Monday, January 31, 2022

DIY Imbolc Paper Lanterns

Imbolc is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate the sabbat of light than with lanterns. Usually, I see people making ice lanterns during this time, which are great and reflective of the season but don't work out so well if you live in a Southern state like Georgia. That's where paper lanterns come in. These globe paper lanterns are made using glue, white tissue paper, and fresh and dried plant material to create a snowy look-alike that will cast a soft glow over your Imbolc or Winter Thermistice altar.


     White Tissue Paper, torn into small, irregular pieces
     Dried and fresh plant material such as leaves and flowers
     Glue+Water or Mod Podge
     Old Paintbrush


Begin by blowing up the balloon to the size you want your lantern to be. Working in sections, brush the glue mixture onto the balloon and place the white tissue paper over top. Seal the tissue paper with a layer of glue, ensuring the entire balloon is covered in at least a single layer of tissue paper with no loose ends. Be sure to leave an open at the base of the balloon so you can later remove the balloon.

Once the balloon is completely covered in tissue paper, begin gluing down your plant material. I used leaves from an evergreen bush to symbolize eternal life, growth, and fertility, rose petals for love and friendship, and white orchid blooms for love, fertility, and purity. Cover all leaves and flowers with a layer of tissue paper and completely seal the lantern with another layer of glue, making sure there are no loose ends or gaps. Use a cup, paper towel roll, or another support to prop up the balloon and allow the lantern to completely dry. The lanterns using dry within 2 hours.

Once dry, pop the balloon and remove it. Cut an opening in the bottom large enough to place a battery-operated candle or fairy lights. While you can use tea lights, I would strongly advise against it because the tissue paper is highly flammable. The last thing you want to do is burn down your house!

This activity is perfect for all ages and a great way to connect with the season. The white tissue paper creates an icy look that will last for many seasons if you wish to keep them, or the entire lantern can be given as an offering since all the materials are completely biodegradable. These are perfect for indoor or outdoor use, but, again, I advise against real flame lest you catch the lantern on fire. These lanterns can also be made later in the year using orange, red, and yellow tissue paper to represent the Sun and yellow flowers and plants for Beltane or Midsummer. The possibilities are endless!

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