DIY Fish Bowl Tissue Paper Lanterns

This year the kid and I worked on several projects for Valentine’s Day.  We did up individually wrapped cupcakes with hand made heart flag picks.  We created 20 foam bookmarks for her friends and her Pop Pop (and one for her too).  We worked on some scrapbook pages, and did a lot of colouring too.  But I think our most impressive item this year were the two tissue paper lanterns we made for her Daddy and her Grams.

tissue paper lanterns - fish bowl

For such a simple craft project, they are awfully impressive.  And it really is something you can do from start to finish in an hour (not including clean-up, which definitely includes a bath or shower).  Here’s a list of what you need:

  • various colours of tissue paper
  • fish bowls (or other glass containers – a used/clean pickle jar would work)
  • white school glue
  • water
  • glitter
  • decorative stones (optional)
  • candle(s)
  • paint brush(es)

heart lantern

First things first! 

Make sure your glassware is clean.  We used old fish bowls that we purchased at one of our favourite thrift stores.  Real fish shouldn’t live in bowls, but that doesn’t mean fish bowls aren’t good for other things.  An old pickle jar or jam jar would work well too.

Mix up your paste!

Roughly 3 parts white school glue with 1 part warm water is perfect.  Don’t worry about being finicky over the measurements.  You just want the paste a little more watery than it comes straight from the store.

Prepare your tissue paper!

For the fishy lantern we used white, turquoise, blue, and red tissue paper.  For the heart lantern we used white, turquoise, pink, and red.

Tear the white into pieces about 2″ x 2″…  again, don’t stress too much about the size or uniformity.  It doesn’t really matter all that much.  Too small and they take longer to put on, too big and you end up with a lot of wrinkles – but either way?  They’ll still turn out great.   If you are doing a fish themed lantern, tear your turquoise (or light blue) paper into wavy strips about 2″ long by 1″ high.

Fold the remaining coloured papers so that you have six or more layers.  Cutting multiple layers at once will save you a lot of time – but if you’re little ones are old enough to cut out some shapes too, this isn’t such a big deal.  Choose the type of shape (we did fish for the one, and hearts for the other) and cut away.  Vary your sizes.  Having everything big or everything little isn’t nearly as fun as a good mixture.

Get messy!

Take your paint brush and paint some of the glue/water mixture onto the outside of the glass.  Working in small areas, start covering the entire surface with the white tissue paper pieces.  Paint the paste under and over each piece.  While it’s still wet, sprinkle a little glitter here and there.  You can skip this step, but it’s awfully purty.

Now start on your more decorative layer.  To make it look like water, start the turquoise about 1/4 of the way down – so you have some white still visible at the top – and work your way down, covering all the remaining white.  For the heart lantern go to town, place things wherever you feel like (this would also work for stars or any other shape you come up with).  If you are doing a fish lantern, the fishies will be your very top layer.  And again, make sure you have the glue/water paste both under and over each tissue paper layer.

Finishing touches!

In the fish lantern we chose to put some decorative blue crystals in the bottom prior to placing the candle.  But didn’t do the same for the heart lantern.  We also used a permanent marker and wrote the date and the girls name on the bottom of each lantern on the exposed glass.

That’s it!

Super easy peasy, right?  And they are sooo cute!

 

 

 

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About Tobi-Dawne

Tobi-Dawne Smith is many things to many people... photographer, canine behaviour expert, equal rights activist, green politician, lactivist, intactivist, writer, crafter, dog handler, third wave feminist, etc. But most important in her life is her role as mother to an amazing five year old. Learn more about TD at http://www.tobi-dawne.com/ follow her blog at https://td365.wordpress.com/ get to know her daughter at http://lilyannslemonade.wordpress.com/ or check out her work at http://tdphotography.me/

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Family, Joy Journey, Nikon D90, Parenting, Wee Girlie and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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