The Cupcake-Liner Lantern

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The Cupcake-Liner Lantern
Total Time 1 to 2 hours Ages school-age

My Grandnanna kept a pink kitchen. She also kept a green dining room and a blue bedroom. She loved colorcoordinating the contents of each room — the walls, the tissues, even the buttermints. She would nestle little piles of those powdery, pastel candies in cupcake liners and leave them all over the house; pink mints in pink polka-dot liners in the kitchen, green and gold ones in the dining room, blue and lavender in the bedroom. Over the years, she amassed quite a collection of little pleated cupcake liners, which have since been passed down to me. I love to use them in all kinds of projects, but the chandelier shown here is my favorite; it's fun to make, and it can be matched Grandnanna-style to any spot in the house. The end result is utterly fabulous and lends a little bit of party atmosphere to even the most ordinary day.

What you'll need

  • 12-inch-diameter paper lantern
  • Wide mixing bowl
  • 170 standard-size pleated paper cupcake liners (match the colors of the lantern and the liners closely)
  • Paintbrush
  • Tacky glue (check the label to be sure it dries clear)
  • 170 mini pleated paper cupcake liners
  • Lamp-cord kit and bulb (follow wattage guidelines for your lantern)

How to make it

  1. Assemble the lantern according to the package directions, then set it upside down in the bowl. If you're using cupcake liners with color or pattern only on the outside, fl ip them inside out (speed up the process by keeping them stacked and turning a few at a time).

  2. The Cupcake-Liner Lantern Step 2

    Working in batches of ten, brush the bottoms of the standard-size liners with a light, even layer of tacky glue (thin it with water, if needed).

  3. The Cupcake-Liner Lantern - Step 3

    Quicky press the cups onto the lantern, applying them in evenly spaced rows around the circumference. (Spacing out the rows allows the liners to expand as they dry.)

  4. When the glue is dry, add more standard-size liners to fi ll in the gaps and let dry.

  5. Brush glue on the bases of the mini liners and adhere them inside the standard-size ones. For an even fuller-looking lantern, such as the white one above, substitute standard-size "flowers" for some of the mini liners (see step 8).

  6. Flip the lantern and repeat the process on its top section. Plug in the lamp cord, hold the illuminated bulb inside the lantern, and check for bare spots. Fill them with mini or standard-size liners as needed.

  7. When it's dry, hang the lantern following the instructions on the packaging of the lamp-cord kit.

  8. The Cupcake-Liner Lantern Step 8

    To make flowers Scrunch a standard-size liner toward its center, then press the bottom flat. Brush glue onto the flattened surface, then stick the flower in place.

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