Making a Star Lantern

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Star Lantern
Total Time afternoon or evening Ages school-age

In the Philippines at Christmas time, these bright lanterns, called parols, fill the streets, their shape echoing the star of Bethlehem.

Basswood strips can be found online and in some craft stores. They're commonly sold in 24-inch lengths. For this star, you'll need 6 strips that are 1/4- by 1/16-inch thick and 1 strip that's 1/4- by 1/4-inch thick. Use scissors to cut them into:
10 pieces: 12 by 1/4 by 1/16 inches
5 pieces:  1 1/2 by 1/4 by 1/4 inches
2 pieces: 4 1/2 by 1/4 by 1/16 inches

What you'll need

  • Basswood strips
  • Scissors
  • Small rubber bands
  • Tacky glue
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Embroidery floss
  • Battery-operated tea light

How to make it

  1. Making a Star Lantern - Step 1

    Make 2 five-pointed star shapes from the 12-inch strips. Secure them by wrapping rubber bands around the points.

  2. Making a Star Lantern - Step 2

    Stack the two stars. Connect them at the points by wrapping the rubber bands around the ends.

  3. Making a Star Lantern - Step 3

    Complete the frame by adding 1 1/2-inch posts between the stars at each of the five interior points. Use dots of glue to secure them.

  4. Making a Star Lantern - Step 4

    For the tea light shelf, place two 4 1/2-inch strips inside the star so that they span two of the posts, and glue them in place. Using your star as a rough template, cut triangles of tissue paper that are a bit larger than the spaces in your parol. You'll need 10 triangles for the sides, 10 for the front and back of the points, and one pentagonal piece for the center. Glue the side pieces first, then the front and back triangles. Finish with the center pentagon.

  5. Making a Star Lantern - Step 5

    For each tassel, cut and stack 30 foot-long, 1/2-inch wide strips of tissue paper, then tie embroidery floss around the middle. Fold the stack in half and glue a K-inch strip of paper around the tassel near the fold. Tie each tassel to a point of the parol. Tie a loop to the top point for hanging, and put the tea light in place.

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