Thursday, January 24, 2008

paper lanterns.

Csilla and I had fun with paper today. As a scrapbooker, I love paper, so I was only more than happy to oblige her desire to get busy with markers and tape and all things made out of processed tree pulp.

As a side note, I'm huge into recycling and being green, so I only feel a little bit guilty about having hobby that involves the destruction of trees. Eeeek.

To get us inspired, we visited one of our favourite kid's web sites (Nick Jr.) and stumbled upon the most adorable paper lanterns. This discovery happened to coincide with a question I had from another mom on Two Peas about ideas for what to do with all of the mounds of artwork preschoolers create everyday. The project which spurred this discussion was a card I made featuring Csilla's crayon scribbles:

The other mom appreciated the way I had incorporated Csilla's crayoning into the card. This is something I've been doing for a while in various forms, but the discussion made me think of other things that could be done with her art. When Csilla and I found the paper lanterns on the Nick Jr. web site, it occurred to me that Csilla's scribbles could easily be turned into paper lanterns and strung together for a fun hanging decoration.

Now, let me qualify this project by saying I fully realize the magnitude of crappiness most of this artwork represents. Personally, I can't stand seeing the stuff around. It drives me crazy. Most of it is incredibly ugly. Even if it was created by the true love of my life. It's messy and there are piles of it everywhere. But. In a desire to raise a fulfilled and well-loved child who has a strong foundation of self-esteem, creativity and self-confidence, I dutifully display these craptastic creations with all the love and enthusiasm I can muster.

So. If that means stringing hella-ugly paper lanterns across my mother's living room, I'll do it. Gladly. Csilla was so excited as we put up the string and hung these lanterns - she could barely contain herself. As she beamed with pride I felt so good I was almost deluded into thinking this stuff looked nice. Anyway, here's what we made:

I created a little printable pattern in case you have any interest in duplicating the lanterns:

I have no idea how to print this in a way that works for you, but perhaps try this: click on the above picture so it is full screen, then right click to print from there. I'm not sure if it'll be the right size though. The other option is to save it and then open it in something like photoshop where you can choose the print size. I let Csilla draw on the backside of the above template, so that I still had the folding and cutting guidelines on the other side to follow.

Give it a try. We had fun and hopefully you will too.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER! These paper lanterns are not meant for use with candles. Any dipshit should be able to figure this out, but I thought I'd say it anyway. If you put a candle into one of these things, the likelihood of it dangerously bursting into flames is about 100%. Use your head. Don't use candles.

[Update: I recently discovered some instructions for fancy paper lanterns on the Creating Keepsakes web site. They're much prettier and more detailed than the ones I made with Csilla.]

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