How to Make Rice Paper Lanterns

By William Jackson

Rice paper lanterns provide a rich glow to any room. You can customize your lantern by using different sizes of bamboo strips and various colors of rice paper. Make your own rice paper or buy it depending on the design you want for your rice paper lantern design.

Design your rice paper lantern. You will need to decide on the number and size of your bamboo rungs. Spend time looking at different examples of rice paper lanterns for inspiration. Go to www.asianideas.com/lanterns2.html or www.lunabazaar.com for ideas.

Obtain your bamboo strips according to your design. Cut them to the desired length of your lantern's circumference.

Bend each piece of wood into a circle, attaching each end together with masking tape. To soften the wood for bending, heat it over a flame. Once bent and taped to your satisfaction, place the bamboo rings in cold water so that the new shape is made firm.

Attach your bamboo circles to each other using either tape or string according to your design. The smaller loops are almost always placed on top and bottom.

Attach a socket and bulb to the top rung using tape, with the socket hanging upside down. You can either run a line from the top of the lantern or use a battery powered socket.

Attach your tassel to the small bottom rung of your lantern.

Cut out a piece of rice paper about an inch wider than the lantern's circumference and slightly longer than the length of the lantern's height. Wrap it around the lantern and attach both ends of the paper with a glue stick on the back side. Fold the excess over the top and bottom of the lantern frame and attach to the top and bottom rings with glue stick.

Tighten the rice paper over the frame by lightly spraying a mist of water onto the paper's surface and waiting for it to dry.

Hang your rice paper lantern. Hang a cord from the top bamboo rung.

About the Author

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.