I picked up some red envelopes to bring to a party we will be attending this weekend. While researching the red envelope tradition, I discovered that making lanterns with the envelopes has become a popular craft. What?!!! How did I not know this?!!!
Look at those gorgeous envelopes -- who wouldn't want to create beautiful things with them?
After reading and watching several tutorials, I adapted the idea to use materials I had on hand. I have no silk tassels, but I have paper and string and glue.
If you want to make your own Chinese New Year lanterns, you will need:
- A skinny stapler that can reach into tight spots
- Red envelopes, or double-sided card stock cut into rectangles approximately 2.5 by 4 inches
- String for hangers (I used bakers twine from the dollar store)
- Tacky glue or hot glue
- Pretty paper for fringing (I used deli paper)
If you are using traditional red envelopes, you will need to seal the flaps before you begin.
Begin by stacking three or four envelopes together and gently folding in half in each direction. Do not crease the entire envelope -- just crease the edge slightly to mark the halfway points on all four sides.
Next, you will want to fold the corners up, as shown.
I found it easiest to fold against a straight-edge, to get a nice sharp crease.
For this lantern, I folded five envelopes and stapled them together at the top creases, as shown below. One staple per side was sufficient.
Next, I stapled the bottom creases of the envelopes to form the lantern.
For a special touch, gently bend the triangle flaps toward each other, as shown above, and staple.
Isn't that pretty? You don't have to staple the triangles together -- instead, you may want to try gently curling the triangle around a pencil or thin dowel to create the look of the hexagon shaped lantern, center-top, below.
The last thing I did was add fringe and baker's twine hangers.
I simply cut long rectangles of pretty deli paper, and fringed both sides. Then I gathered the fringed strips into bundles and secured them with twist ties (from the junk drawer). The twist ties can then be coated with glue and inserted into the lantern, wherever you think they should go.
Have fun making these lanterns, and make the project your own! I experimented with different numbers of sides, stapling the triangles, curling the triangles, and leaving the triangles alone. Hang your lanterns in different orientations for completely different looks -- or invent an entirely new way to create pretty lantern ornaments.
To see how I cut my fringe for projects, check out this post.
To see another Chinese New Year project, click here.
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