Tea Party Decorations

Teapot Chinese Paper Lantern

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This quick project may not be a craft to do with a child but it helps set the mood for a party for all ages. A single lantern can hang over the front door or over the table. A string of them could light an entire room.

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What you need:

  • A spherical Chinese paper lantern with the metal rings inside. A good quality one also has an additional wire frame piece to add to give tension to hold the shape. Others have a weight on the bottom so that it’s pulled down to stay round. Our pattern was designed for a lamp with a 38″ circumference at the largest point.
  • Pattern for lid, spout, handle and optional base (next page)
  • Cardstock or heavy paper
  • A light source. This can be a low wattage bulb or a string of cool LED lights.
  • Quick-drying glue that dries clear. (Mod Podge or a hot glue gun.)
  • Clear tape to reinforce the cuts in the tissue paper
  • Small craft knife with sharp, thin, pointed blade to cut small slits in the tissue paper

Cut your pattern pieces:

Cut one piece of each of the lid, spout and handle pattern pieces. If you want to use the scalloped base, you will need two. If you want the spout and handle to look thicker, cut two of each pattern piece and add a spacer between them. This could be an extra piece of folded paper or a thin piece of foam. Glue the flap of the lid under the opposite edge and hold it to dry. Fold the flaps all the way back so that the lid will sit on the top of the lamp.

Tip for adding glue:

The easiest way to add small drops of glue and then spread it is to use a paperclip where one side has been opened. The single wire holds the drop of glue and you have the rest of the paperclip to hold as you spread it.

Attaching the teapot spout and handle:

Locate and mark a slot between the wires where you want to attach your handle and spout. Gently cut slits for the tabs in the tissue paper with the tip of a sharp craft knife so that the tabs can slip inside and be folded over and glued back. Add glue and be ready to hold it in place until the glue has set. When completely dry, reinforce the cut area with clear tape.

Attaching the lid:

Glue your lid together with the flap underneath on the seam. Wait until it has dried before attaching it to the top of the lamp. Add glue to the flaps and position it on top of the lamp, holding it until the glue sets.

Attaching the base:

Our little scalloped edge is optional. But you do want to use it, adjust the length of the two pieces to fit the circumference of the bottom hole. Fold the flaps back, add glue and hold in place until the glue dries.

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Lighting the lamp:

Chinese paper lanterns are almost always designed to be hung from a cord with a socket for a single light bulb. This system works with the additions of our teapot elements in just the same way. But we’ve also filled it with a small string of holiday lights that have a battery pack so they don’t require that they be plugged into an outlet.