How to make cupcake wrapper lanterns

A plain paper lantern gets a pretty update with this simple DIY.

By Heather Cameron

How to make cupcake wrapper lanterns
Photography by Janis Nicolay
I have a not-so-secret fetish for paper lanterns. It's actually shocking how many I own. I've covered lanterns in stickers, ribbons, yarn and paint. But that all takes time, and as my daughter's birthday party approached, I needed something big, colourful and pretty, fast.  

At the time, I had one 72-inch-circumference white paper lantern. Boring! I also had a big bag of hot glue sticks and a huge stash of cupcake wrappers. (There must have been a sale.)  So I put them all together and got fabulous!

The shape, size and colour of your cupcake wrapper lantern is completely up to you. You can stick with a single hue or create crazy patterns in contrasting colours. If you want to use a cupcake wrapper that has a pattern only on the outside, just turn it inside out. It takes a little extra time, but it' s worth the effort. Trust me when I say: the big "wow" comes when you light it up.

I now have several cupcake wrapper lanterns hanging between guest beds, clustered in the corner of my studio and above the desk in my office. Once you try it yourself, you'll never look at cupcake wrappers the same way!

What you'll need:
-White paper lanterns—in any size or shape
-Hot glue gun
-Hot glue sticks
-Cupcake wrappers (I used about 350 for the biggest lantern, which had 
a 72-inch circumference.)
-Fishing line
-Push pins

How to make them:
Step 1: Add a circle of glue to the outside bottom of a cupcake wrapper, then press it onto the lantern, starting at the top.

Step 2: Continue gluing cupcake wrappers around the top opening of the lantern. Work your way to the bottom by going around in a circular pattern. If you don' t have an adorable little assistant to hold the lantern, place it between your knees and turn it as you go. A really large bowl would work, too.

Step 3: If you like, you can glue mini patterned cupcake wrappers (turned inside out) to the centres of the large ones, for added drama.

Step 4: Battery-powered paper lantern lights are available at craft stores. Alternatively, use a lightbulb-and-cord kit or a battery-powered LED light that gives off zero heat.

Step 5: Hang the lantern from the ceiling with fishing line and a push pin.

For more fun crafts with cupcake wrappers, try making crayon cupcakes.
                                          
This story was originally titled "Wrappers' Delight" in the June 2014 issue.
           
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