Learn how to make this beautiful hand stamped, paper lantern.
Yay! It’s a guest blog post by the wonderfully creative and resourceful Kat from Here and Far…
Kat runs the shop Here and Far in Tavistock, Devon selling handmade products purchased on a fair trade basis, sourcing her stock either locally or from overseas craftspeople.
After spotting Kat’s wonderful handmade skills using a printing block, paper tissue and a Needcraft lantern kit over on Instagram I just had to get her over here to tell us how she does it!
Read on and feast your eyes on Kat’s step by step tutorial to make a beautiful hand stamped, paper tissue covered lantern…
With the Needcraft lantern making kits it’s really easy to make a custom hand-stamped lantern. You could either buy a ready-made stamp (there are some beautiful designs available) or carve your own design into a rubber block using lino cutting tools to make it really unique. Tissue paper is a very delicate material, so I’ve customised the lantern-making technique to take that into account.
What you will need:
Step 1: Set up your workspace
To get a good stamped image onto the tissue paper it is helpful if the surface you are stamping onto is slightly soft. So lay down an old blanket or towel folded over once or twice, then place a piece of scrap paper on top to stop ink from getting on the blanket, and finally place your tissue paper on top.
Take the sticky-backed plastic sheet from the lantern making kit, place the short edge next to one of the edges of the tissue paper, and draw around it carefully with a pencil. Remove the plastic sheet and get ready to stamp.
Step 2: Ink up the stamp
To ink up the stamp, take the ink pad and pat it onto the stamp repeatedly until the surface of the design is evenly covered with ink.
Step 3: Stamp!
The lantern kit is designed to have 12 mm of paper folded over the rings on the top and bottom edges of the lantern. Keep this in mind as you position your stamp on the tissue paper, leaving at least a 12 mm gap at the bottom and top if you don’t want your design to go over the rolled edge.
When stamping, apply even pressure over the whole of the stamp to make sure the ink is pressed onto the tissue paper evenly.
Step 4: Finish design
Carry on inking up the stamp and stamping your design over the whole of the marked out area. If you want to use more than one colour, wash and dry your stamp before using a new colour.
Step 5: Prepare the plastic
Usually when using fabric, you would now attach the plastic backing to the fabric, cut it out, then remove the edging strips. But because the tissue paper is so delicate, I removed the plastic strips first to prevent tearing.
Step 6: Line up the plastic
Place your stamped design face down on the work surface. Peel back about an inch of the backing paper from the plastic sheet and align the edge of the sheet with the edge of the tissue paper making sure the backing paper is aligned with the pencil marks you drew in step 1 (you should be able to see them through the tissue paper).
Step 7: Attach the plastic
Continue to peel back the backing paper and smooth the plastic over the design until it’s completely attached.
Step 8: Cut out
Cut out your lantern design following the pencil marks, making sure you don’t cut off those 12 mm strips that you’ll need to complete the lantern.
Step 9: Attach the tape
Now it’s time to add tape to the two metal rings included in the lantern making kit. Apply the double-sided tape to the centre of each ring on the outside edge and press it firmly around the length and width of the rings.
Add a strip of tape to the edge of the plastic sheet, to the side you want to be on the top/ outside of the overlap on your finished lantern.
Step 10: Attach rings
Remove the red backing tape from the double-sided tape on each ring (try not to let them touch each other or any other thing as they are quite sticky!). Line up each ring on the edge of the plastic sheet (at the opposite end to the one you put the tape on).
Start to roll the rings carefully down the edges of the plastic, staying on the plastic but keeping as close to the edge as possible.
Step 11: Finish roll
When you get almost to the end, remove the backing tape from the strip of double-sided tape across the end of the plastic sheet and complete rolling up the lantern.
Press down on the strip where the edges overlap to make sure they are stuck together securely.
Step 12: Finish edge
Very carefully fold the edge of the tissue paper over the rings to the inside of the lantern. It is difficult to get a perfectly smooth edge with the tissue paper, but you should be able to get it looking ok.
Step 13: Tuck in
Using your thumbnail or the little plastic tool included in the Needcraft lantern kit carefully tuck the edge of the tissue paper down behind the rings on the inside of the lantern to make a nice neat finish. This is a bit tricky, so take your time.
Step 14: Add base
Finally, insert the clear plastic disc into the lantern from the top so it sits on the bottom ring and forms a base. Add the white plastic disc with the hole in it on top (this is where your battery tealight will sit).
And that’s it, finished! Now you can put in your battery tealight, sit back and enjoy your new lantern.
Please note: these lanterns are not suitable for use with real candles.