So you’ve made the decision…

You’re going to get out of your footie pajamas on New Year’s Eve; you’re even going to stay up past 10 p.m. because it is very possible that 2016 didn’t go as expected because of your resistance to celebrate the New Year last time around. You are going to make your way to downtown Eau Claire and be an active community member, because, well, it’s about darn time! Before you take part in the festivities of Light Up Eau Claire and walk in The Lismore Lantern Parade, we invite you to make your very own paper lantern to carry through the streets of downtown Eau Claire. You can make a simple one, to keep a classic and classy style, or you can spice yours up with googly-eyes and sparkles...the possibilities are endless.

No pressure, but the future of 2019 is in your hands, literally.

Disclaimer:  There are many ways to make a lantern however, this type is the easiest and allows for the most creativity.  Have fun and get artsy!!

Materials Needed (all can be purchased at a craft store):

  • One bamboo stick
  • About 10 willow sticks
  • Green wire
  • LED tea-light
  • Wire cutter/scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Glue
  • Plastic cup with a little water (to mix with the glue)
  • Paint brush/sponge
  • Two pieces of tissue paper
  • Newspaper (so you don’t make a mess)

Steps to making lantern-carrying stick:

  1. Start with the bamboo stick.
  2. With the green wire, cut off about 6-8 inches.  Then take that wire and wrap it around the top of the bamboo stick a couple of times.
  3. With the extra wire, pull it out perpendicular to the bamboo stick, then fold it in half.
  4. Once the wire is cut in half, bend it upward to make a hook.  
  5. Set aside.

Steps to making lantern skeleton:

  1. Take four willow sticks and cut to the height you choose.  (These will be for the base of the lantern.)
  2. Cut a piece of masking tape and fold around one willow stick, leaving the majority hanging off the stick.  (This will look like a flag.)
  3. Take another stick and place it perpendicular to the original stick, creating a 90° angle.  
  4. Fold the tape over the both until they stay together. Feel free to use as much tape as you feel necessary.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 on the next two pieces until the square/rectangle is made.
  6. With two more willow sticks, make an “X” in the middle of the square and tape to each corner.  (you may need to cut the two willow sticks to be shorter)
  7. Tape together the two stick at the center of the “X”.
  8. Now that you have the base, pick out four new willow sticks.
  9. With the first willow stick, stand it straight up perpendicular on one corner and tape it so it stands on its own.
  10. Repeat steps 8-9 for the remaining corners.  
  11. Once all sticks are standing alone, pull them toward the center to make a “teepee” shape.  
  12. Using the masking tape, tape around the top of the “teepee” so all sticks are connected at the top.

Steps to adding light:

  1. Take the green wire and cut about a foot using the wire cutter or scissors.  
  2. Holding the LED light in one hand, use your other hand to wrap the green wire around the light a couple of times.
  3. Reach into your lantern skeleton and place the light face up on the middle of the “X” on the base of the lantern.
  4. Using the remaining green wire, wrap around the sticks of the “X” tightly, making sure it’s connected on all sides of the “X”.  
  5. The wire will now hold shape and stay in place when walking the parade.        

Steps to covering your lantern:

  1. Lay the newspaper on the table.  (This is used so the surface below stays clean.)
  2. Take the two pieces of tissue paper and lay on table.  
  3. If you haven’t done so already, take a paint brush and mix three parts glue with one part water until you have a soft, creamy consistency.
  4. Dip either the paint brush or sponge in the glue mixture.  
  5. Paint across tissue paper so the mixture is covering tissue paper. The paper should not be soaked and should still be easy to pick up without tearing.
  6. Lay the lantern skeleton on its side on middle of the tissue paper.
  7. Wrap the tissue paper around the skeleton and pinch on corners of lantern to make tissue paper stick.
  8. Cut the tissue paper on the bottom of the lantern, leaving about an inch.
  9. Fold the remaining tissue paper into the bottom of the lantern.  (NOTE: the bottom of the lantern will remain open.)
  10. Let it dry and let it glow! 

Your lantern is now complete!! You have the choice of decorating the outside of the lantern or leaving it as is. We look forward to seeing your creations.