A few weeks ago I began to notice the inevitable shift that happens every year around this time... the days have gotten shorter and the nights progressively longer (and colder!). This rather obvious realization got me thinking though, about all the fun things I did as a kid to get ready for this increase in darkness.
One of which was to create a little light of my own. So that is what I decided to do, make lanterns! As a child we used vibrant hues of tissue paper to create our works of art, but I thought it would be fun to use up all those leaves I have been collecting. That along with some white tissue paper, craft glue (could use flour and water), some balloons, copper wire and a candle are all that you need to light up the night.
Start by mixing the glue with some water (about 2% milk consistency). Next blow up a few balloons and cut the tissue paper into small rectangles, about 2in X 3in. Then start dipping the paper in the glue mixture and applying to the balloon, leaving about a 6in opening at the top. If it starts to get a little drippy just apply the paper dry, and paint on enough grue to make it stick. Once you have entirely covered the balloon with one layer of paper start dipping the leaves in the glue mixture adding them to the balloon. Have fun with this, make a pattern or make it random, what ever you please. On top of each leaf apply another glue soaked piece of paper. Make sure there are at least two layers of paper on the balloon before you stop, I did three just to be safe.
Once the balloons are thoroughly coated string them up to let them dry completely. In the mean time get to work on some fun handles and decorations. I found 22 gauge copper wire at the crafts store for this purpose, its pretty and very easy to work with. Here I made a few oak leaves to decorate the handles that I also made with the wire.
Once the tissue paper has dried completely (preferably over night), it's time to pop the balloon. This can be a bit nerve racking, but mostly exciting. Once a a good sized hole is cut into the balloon the rubber will begin to pull away from the paper. This may pull the paper inward, and require a little reshaping once the balloon has completely pulled away (you may also need to help pull the balloon away from the paper in thinner areas).
Once the balloon is out attach the handle and any decorative additions, as well as place a small tea light candle at the bottom of the lantern. Last but not least, find a good stick to carry the lantern with as the candle can make it a little toasty to hold with your hand (*note: if worried about the candle, try an LED light, or small flash light).
All that's left to do is wait for the sun to go down, light the candle, and be your own light on dark fall nights...
Love the glowy-ness!
P.S. Don't forget to enter our lovely book giveaway "In the Land of Elves"!
*Last time in Crafts and Imagination: October Whims