterns as decor since I saw them in a wedding magazine, nearly a decade ago. I was furiously planning my wedding and absorbing every single decor possibility… and as I turned the glossy pages of white-dress-upon-white-dress, there were the paper lanterns, looking fantastic and frugal.
Of course, this was before Pinterest and about 97% of the Internet back then, so I dutifully tracked down paper lanterns from a small store nearly a half hour’s drive away. Then, I bartered with another bride for her pre-loved green lanterns… as my “wedding color scheme” was green, white and black, of course.
One husband and two kids later, getting my hot little hands on paper lanterns has become quite a bit easier – and even less expensive! My kiddos were given the opportunity to put their own mark on their rooms with painted homemade paper lantern decor, and after this adventure, I have five tips to make this craft a painless one.
Homemade Paper Lanterns Project Supplies:
- Darice White Paper Lanterns in 24″ and 12″.
- Darice Foam Brush.
- Darice Kid’s Paint Brush.
- Acrylic Paint (In your choice of colors).
- Fishing Line or Transparent Jewelry Cord.
- Darice Thumb Tacks
- Paint-Proofing Supplies (Paper Plates and cups, tablecloth or Plastic Table Roll, smocks).
This homemade paper lantern craft was a fairly simple one, when it comes to an “ingredient list”, however, because the lanterns are so large, it’s important to make the space as kid-and-paint-friendly as possible.
Get paper plates, water cups, a table cloth or drop cloth, and some smocks ready before you invite your children to start getting creative. The round lanterns will roll around a bit as they’re painted. If the whole table is protected and able to get a bit splattery, your blood pressure will thank you.
Tip #2. If you want this to be an efficient craft, grab some foam brushes.
While my youngest was set on making patterns on her lantern, my eldest wanted to paint with solid colors. The foam brush offered the best -and fastest – coverage without threatening to damage the somewhat-fragile paper of the lantern.
But when it comes to decor, I sometimes get a bit twitchy. And so I was fairly careful with choosing the colour palette.
Tip #3. Only put out paints that will compliment each other.
This way, any color combo that your kids choose will work with their room and the other homemade paper lanterns.
And maybe try not to let dark grey sneak in. It makes quite an impact.
We quickly realized that the lanterns just loved our gold acrylic paint. They shone in the sunlight, yet still let light through.
Tip #4. Don’t shy from metallic colors. They look fantastic!
My last tip is one that applies to all crafts with kids. It’s a mantra that I recite to myself oftentimes…
Tip #5. Embrace the chaos.
Yes, maybe you have to take an extra deep breath before you face the aftermath of the painting table, but here is where preparation comes in and says, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”
Everything has been properly covered, and blobs of paint are only on the plates and tablecloth. The lanterns are quietly drying, and your happy children are bouncing around, comparing each lantern and determining a favorite.
When it comes to my girls’ rooms, I let them have first say. This doesn’t mean that I don’t veto some things, but I also don’t put anything in their rooms that they don’t want. A room should be a sanctuary; it’s a place for my girls to get away – while it may not be the most curated or trendy space, it’s their space.
And that makes it homey.
Lucy’s lanterns were arranged in a group of five (odds look best, it’s the rule!) and we stayed with the same color scheme of gold and fuchsia in her room. It also looks great to incorporate a few plain white lanterns into the mix.
I think that this little arrangement pulls out some colors from the quilt that my mother made her.
If you have a kiddo that would love to add some style to his or her space, consider the inexpensive and fun project of homemade paper lanterns! They add a lot of personality to any room!
There are so many fun ways to use homemade paper lanterns to decorate a room or party space. Wouldn’t these DIY paper lantern hot air balloons look darling in a nursery or little one’s room? And this paper lantern fish craft would be perfect for an under the sea bedroom or party theme.
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Tara is the creator, writer, and flurry of chaos behind her blog, Suburble.com. Her blog focuses on making a home (emphasis on “making”!), but not forgetting to have a laugh in the process. Her partners-in-crime, her two little girls, are often beside her when it’s time to get creative. A mug of tea, good friends, and a project (or three) are all this girl needs. Join the gang at Suburble and see what she’s up to!