Hi, I’m Kelly Wilkinson.
Crafter, journalist,
middle sister, more...

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Tuesday
Jun212011

summercraft: fabric lanterns

It’s summer y’all. Officially. Out here, the strawberries are fat and red, the cherries are dark and shiny, and we should all get busy getting lazy.

Remember the tomato cage project from last year? Well, I became so enamored of that simple process of molding wet fabric that I have another couple projects to share with you. First up to kick off this year’s Lazy Summercraft are these fabric votives. They're easy-peasy, great to make with kids, and tucking a lid inside the fabric as it dries gives the lanterns a flat base. The result is a suprisingly graceful shape that emits a soft, gauzy glow at sundown.

You barely need more than balloon and fabric scraps. Well all right, you need a little more. But hardly, and these are mostly regular household items:

You’ll Need:

Fabric scarps, at least 12" square for each lantern

Scissors

Balloons (as many as you want to make lanterns)

Jar lid

Scotch tape

Fabric stiffener or glue and water (2 parts glue to 1 part water)

Bowl

Rubber band

Pin

How To:

  1. Trim your fabric into a rough circle with a 12 inch diameter.
  2. Make your setup to hold the balloon by by making a loop of Scotch tapeplacing it on the inside of your lid. Blow up a balloon (I made mine about 5 inches at the widest part) and push the unknotted end into the jar lid. Then place the balloon and lid in a paper cup to prop it up, with the lid at the top.
  3. Pour fabric stiffener or diluted white glue into a bowl. If you’re using glue, use 2 parts glue to 1 part water (you can be very approximate).
  4. Dunk the fabric into the glue and squeeze out excess by dragging the fabric through your fingers.
  5. Open your fabric circle and drape it across the balloon, pressing folds to contour the fabric to the balloon.
  6. Secure the bottom of the fabric to the cup with a rubber band and let air dry.
  7. When completely dry (a few hours or overnight), remove the rubber band and pop the balloon.
  8. Remove the lid and place the flat bottom on table. Trim excess fabric at top with scissors and insert a candle (either a votive inside a glass or a battery-operated votive).

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (10)

Just made two of them with my daughter for a gift. Easy peasy, and they were very enthusiastically received!! Thanks!!!

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

These are so pretty! I'm now envisioning making a bunch & attaching them to a string of LED lights....

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Lori, I envisioned the same thing -- let me know how they turn out!

June 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterKelly

Hi Kelly! I love this project. I have been wanting to find a way to have chinese lantern-like arrangements along the ceiling of the baby's room (2 months to go!) and this method may be the best way to use the perfect fabric. I'll just leave the lid part out so that they're rounded on the bottoms. Thanks so much!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercornelia

THOSE FAUX LIGHTS ARE A GREAT IDEA for these :)

July 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina

These are so pretty! I love this project.

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September 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Hi there- great project. how did you make the bottoms flat?

October 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

HI Lisa, I used the lids of jars. Hopefully you can see it in the top right and bottom left image in that grid of step-by-step photos. I taped a lid to the top of the balloon before draping the fabric over and it worked perfectly and resulted in a totally flat base.

October 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterKelly

Well it is a nice blog and i like its theme. I would like to thank you for sharing such a nice post. This is my first visit on this site and everyone should read this post.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBootcamp Spokane

This project looks grea, but does elmers glue work or do we need something thicker like mod podge?? Thanks!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhayley

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