Floating Lanterns

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The whole inspiration for my Rapunzel Tea Party were these floating lanterns.  Somehow I got it in my head that I had to make these, and make them actually light up!  I played around with a lot of versions of these lanterns, and finally found something that worked.

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I bought vellum paper, since it’s kind of opaque, and made of bunch of different shaped and sized lanters. I used round, square, triangle, and hexagon shapes, and sometimes cut the 12×12 paper in half, and sometimes I cut it into 1/4ths to make different sizes of the lanterns.  I just folded the paper into the shapes I wanted, then also folded the top and bottom of each lantern in, so the lanterns were a bit sturdier, and had a more finished look.  I then bought small LED lights, that I found at the craft store in the floral section.  I think they’re meant to use in vases and such to illuminate displays.  These lights were the only lights I could find that were bright enough to shine through the paper.  I tried flameless tea lights, but they weren’t bright enough.

While I could have gotten enough lights so that each lantern was illuminated, that would have been a bit expensive, so I just bought a 12 pack, and had just some of my lanterns light up.  To get the lights in the lanerns, I cut a small slit in the back of the lantern.  Each LED light had a little hook on it, so I put the light on the inside of the lantern, then slid the hook through the slit so the hook was on the outside of the back of the lantern.  I then taped the hook to the back of the lantern to keep it in place.

To hang the lanterns, I punched tiny holes in each side, then threaded them with fishing line and hung them from my curtain rod.  On the lanterns that had the light inside, I had to work to balance the lantern, since they were heavy on one side, due to the light.  This was a bit of a challenge, but I got it to work.

To make the lanterns stand out (since the party was in the day) I hung two big navy paper table cloths up from my curtain rod to cover the window.  I wanted the lanterns to stand out, and not just blend in with the window.  Since the lanterns are supposed to be out at night, I thought a dark blue background would make the most sense.

I had a few extra lanterns, so I hung those from the chandelier, just for and added touch..