Wednesday 2 February 2011

Year of the Rabbit - how to make a Chinese Lantern

Ruby has been learning all about Chinese New Year at nursery, so I thought it would be nice to do a craft activity at home to celebrate. This year Chinese New Year officially falls on 3rd February, but it is a 15 day long celebration, so plenty of time to get crafty!

Inspired by my favourite craft blogger, the wonderful Maggy at Red Ted Art and her lampshade lanterns we set to.

You will need:

  • A paper lampshade (you can pick up the globe shaped ones cheaply, mine was from Wilkinson for 97p, but Ikea do larger ones for about £2)

  • A battery operated 'tealight' or push light (mine were £1 for a pack of 2 from Poundland, and were what I used in our Halloween pumpkins)

  • A long pole/dowel/cane with a cup hook screwed in one end

  • Black paper

  • Scissors & glue

  • Tissue paper

  • Any decorative bits and pieces you want to use i.e ribbon; sequins; stickers etc etc

1. Make up your lampshade following the instructions. Just a simple case of opening up the concertina and inserting the metal holder inside.

2. Depending on the style of shade and the light you are using, you may need a little engineering to give you a base at the bottom of the shade to attach your light to.  We used a lolly stick and some tape, but as we're covering the shade it doesn't need to be too neat.

3. Tear or cut up your tissue paper and glue all over the shade.  Layers give a better effect. Don't make the pieces too small or it will take forever!  Ruby got a bit fed up after a while and wandered off, but she's only very little, so I guess older kids will persevere until it's finished. Alternatively, you don't need to use tissue paper at all.  the 'au naturel' effect with just silhouettes looks great too as you can see on the Red Ted Art link.

4. Cut out some simple silhouette templates in black paper.  We chose rabbits as it is the Chinese year of the rabbit. A word of warning though, a Google search for rabbit pictures may bring up some unexpected results!!

5. Arrange and glue on your silhouette shapes.  Decorate as required.  We went for full on red and gold bling and added a little gold tassel on the bottom!

6. Once dry, switch on your light and attach your pole.  Suspend from the hook with a bit of ribbon for a more 'swingy' effect!

Happy new year! The year of the rabbit promises to be a much calmer and more placid year than the previous year of the tiger.  Here's hoping.  xx

Thinly Spread


  1. How simple and very effective! Fab! (Would you like to link on Friday's Something for the Weekend?)

  2. Oh my! This is WONDERFUL! I Am most impressed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the little bunnies!

    So pleased we inspired and you surpassed!

    Maggy x

  3. Ah thank you both. It was great fun to do, especially raiding the sewing box for bits and pieces to use. Not sure about surpassing!

    Can't wait to link up Christine and thanks for the inspiration and encouragement Maggy x

  4. Wow that looks amazing, I am useless at stuff like this, well done to both of you

  5. I'm not speaking to you anymore Liz, I'm sorry, but you're too darn clever!! lol!! ;P

    That is amazing! I've bought crafty bits to make chinese lanterns but they won't be anything like this!!! wow!

  6. Thanks Mel :0)

    I'm pretty rubbish at stuff like this too. That's the best bit about crafts with kids, if it turns out looking pants you've got a good excuse! x

  7. LOL, thanks Tracy!

    Honestly, it was really really simple to do. If I can do it...

  8. that looks so effective! Love the simple rabbit sillouettes :O)

  9. That's brilliant! It looks great and so effective! Well done x

  10. Oh I love it, really cool craft! I agree with Tracy ;0)

  11. Love it! why is it that when make things/used to make things with K they never looked that good! :S

  12. Thank you Kay, Jenny and Amanda.

    Honestly, it wasn't hard and I was really please how it turned out. Maybe you'll give it a go? ;0)

  13. you have been a busy bee, it looks amazing!!! very creative well done!

  14. Missmamo - you sneaked in there when I was replying to Kay et al! Thank you x

    Rock n Roll Mummy - thank you so much. I had it hanging up by the front door but had to bring it in - it's sooo windy I thought it might blow away!

  15. Fab job, it looks so good. Now if only I could get motivated...

    Mich x

  16. Thanks Michelle and Susan, glad you like it. Happy New Year!

  17. (Thank you for linking up!!)


  18. ooh this is so nice!
    love how you done this :)

  19. Wow! These are fab! Thank you so much for sharing this :)

  20. brilliant such a simple idea but very effective well done :)
    lol @ the google rabbit results eeeek :0

  21. Thanks all so much. x

    And yes Missdaisy - I was glad DD wasn't looking over my shoulder at some of the pictures - would have taken some explaining!

  22. Love the picture of it lit up! Magical! Kerri