Goodbye, Lantern

Missing: This year’s lantern

Alas, this year’s Martinmas lantern was lost in the crush of people in the tram back home. It was a lovely papier-mache lantern made with layers of pink, white, and red glossy transparent paper, also known as papel de japon.

I was quite proud of this lantern. As a former cosplayer, papier mache is a familiar medium to me, as I used it a lot to make props.

lantern1It is quite easy to make, too. Just take an appropriate-sized balloon and in a small container, dilute a dollop of white or clear glue with a tablespoon of water and mix with a paintbrush.

Cut the appropriate-colored paper and cut into squares roughly 1 inch square in size. Paint a small area of the balloon with the glue mixture, paste the strip of paper on the balloon, then paint it over again with glue. Do this repeatedly, with the papers overlapping each other, making sure that the balloon is covered without holes. Make a bowl of papier mache, and let it dry overnight before repeating the process and adding the second layer. You need at least three layers for the paper not to cave in when you pop the balloon after the third layer. To make the design, reinforce the area where the design should be by adding a third layer of the same color. When it dried, I traced the shape on the area, then covered the area around the shape with a darker-colored paper.

Oh well, at least I get to make it again next year 🙂

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