Thursday, November 18, 2010

DIY: String Lanterns


Every so often I see a DIY project that really seems incredible. I think these string lanterns would be perfect for an outdoor wedding, or even for your backyard. If you are crafty and unafraid of making a mess, this project is for you. Please don't try this on your carpet-- at a minimum do it on top of tarp. You're probably best off completing this project outside.

You will need:
-Large Balloons
-A Sharpie
-Scissors
-Cotton Yarn
-4 oz. White School Glue
-1/2 cup Corn Starch
-1/4 cup Water
-Something to stir with
-Petroleum Jelly
-Clear, fast drying spray paint
-Container for mixing glue in
-String

Directions:
1. Blow up a balloon. I would suggest only inflating until it is a decent size, but still round. If you get it too full, you'll end up with an oblong shaped lantern. I think for the best end result you will want varied sizes.
2. After the balloon is inflated to your desired size, draw a circle around the knot of the balloon big enough to put whatever light source you would like to use. If you are hanging from Christmas lights or something similar, you will need to fit the light into this hole. If you are just planning to put these into a vase or have no plans to light these up, forgo the sharpie.
3. Lay down your tarp, and find a way to suspend the balloons with string. You can use a shower curtain rod across chairs, a clothespin line, or a rope between two trees.
4. Mix the corn starch, glue, and warm water together until the mixture is nice and smooth.
5. Smear the petroleum jelly all over the balloon, until it is completely coated.
6. If you have a friend or your fiancĂ© helping you, this will go a lot quicker. One person should feed the yarn into the glue mixture, then hand it off to the other person, who will drape it around the balloon.

7. Begin wrapping the yarn vertically around the balloon at a comfortable tightness, and then gradually switch to wrapping it horizontally. Tuck your beginning and end pieces under other pieces of yarn.

8. After allowing the balls to dry for 24 hours, pop the balloons! Chop sticks or something similar can help remove any glue crystals that form between strings.

9. Spray the ball with the clear, fast drying spray paint outside.
10. Now hang your balls either from lights, from fishing wire, or display them in a vase or bowl!


For more fantastic DIYs and ideas, check out Wednesday Custom Design, Events, & Paperworks.

18 comments:

Bita said...

oh my goodness i loooove this idea! I so have to try them out. :)

Annie Willi said...

AHH! I tried making these twice based on this post, and they keep popping before the string is dry! Did this happen to you guys?

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Little Monster said...

Does anyone know of you can use colored yarn or will the mixture just cover up the color??

Anonymous said...

Little Monster yes you can use colored yarn. Embroidery floss works well also.

Anonymous said...

What is the clear spray paint for? Since it's clear, does it really matter?
What I'm asking is, will it still work without the spray paint?

Anonymous said...

do you have to use petroleum jelly?

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Good to know about your DIY string lanterns. I am in search of nice Los Angeles wedding venues for arranging my sister’s wedding reception. Searched on internet and came across few lovely venues. Hope to book one of right venue for this event.

Anonymous said...

Do you have to use the jelly stuff? Is it really necessary. So can you make it without that and what about the spray? Do you need that too!

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