Chinese lanterns are symbols of joy and hope. They are traditional decorations for lunar New Year celebrations. It is believed that red and white paper lanterns attract happiness and success, dark blue lanterns help with career and work, green lanterns bring abundance and prosperity in new year. Colorful and bright, Chinese lanterns make lunar New Year celebrations unique and meaningful.
Also Chinese lanterns are wonderful crafts and everyday home decorations that create cozy and relaxing atmosphere. Feng Shui home decorating experts say that Chinese lanterns help positive energy to Feng Shui home, activating all zones in the house. You can hang Chinese lanterns in your bedroom, kitchen, home office, sun-room or entryway. Inexpensive and attractive, Chinese lanterns bring unique Asian accents to room decor and Feng Shui home before, during and after Chinese New Year celebrations. (Paper lanterns, Sacura flower lamps)
Small red lanterns are recommended for home office or entryway decorating to attract good luck and bring financial stability into your house. If you are looking for a partner in life, it is recommended to get small red lanterns. Red color is the symbol of love and passion. It is believed that small red Chinese lanterns strengthen relationships, help return feelings and make them twice stronger. A zone of love should be decorated with two small red lanterns, which are good Feng Shui decorations for a zone of glory also. (Making Chinese lanterns, Chinese New Year crafts)
Green lanterns should be in a wealth zone, dark blue in a career zone, and white lanterns are good for health and career zones. Small Chinese lanterns Feng Shui home entrance door, inviting positive energy into a house at the beginning of lunar new year celebrations. (Pendant lighting fixtures, interior design ideas)
Traditional Chinese lanterns, made of paper, add a warm ambiance to room decor. (Dresses for lights, a la mode lighting design) Classic rice paper lanterns are white or cream. Modern paper lanterns are available in many different colors, shapes, and sizes.
You can make your own paper lantern for decorating your home and lunar New Year celebrations. You need 6 bamboo circles for making Chinese lanterns frame, rice paper, a small light bulb and a socket with a long cord to illuminate a paper lantern. Battery operated socket is a convenient choice also.
Making Chinese lanterns
Purchase rice paper for your lanterns at art and crafts supply stores. Also you can make your own rice paper. Making rice paper starts with pulping rice straw by boiling and pounding it out. Place pulp inside a deckle and mold, dipped into a pail of water and dry to form individual sheets of rice paper for making Chinese lanterns.
*Homemade rice paper does not look as good as refined sheets that you can buy in art and crafts stores.
You need 6 bamboo strips (about tree times longer then the diameter of your paper lantern), 2 short bamboo strips for the top and bottom, scissors, rice paper, masking tape, glue stick, indoor cable with electrical socket or a battery powered socket.
1. Soften a bamboo strip with the heat of a flame to make it more flexible. Bend a short strip of bamboo to form a circle. Place the loop into cold water for a second to reinforce its shape. Join both ends of the bamboo with a masking tape. Make 2 small bamboo circles for the top and bottom and 6 large circles for sides.
2. Take 6 bamboo circles and form a frame of your paper lanterns, using a masking tape or strings. Add a short bamboo circle to the top and bottom of the lantern, spanning the openings. The top stick can facilitate the socket and bulb, and you can decorate the bottom with hang a tassel.
3. Wrap the rice paper around the bamboo frame, and join the paper with a glue stick. Cut the rice paper along the top and bottom of the paper lantern frame, leaving about an inch of excess paper. Fold it over the top and bottom of the frame, and secure with glue stick.
4. If there are any areas that sag, spray a small amount of water on lanterns paper, and allow it to dry. This should tighten lanterns paper.
5. Run a cable with a socket into the top of your paper lantern, or hang a battery powered socket to finish making a Chinese lantern. Attach a length of cording to the top of rice paper lantern for hanging lantern and decorating your home with exotic Asian style accents.
by Ena Russ
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