Monday, April 16, 2012

String Lanterns

Years ago, while working as a HR assistant temp in a call center, I saw the most amazing/easy/genius/cheap decoration being used for company parties. One of the managers was a fan of DIY and this was one of her creations (that I have since seen all over the place). It's a simple concept really. She used round balloons to make hers, but I was too lazy to look all over for round balloons (at the time I was living in a small town with barely more than a Walmart). I used regular balloons, and though she thought that using regular balloons made this decoration look too much like an egg, I felt that it turned out just fine with the right paint on it. I've hauled this decoration with me through two different moves and had countless compliments on them. I've also had a LOT of people ask me how to do it.

This is a very inexpensive project. The only things you really need are balloons (your choice as to to the balloon shape!), some sort-of recipe for paper mache glue (there are all kinds of recipes available online if you do a google search), and a thick string or yarn. And of course paint if you choose to customize the look a little bit (I painted these gold, then spray painted them with gold glitter. I then filled each of them with some brown and white vanilla-scented potpourri.). I recommend getting as creative as you can! Nothing is quite as freeing as coming up with something unique that you are creating for yourself and that is exactly what YOU want and are picturing in your mind!

Step 1: Blow up the balloon to the desired size and tie off.
Step 2: Mix up a batch of your paper mache glue.
Step 3: Dip your string/yarn in the glue until it is coated.
Step 4: Wrap the string/yarn around the balloon every which way until it has the look you want (you need to wrap it enough for it to have a strong framework).
Step 5: Let dry.
Step 6: Pop the balloon!
Step 7: Paint/decorate it to your heart's content! :)
Step 8: Hang or display where you want.

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