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Inga Howe-Geniesse

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!

Garden CollageInga Howe-Geniesse

Materials

  • Paper
  • Watercolors
  • Brushes
  • Oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
  • Glass of water
  • Rag to wipe paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Candle (and a glass container, if you plan on using a live flame)

Garden CollageInga Howe-Geniesse

Directions

  1. 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.
    Garden CollageInga Howe-Geniesse
  2. 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.
    Garden CollageInga Howe-Geniesse
  3. 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.
    Garden CollageInga Howe-Geniesse
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  6. Take the square and position it like a diamond, unpainted side up, so that one corner is close to you.
  7. Fold the left and right corners up, so that the paper forms a triangle perpendicular to the surface you are working on.
  8. 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.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  9. Take one of the flaps and hold it perpendicular to the rest of the paper.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  10. 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).
    Inga Howe-Geniesse
  11. Do this for each of the flaps.
    Inga Howe-Geniesse
  12. Cut off the smaller triangles, leaving just the large triangle with the painted side.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  13. The paper should now have eight small triangular flaps.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  14. Take each of the flaps and fold the bottom right corner in towards the center crease.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  15. Do this for each of the flaps.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  16. 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.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  17. The paper should now form a long diamond shape.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  18. Take the corner of the diamond that is closest to the inside of the lantern, and fold it towards the opposite corner of diamond.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  19. Gently widen the opening at the top and place a candle inside.
    GCInga Howe-Geniesse
  20. Use the candle to flatten out the bottom.
    Inga Howe-Geniesse
  21. Place throughout your home as a charming holiday decoration!
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