I've been fascinated by paper lanterns for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure that I made my first one when I was in kindergarten and I know that over the years I made them with my kindergarten, first and second grade students. I used a ruler and pencil to draw the lines that they cut along on a piece of folded construction paper.
Paper lanterns became a staple at Robbie and Marie's birthday parties. When they were younger we made them together using the same technique that I used with my students. As they grew older and my passion for patterned paper began, we started to use it in place of construction paper.
I had my eye on Martha Stewart's templates for 6" and 12" lanterns for a long time. About 2 weeks ago I was shocked, surprsed, delighted...to find the templates marked down for clearance at Michaels. I quickly purchased one of each and rushed home to try them out.
Basically all you need to do is fold a 6" square of paper and place it inside the template for the 6" lantern or fold a 12" square of paper and place it in the template for a 12" lantern. Then you use an X-acto knife that is included with the template to cut the lines on the lantern. Easy Peasy!
I found a great video for lantern making on youtube that is presented by Linda Kaiser at this link
She also talks about the lanterns on her blog at this link
She shows you how to add a tube to the inside of the lantern. She also suggests that in place of the tube you can put a flameless tea light in the center of the lantern. She shows you how to add ribbon to the handle and the upper and lower edges of the lantern.
I especially love the 6" lanterns and plan to use them along with some egg cutouts to create some Easter garland.
The templates don't seem to be on clearance in every store yet, so keep your eyes open and hopefully you'll find them on clearance in the Martha Stewart papercrafting section of a store near you.
Have a nice night!