One lantern to rule them all, One lantern craft to guide them.
Updated: Nov 18
For the past year and a half my husband and I have been reading a very special book to our now 8 year old son. The book is Lord Of The Rings, it is all of the books in one book so yes he is getting the full experience. There are many things in the book that are pertinent to now and lead us to deep conversations about culture, society, and life itself in general. These are deeper subjects and as my son grows I see how much change one year can have in a life’s journey. I got a lot of love for this post on Instagram, my Instagram is @raisingseidlings. I thought it would be nice to post it here and walk you through the process. I will be making the lantern avaliable on this post, just download the image from here and do the tutorial with your child. That’s it.
For this tutorial, you will need a pencil, white pencil, xacto knife with fresh blade, black paper, a ruler, and a space to cut on. I used the bottom of a laundry hamper.
Next I drew out the designs, if you’re using the lantern pattern you don’t have to do this of course. You can print it out and blu tack it onto a black piece of paper or if you’re feeling extra fancy and your hands feel their dexterity has been blessed by strength you can try poster board. It can be so difficult to cut though.
Start cutting out your designs. I stayed up until midnight on Monday and woke up at 4 am on Tuesday to finish cutting it all out. So many tiny bits of paper. I am the mother of an only child so I desperately cannot allow him to feel forgotten as best as I can.
The next morning at 7 am, just before he woke up I finished cutting it out. I cut little ‘perforations’ on the line between each design, using a ruler as my guide to keep them straight and steady. The doors of durin were the hardest thing I have cut out of paper in a long time. I used to be a muralist and did lots of stencil work so that is saying something for me, yet I still had fun and had some great breathing practice. It’s like a meditation for my hands as well as a challenge to not cut myself so it’s really good all ways. 🙃
For the tissue paper, what I did first was cut out the same shape of each side of the lantern in plain printer paper. Then I asked my son what should go in each respective side. We sketched out his favorite parts featuring the respective parts of each book. This one as you may guess is for Smaug. The circles are different gems that Smaug stole from the dwarves. The flame is......well, he’s a dragon so. What I did first was draw out the fire (using my trusty paper guide) and then my son cut them out. I cut the small gems and he cut the large ones.
Then my son took a glue stick and glued together the scenes for each lantern. He started with the largest piece first, the background piece. Then the second largest and so on until we were adding final details. In this one it was the purple sky glued to the white, then the larger mountain scene, then smaller, then smaller. After that we added the stars and moon. We glued it all into the back of the lantern.
This is how it looked once we were done. Ignore the rip in the doors of durin. ‘Speak friend and enter’ and all.
We glued Smaug on next and the finished up the rest of the lantern by folding on the perforations I cut using an exact and a ruler earlier. We then glued all of the tabs together at the top, which was just as fun as well. He was super silent for this last part and totally immersed. I had not quite seen him this engaged since our last dinosaur study.
It turned out so beautiful and he has been incredibly proud of himself! If you try this craft please message me, I would love to see your progress and hear of your trials as well as your triumphs. Thank you so much for reading and I hope it leaves you inspired. Scroll to the very bottom to see the lantern template!
If you would like it in a higher resolution and also without a watermark message me here or on Instagram and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you for joining me on this adventure as I chronicle our acts of random crafting. happy reading, happy crafting.
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