I have been saving the best post on Maddy’s 1st Birthday Party for last! This idea was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest (surprise, surprise!). (Click here to see the post my inspiration came from.)
We hung these up at Madalyn’s party, but the best part about creating these ruffle lanterns is that I now have them hanging up in Maddy’s room as a permanent decoration! These lanterns turned out really well, but I will warn you that they are time-consuming. I made three of them and they seemed like they would be the project that would NEVER end…however, look at how cute they are! They were worth the time and, in my humble opinion, look better than the ones you can buy at the store.
Want to give these a try? Here’s what you need to know:
- Paper Lanterns (I used 9.5 inch lanterns that I purchased from Party City. You could do the same size, or go bigger or smaller depending on what space you are trying to fill. You could also do a mix of different sizes. The 9.5 inch lanterns came in a three-pack for around $6 or $7.)
- 3.5 yards of fabric for each lantern (Again, you might need more or less fabric depending on what size lantern you start with.) Choose a fabric that is lightweight. You don’t need expensive fabric for this. The fabric I used was $2.99/yard from JoAnn’s.
- Scissors (Simple Tip: Use scissors that are comfortable. You are going to spend a LOT of time cutting out circles.)
- Ribbon (for hanging the lanterns)
- Glue Gun
- Begin with finding a circle that you can use to trace onto your fabric. I used a cardboard circle that was 4″. I lucked out that our Crate and Barrel coasters were exactly the size I needed, so I was able to trace that onto some cardboard. You can use your computer to find a circle that is the size you need, as well. Using a 4″ circle, I was able to get about 350 circles out of each fabric color. (Told you that there would be a lot of circles to cut!) Simple Tip: If you go with a smaller size lantern, you will want to use a smaller size circle, like 3″ or less.
- Trace circles onto your fabric. Make sure you alternate your rows of circles in order to get the most of out of your fabric. I used a pencil for tracing which was light on the darkest pink fabric, but worked really well on the lighter fabrics.
- Cut out all of the circles you traced. This is the most time-consuming part of the project. Find something fun to watch on T.V. and it will help pass the time! When you are done, you will have a nice stack of circles like below:
- Once you have all your circles cut, you can begin to start gluing the fabric to your lantern. Simple Tip: Before you start gluing, figure out how many sections of your lantern you have. Mine had 8 sections. I put about 43 or so circles in each section of the lantern. You can just wing it and place circles wherever you think you need them, but I am an accountant and liked the logic behind having the same amount in each part of the lantern so that it was evenly full-looking. I divided up all of the circles into 8 piles on the floor in front of me.
- First, fold the circle in half and put a bit of hot glue in the middle.
- Second, fold the circle in half to seal the glue you just placed on the fabric. You will have a flower-looking type shape when it’s sealed together.
- Put more glue on the bottom of the folded circle and attach the circle to your lantern.
- Continue this process with each circle until your lantern is filled. Make sure you switch the directions you put each circle so that the lantern looks flowery and full and so that no white spots are showing through.
- Simple Tip: I found it easier to glue the fabric circles closed first and then glue them all to the lantern at once. I am process-oriented and this worked better for me. So I had a big pile of glued circles to put directly onto the lantern:
Look at how full and delicate-looking these turned out!
- Your final step is to hang them up! We purchased little white hooks to put in the ceiling from Ace Hardware (super cheap!). I used a roll of dark pink ribbon from JoAnn’s (around $2.00) to hang all three of them.
I truly love how these turned out! We hung them in a corner near Maddy’s crib so every time we put her down in her crib she points up at them. I’m glad she is enjoying her whimsical décor too!
Sooooo, this project is done! However, once we hung these up I started thinking Maddy’s room could use a few new touches to it and I can’t wait to share those with you soon 🙂
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