Make Summer Paper Lanterns
With a piece of paper, scissors, and a bit of ribbon, you can make cheerful paper lanterns, perfect for decorating your patio. Kids who are old enough to use scissors and cut straight lines can help with this project, too--I remember making paper lanterns like these when I was a kid. I added a couple twists, just for fun: a peek-a-boo contrasting paper, and a ribbon handle.
You Need (for each lantern):
2 pieces of paper in contrasting colors (I used 8x8 scrapbooking paper because it was what I had on hand)
6" piece of ribbon
One or more of the following: tape, glue, scissors
1. Fold one piece of paper in half (lengthwise so it's long).
2. Starting at the fold, cut a straight line to within about 1/2" of the edge. DON'T cut all the way to the edge. (See, I'm pointing at the end, where you shouldn't cut.)
3. Continue to make cuts parallel to your first one, an even distance from each other, say about 3/4" from each other.
4. When you've completed your cuts, open the folded paper. Roll paper so fold is pointing outward in the middle of the lantern.
5. Tape, staple, or glue the top edges together. (I taped).
6. Repeat lantern-making process with contrasting color, but change the width between cuts. So, if you cut 3/4" from each other on the first lantern, do 1/4" cuts. Also, don't fasten lantern together yet.
7. After you're done cutting, open up like you did the first one, but roll lantern small enough to slip inside of first lantern. Insert into first lantern.
8. Allow second lantern to open up inside the first lantern, then tape the two together at the top edges to secure.
9. Put glue on one edge of a 6" piece of ribbon, and insert between two lanterns at the top. Squeeze to secure ribbon between two lanterns. (I used hot glue - Nikki's favorite!)
10. Repeat for second edge of ribbon, across from first side of ribbon. That's your handle.
Make several to cheer up your deck, for party decorations, or to decorate your child's room. You can also hang them from the ceiling, or string them on a long piece of ribbon at intervals to make a garland. Try varying the sizes of paper you use for different sizes of lanterns (just make sure you match paper size for matching inner and outer lanterns).
Heather Mann writes every day at her blog, Dollar Store Crafts (http://dollarstorecrafts.com), a blog devoted to simple and fun crafts that use inexpensive materials. You can also find her at CROQzine (http://croqzine.com) and CraftFail (http://craftfail.com).