Making Waldorf Lanterns To Honor The Season of Light
Honoring light during dark, winter days is a familiar tradition across the world–be it the flames of a Menorah, the brightness of a Mishumaa Saba, the lights wrapped around a Christmas tree, or a crown of candles worn in a young girl’s hair. December is a month of early nights and bright windows.
Below, our guide to Waldorf lanterns offers Lil’ Sprouts a way to build their own festive decorations to honor light. A sustainable alternative to paper lanterns (they can reused or composted), Waldorf lanterns add color and cheer to holiday tables. Using watercolors imbues the lanterns with a sophisticated quality, no matter the colors or season. Take a picture of yours and send them to us by using the #gardencollage hashtag!
- Oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
- Glass of water
- Rag to wipe paintbrushes
- Candle (and a glass container, if you plan on using a live flame)
- Dampen an 11″x11″ sheet of paper (or cut a standard sheet to size later) with a paintbrush, evenly distributing water. Make sure the paper is not too wet. This will help blend the colors.
- Paint the paper using water colors. To additionally blend the colors, hold the sheet up vertically from each side, allowing the paint to mix and run down the page.
- Once the paint has dried, cover the painted side of the paper in a thin layer of oil using a paintbrush or a sponge. Let dry.
- Fold the sheet of paper (non-painted side to non-painted side) in half to form a rectangle. Unfold and repeat the other way, so that the paper is creased into four smaller squares.
- Fold the bottom left corner up to the top right corner (painted side to painted side), forming a triangle. Unfold and do the same thing for other side, so that the page is creased in an X from corner to corner.
- Take the square and position it like a diamond, unpainted side up, so that one corner is close to you.
- Fold the left and right corners up, so that the paper forms a triangle perpendicular to the surface you are working on.
- Fold the top and bottom corners up to meet the left and right corner. This will push the paper into a diamond shape with four flaps.
- Take one of the flaps and hold it perpendicular to the rest of the paper.
- Press the top crease of the flap down so that it forms a long diamond shape (one big triangle of painted paper, two smaller triangles of unpainted paper).
- Do this for each of the flaps.
- Cut off the smaller triangles, leaving just the large triangle with the painted side.
- The paper should now have eight small triangular flaps.
- Take each of the flaps and fold the bottom right corner in towards the center crease.
- Do this for each of the flaps.
- Unfold one at a time. Take the corner you had previously folded in towards the center crease and press it in towards the inside (essentially turning that corner inside out). Do this for each.
- The paper should now form a long diamond shape.
- Take the corner of the diamond that is closest to the inside of the lantern, and fold it towards the opposite corner of diamond.
- Gently widen the opening at the top and place a candle inside.
- Use the candle to flatten out the bottom.
- Place throughout your home as a charming holiday decoration!