Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Festive Lanterns

When Amy visited last night she told me that she and Kenzie had made festive lantern decorations that day. I checked out how she made them and decided that I could make them with Charlie today.

The lanterns are made from the front of old (or new) Christmas cards. They're pretty and easy to make so here are the illustrated instructions.

Step 1: Choose the card you want to transform into a lantern. (Charlie is making her passport picture face - she has so many pictures taken by her photographer Mom that she tries not to smile when someone takes her picture).

Step 2: Fold the card in half lengthwise

Step 3: If you're working with a child, it helps them to cut if you draw lines for them to cut on. Draw a horizontal line half an inch from the open end. Draw a series of lines from the fold to the horizontal line, spaced evenly apart.

Step 4: Cut carefully on the lines.

Step 5: This is what happens when you don't cut carefully. These cuts were made from the open end, not the fold. They're both my mistakes. Charlie knew better than to do that.

Step 6: Fold the sides back until the edges meet, tape and/or staple at bottom and top. If necessary, make each individual fold sharper to accentuate the shape of the lantern.

Step 7: Cut a strip from the back of the card that you discarded and use it for a handle. Staple or tape each end onto the top border of the lantern forming a handle.

Step 8: This is optional but I think it makes the lantern look prettier. Cut a piece of red tissue paper to fit inside...

Step 9: Tuck the tissue inside the lantern and attach it loosely on the inside of the lantern.

Step 10: Display your works of art - it helps if you smile while doing it.

Step 11: Hang the lanterns on the tree, or string them along a ribbon or garland and hang them in a doorway, etc.

Stand back and enjoy.