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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!

 

 

 

Paper Mache Fireflies

Long day.  Seriously long day.

Run the girlie to my mom.

Run home to get some stuff taken care of.

Run to the U of S for a photo shoot.

Run back to my parent’s place to grab the girlie.

Run back home again.

Run off to get a tour of the place where Camp fYrefly will be held (Thanks for driving Herb!).

Run back home again.

Run to pick up Damon from work.

Run back home again to grab our library books.

Run to the library.

Run home – yet again – to let the dogs out for a potty break.

Run back to my parent’s place again (because we always go for a visit on “library day” aka Tuesday).

Run out to do some grocery and craft supply shopping while the girlie hangs with my parents.

Run back to their place.

Run amok in the yard with loads of balloons, flour, water, newspaper, and sticks for a couple hours.

Run back home (for the last time).

Run the dogs back out into the yard.

Run the girlie straight into bed for a chapter and sleep.

I’m pooped!

But we got a good start on our paper mache fireflies.  They should look great!  *knock on wood*  Still a couple more days of work to go on them – AND I still need to sew the girlie’s outfit for the parade.  But we’ll get it all done and be ready for Satuday.  LOVE LOVE LOVE being a part of the PRIDE parade every year.  😀  I may be going a little batty just now, but it’s going to be soooo worth it if these fireflies work out.  How totally cute will they be!  Seriously.  😀

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