Making a Diwali Lantern

I searched the web but could not find instructions for making a simple Diwali lantern, or "आकाश कंदील". So here are mine. This is a great family project. You will need the following, most of which are available at craft stores:

  • 24 light wooden dowels of equal size for the lantern. Option: four additional dowels for tracing.
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks to join dowels at their ends. WARNING: Glue guns can get very hot and are suitable for use only by adults.
  • Common white glue to stick tissue paper to dowels.
  • Tissue paper of desired colors. If your dowels are x inches long, then you will need at least 12 * x * x square inches of tissue paper. Thicker paper will do, but you will want to punch decorative holes to let the light shine through.
  • Scissors
  • Approximately 24 inches of thin, strong cord (not shown).

Place four dowels end-to-end to make a square. Join the corners with hot glue from the glue gun:

Make identical squares with the remaining dowels for a total of six (6) squares. Wait for the glue to harden before proceeding:

Choose one square for the base of the lantern and one for a side. Put a drop of hot glue on one corner. Stand another square on its corner and join the corners. Wait for the glue to harden:

Put a drop of hot glue on an adjacent corner of the base. Stand a third square on its corner and join the corners. Now join the two standing squares at their corners with hot glue.

Do the same with the third side:

Do the same with the fourth side. Don't worry if it's not perfectly shaped. The shape will conform as you add squares and paper.

The last square forms the top of the lantern. Use the glue gun to fasten its corners to the corners of the side squares. You’ll likely have to pull the corners in and hold them until the hot glue hardens. Now you have a lantern frame with a square base, a square top, four square sides, and eight triangular faces.

On four different-colored sheets of tissue paper, trace and cut a square big enough to cover the sides of the lantern:

Apply lines of white glue to the four dowels of one side of the lantern and glue the tissue paper to it. You may have to pull the dowels into the shape of the paper.

Repeat for the second side of the lantern:

Repeat for the third side of the lantern:

Repeat for the fourth side of the lantern. DON’T repeat for the base and top, otherwise you won’t be able to hang a light bulb inside!

Tie the ends of a strong cord to the centers of opposite sides of the top of the lantern. It may help to cut notches in the dowels to prevent the cord from sliding along the dowels.

On eight multi-colored sheets of tissue paper, trace and cut an equilateral triangle big enough to cover the faces of the lantern:

Apply lines of white glue to the three dowels of one face of the lantern and glue the tissue paper to it. You may have to pull the dowels into the shape of the paper.

Repeat for the remaining faces until you have covered all the sides and faces. Optionally, you may cover the seams with strips of tissue paper glued along the dowels (not shown).

Arrange multiple sheets of tissue paper on top of each other and make streamers by making parallel cuts from one side nearly to the other side:

Glue the streamer sheets to the bottom of the lantern:

Your lantern is complete and ready to hang! You can hang a light bulb inside to make it shine beautifully in the night. Happy Diwali! शुभ दीपावली! WARNING: to prevent risk of fire, don’t use a bulb of more than 60 watts, and don’t leave the lantern unsupervised for extended periods of time.

Tags: Fun

Updated at: 3 September 2014 2:09 PM

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