July 27, 2010

Paper lantern 101

Following my previous post I've had paper lanterns on the brain and have been scouring corners of my apartment to fill with those floaty, colourful balls of paper.  Today I'll share my thoughts with you and give you tips on how to inexpensively decorate your next event.


{Click on images for their source}

Where to buy
Available from almost anywhere, paper lanterns are seriously cheap.  Ikea sell plain white ones, but also check out Asian markets or two dollar stores as they tend to have a multitude of colours, patterns and sizes.  There is of course also an incredible amount available online and a quick Google search will uncover some handy online stores. 

When decorating, think about how you want the lanterns to hang.  Will they be outside from a tree, patio or marquee, or inside above a dining table?  Depending on where you hang them you will need to consider the arrangement. 

Grouping lanterns together looks fantastic and works best above a table, dance floor, or if you have the space, the entire room!  Be sure to vary the size and height to give a relaxed effect.  Lanterns can even be used to frame a focal point (say, a bride and groom) by stringing them together vertically (tutorial coming soon).  Being so light, they can be hung from the roof with a tack and some fishing line or ribbon. 

When hanging outside from a tree, spread the lanterns out to give little bursts of colour throughout the garden.

To illuminate, or to not illuminate...
You can purchase LED lights to illuminate your lanterns which will spread a warm, soft glow over the space.  This will obviously make the project more expensive than a single paper lantern, but will give a magical effect, especially at night.  You can purchase battery or solar operated LED lights online, or visit your local hardware store.  

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