Sparkle Crafts
Sparkle Craft: DIY Japanese Silk Paper Lanterns Post Template

Sparkle Craft: DIY Japanese Silk Paper Lanterns Post Template

For this fun, hands-on craft, we are joined by Jenn of Maplerose, a Waldorf-inspired Homeschool Supply shop (check it out below!). Follow along as Jenn walks us through the steps for making your own DIY Japanese Silk Paper Lanterns.

This craft is fun for all ages and the resulting lantern can be as abstract or detailed as the artist making it desires. There is no wrong way to do it — rip the paper or cut it into shapes. Heavily layer the paper or create a symmetrical design. Add items from nature like dried leaves, flowers, or feathers along with the paper.

WARNING: We recommend using a battery-operated tealight for safety. If a real beeswax tealight is used (because they are pretty and smell so good), then be very careful of how hot the jar gets and do not hold the lantern by the handle when it’s lit. It will get hot. Please have an adult present when candles are lit.

The Audio Story Behind the Craft

This craft is inspired by a beloved Sparkle Story called “The Lantern Prince” from the So Many Fairies Collection.

In this story, The Prince is not like his parents. In fact, he is not like any royal. In addition to being strong, obedient, and confident — common royal traits — he is also very kind and loving. But what makes the Prince unusual is that he is kind and loving to everyone, royal and servant alike. The King and Queen hope that he will grow out of it, but alas, as he grows he only gets more loving and kind. One day he spies a poor beggar woman in the streets, and his life is never the same again.

You can listen to the story here or download your own free read-aloud story script here.

We love that The Lantern Prince has the feel of a classic fairy tale and is full of fairies and magic. Most of all, we love that the “hero” is not your typical hero. The Lantern Prince is motivated by kindness and goes against everything that is expected of him to follow his heart — to be kind and helpful to everyone he meets. Why not make a lantern of your own and spread some kindness across the land? The Fire Sprites will show you where to go.

You Will Need

Blog- Japanese Paper Lantern Materials
  • 1 jar, eg) 1-pint/500ml mason jar.
  • 4-6 small squares (approximately 2-inch x 2-inch) of Japanese Silk Paper, or any “bleeding” tissue paper, in a variety of colours
  • 24-36 inches floral or craft wire, 22-24 gauge, for the handle
  • Glue, white or clear
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors (if cutting out shapes)

Directions for Making Your DIY Japanese Silk Paper Lanterns

Blog- Japanese Paper Lantern Getting Started
  1. First, wipe the jar clean inside and out.
  2. To make the handle: With one end of the wire in hand, wrap the wire around the neck of the jar once and give the wire a twist with the start of the wire. Stretch the long piece of wire in an arch over the top of the jar for the actual handle. Thread the wire through the wire that's around the neck on the opposite side of the jar and come back to the start by wrapping that wire around the first arch and then wrap the two ends together. Tuck in the ends or wrap them around each other so there's no sharp wire ends sticking out.
  3. Next, pour 1-2 tablespoons of glue in a small bowl. If the glue is very thick add up to 1 teaspoon of water and mix well. It should be the consistency of thick cream.
Blog- Japanese Paper Lantern Finishing Up
  1. Tear up half of the tissue paper into all kinds of shapes, big and small. Alternatively, use scissors to cut out specific shapes like leaves, mushrooms, or hearts. Or do a bit of both. If natural elements are going to be included, have them ready.
  2. Paint a thin coat of glue on the jar (working in sections can be helpful to make sure the glue doesn't dry out) and then place the tissue paper (and natural elements) upon it. Overlapping is okay and encouraged. Paint another coat of glue over top of the tissue paper bits to secure it to the jar.
  3. Let dry thoroughly.
Blog- Japanese Paper Lantern Lit
  1. Finally, put a battery-operated tealight in the bottom of the jar and admire the beautiful lantern. NOTE: An actual tealight candle can be used as well but the handle will become too hot to hold and the jar will warm up, too, so don't touch it or carry it by the handle.

Japanese Silk Paper Lanterns Kit

Blog- Japanese Paper Lantern Shot

Make your prep and materials gathering even simpler by purchasing this Maplerose Japanese Silk Paper kit! It includes everything you need for this craft (plus instructions for three more!). Each Maplerose LET'S EXPLORE KIT is all about exploring a material and using it in all sorts of ways. You’ll find it here.

More About Love Maple Rose

I’m Jenn. I own Maplerose, a Waldorf-inspired Arts and Crafts and Homeschool Supply Shop, with the help of my husband and our two hooligans. We live in a small city in the heart of the Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.

We unschool. We play. We cook and bake a lot. We love being in nature. We garden. We are friends with the crows. We rest. We don't follow a curriculum but trust ourselves to discover the world and ourselves through living our life together. It's all about relationships.

We test out and use most everything you see in our shop. We develop kits and sets and bundles with homeschoolers and unschoolers in mind. And we’re always open to suggestions. We love most things made of wool, wood, and beeswax. We love the Waldorf-inspired supplies as they are vibrant, non-toxic, and beautiful.

About the Author

Jenn Chic

Owner of Maplerose

Maplerose is a home-based, family-run, online business located in Nelson, BC, Canada. Originally opened in 2008 as a storefront on our bustling, main shoping street, Baker Street, Maplerose is now run by me, Jenn. Mr. Maplerose is always here for support and our children, Walt and Charlotte, are expert product testers.

From first hand experience as a mother, I have found great enjoyment watching my kids engage in open-ended play. Providing them with the right environment and 'tools' is something I take great care in - and Maplerose can help you with that.

Maplerose is all about creativity. I want to support you in your own arts and crafts endeavours the best that I can - and that's by supplying you with the best supplies I can find. You can trust that all that we carry is sustaibably harvested, ethically-raised, eco-friendly, organic, and of the best quality we can find.

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