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Creative Ideas to Embellish Paper Lanterns


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A few years ago my cousin-in-law was getting married. Unfortunately I was unable to attend, having just had our second baby and my husband was on deployment. I eagerly awaited the photos – their wedding was at his Grandfather’s house over on Magnetic Island, North Queensland. When the photos arrived I was smitten! The blushing bride was beyond beautiful in a vintage lace gown, she made her way down the winding path to her husband to be and the celebrant, under a giant fig tree which was decorated with paper ball lanterns in all bright colours. The swayed and bobbed on the ocean breeze as they were wed. I was so impressed with the day photos, when I saw the evening photos my jaw dropped.

The lanterns had lit up, but also the trees had been decorated with fairy lights! The overall look was amazing. Magical. I love paper lanterns, the colours, the styles and that you can do so much or so little with them to work them into your event. Like my cousin-in-law you can use a variety of colours or you can work with colours that fit your theme. If you can’t find the exact colour matches you can always stick with the white lantern but decorate them to suit.

Being made of paper you can get crafty with your paper lanterns. Why not try some of the following ideas:

  • To add some texture and colour to your lanterns using watercolours (for a softer effect) or acrylic paints and a sponge or a dry brush lightly apply the paint to the lantern – swirl, dabs, marbling. Be careful not to use too much water , you need to keep the paper intact. Watercolour paint will allow the light to shine through. Acrylic will need to be applied with a damp brush/sponge to avoid thick, streaky paint marks.
  • Lightly spray your lanterns with glitter spray or glitter glue. Add a few crystal embellishments for the bling factor!
  • If you are handy with pliers and want to play with some crafters wire, turn your lanterns into fun and quirky chandeliers. With the wire, create a “cradle” for your tea light/candle to be placed in. Attach additional pieces of wire to the cradle and then secure to the base of the lantern (pierce through the base and curl the end of the wire over the lower ring of the lantern). Don’t make the length from the base of the lantern too long; keep it to 10 to 15 centimeters from the bottom of the lantern. You can put this together without needing to solder the craft wire – just need to be creative with the links – even use jump rings that you can purchase from any beading shop.  Once that secured, glue, stitch in place acrylic garland strands –drape them around the bottom of the lantern. When the candle is lit, the light will give the lantern a soft glow and play off the faceted acrylic strands. Keep them after your wedding and use them for dinner parties or girls night in.
  • Turn your lanterns into a banner – on each one a letter to spell out your message (Just Married! Mr & Mrs, Bride & Groom, Welcome!) and hang them up.
  • Use random sizes and colours to decorate your venue.
  • Embellish with craft stickers, pearls, crystals, lace doilies.
  • Pop up the lanterns to hold solid (run pieces of wire or wooden sticks inside the lantern or coat the paper in PVA glue leave it extended to dry and form a hardened exterior) and then in each one add a small LED light to the bottom and arrange flowers and use as centrepiece decorations for the tables.
  • White lanterns set up on a table (packed flat) plus markers and happy guests = guests can take a lantern and marker, write a message on the lantern and then hang up in the room. On your first wedding anniversary you can throw a party and bring out the lanterns and put them up for you and your guests to read all the well wishes bestowed upon the happy couple twelve months prior.

There are so many things and ways you can incorporate lanterns into your wedding. Australia’s #1 Wedding Shop has paper lanterns in all shapes, colours and embellishments for you to tweak and pretty up should you wish. Have some fun and be sure to share your DIY achievements with the Pink Frosting Team!



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