Sunday, September 20, 2015

DIY String Lantern / Owl Lantern

It's mid-autumn festival next week.Over here where we are, it is an occasion for reunion among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon. The 'chefs' at home would cook up storm to celebrate the mid-autumn festival. My favorite part of the festival is the carrying of brightly lit lanterns around the neighborhood with the other kids. This is again, another, brilliant opportunity for J to relive some of my fond childhood memories. 

Earlier this month, I have decided that this year, we'll be making J's first ever lantern. I thought we can easily have it settled with no more than 20 ringgit. It turned out that I eventually spent about 50 ringgit making this cutie lantern, but I'd also made two beautiful rustic and mystic looking lampshades out of it. So it wasn't too bad then. 

J is turning 3 next month. You know everytime I had my big Pablo Picasso's ideas and had our whole room laid out for our big projects, there'll be at least 2 or 3 that would squint their eyes, frowning and opposing at my "big" ideas. But there will always be one person, my buddy, my partner-in-crime, my supporter, my protege who'd stick with me, who'd be more than happy to be involved in our endeavors - my little J. He's such a positive person he exudes great energy and is such an encouragement in all the things we do (the qualities he'd probably gotten off his dad, these are actually the qualities that I should learn from him). We went to the stationary shop 10 minutes before the shop closed to top up our glue, he helped me prepare the glue mixture, he helped me reel out the yarn and was a great extra pair of hands as this is indeed a very messy project. It wasn't a difficult one, just messy! But we enjoyed it very much. I hope you would enjoy them as much as we did.

Here's my buddy, in charge of the glue mixture, so proud of him! 

You'll need: 
**I used three batches of the following recipe to coat 3 balloons, one small size and two mediums. 
  • Balloons, blown up to whatever size lantern you want to make, the bigger the balloon, the more oblong it becomes 
  • Hemp or cotton yarn (I used yarn, refer to pic above)
  • 60ML basic white glue (refer here for pic) 
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch 
  • 1/4 cup normal room temperature water
  • Vaselin (Instead of this, I used leftover lip gloss that is not usable or had gone past expiry date)
  • Clear, fast-drying spray paint (I did not use this)
  • Lantern light or white twinkle lights 
  1. Blow up balloon and hang so that its sides are not touching any areas. Remember to prepare work area by laying down old newspapers on floor. 
  2. Mix white glue, corn starch and water in container until all lumps are removed. Its consistency is like a thick creamy mushroom soup. 
  3. Smear vaseline (or used leftover lip gloss for my case) all over the balloon. Little J helped me out with this. 
  4. Dip the yarn into the glue mixture and twine all over the balloon. I had no drawings or instructions to follow to twine, just did it the way I liked them to be. 
  5. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours or until twine is completely rigid. 
  6. Pop the balloon and discard remnants. 
  7. Spray with a clear coat or spray paint (I opted-out this step). 

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