How To Make Pagoda Lantern
I came out with the idea of this Glass Jar Pagoda Lantern after being frustrated with the traditional Paper Pagoda Lanterns which I used to carry and walk around the neighborhood with my kids during Mid-Autumn Festival for many years. I dislike the paper type for 2 reasons, they get burn easily (this is dangerous especially to kids), and changing the tiny birthday candle in it isn’t fun at all as they burn and melt so fast. Before I can really enjoy this special occasion, the lanterns either got burnt or the candles are consumed. So, I designed this improvised version of my Pagoda Lanterns, which won’t burn (if handled with care), don’t have to change the candle so frequently (using tea light candle), can be hung or placed on table, and most importantly, it can be used repeatedly . You can use electronic tea light candle to replace the wax candle to vow better safety.
During Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) also know as Moon festival or Lantern Festival, we will gather together and sit outside under the moon, eating mooncake (月餅) while hanging many brightly lit lanterns around the house. We also carry our lanterns and walk around the neighborhood. During this day (15th day of Lunar 8th month), the moon is bright and round. There were a story dating back over 3,000 years about moon worship in China’s Shang Dynasty where this festival originated.
You will need to do some calculations on the size of fabric to wrap on the jar for this tutorial as the one you are using could be different from that I am using, so I can’t give you the exact dimension.
Estimated time to complete 1 lantern is about 2 hours, but you will get faster after you’ve gained the experience from the first one
Skill needed: beginner.
In this tutorial you will need:
1. A Glass Jar, I am using hexagon type. You can also use round or square, or even oval.
2. Fabric of your choice.
3. Ribbons, 5mm and 10mm width
4. Heatnbond-Lite iron adhesive interfacing.
5. Tea Light Candle
6. Measuring tape
7. Fabric Glue
8. A pair of sharp scissors
9. A permanent marker (not shown in the photo), Since I don’t have it handy, I used tape to do the marking.
10. A stick to hang your lantern (not shown in the photo). I used chopstick.
Measure the perimeter (P) and height (H) of your glass jar.This is to determine the size of the fabric you need to wrap the jar to form the pagoda outlook. My jar measures 275mm and 80mm.
The Length (L) of the fabric = [(P) + 10mm]
The Width (W) = [(H) + 90mm]
You meed to do a little calculation here for preparing the HeatnBond-Lite and fabric.
Mark the top and bottom of 20mm each on the paper backing of HeatnBond-Lite.
The glue line is 10mm.
Equally divide the balance portion [(H) +90mm - 70mm] by 3, this is for the pagoda eaves.
Cut the fabric to the size of the HeatnBond but with extra 20mm on top and bottom respectively, this is for folding over of the hem.
Preheat the iron to low setting. Place HeatnBond Lite paper (smooth) side up on wrong side of fabric.
Place and hold heated iron on paper side of HeatnBond Lite for 2 second. Gliding iron slightly overlapping prior area until entire surface has been bonded.
Fold over the hem allowance, and iron it to make a folding crease. Let it cool.
Peel and lift the paper backing of HeatnBond-Lite at the top and bottom 20mm hem to expose the adhesive surface of the fabric. Fold over the hem allowance. Cover back the paper backing on top of them.
Iron the folded areas so that 2 layers of fabric are bonded together.
Flip over and start to make creases for the pagoda architecture. Remember the markings we put onto the paper backing of HeatnBond? Folding along the lines and iron them to make some creases that look like the following photos.
This is how it looks like from the front.
This is side view.
This is how it looks on the wrong side after removing the paper backing.
Cut the Pagoda eaves perpendicularly with 5mm pitch interval. Repeat for all 3 eaves.
Tie a ribbon at the mouth of the jar to make a handle so that you can hang the lantern after you have finished it.
Mark the place you want to glue the fabric onto the glass jar. You can use permanent marker to do it. I didn’t have the marker in hand when I made this lantern, I used masking tape instead.
Apply and spread evenly a line of fabric glue on the toppest glue line on the jar and leave it for 5 minutes to let the glue become tacky before you stick the fabric onto it. Apply some glue at the overlapping area after you have wrapped the fabric around the jar. Press and hold until they are bonded. You can put a tape there to further secure the joint until the glue completely dry and provide a good bond. You have to make sure that the fabric stick well before moving to the next glue line.
Repeat the above step to all the glue lines but this time you don’t have to apply 1 whole round of glue, just some interval dots on the glue line will do, otherwise, it will be very messy.
Decorate the lantern with ribbons. Tie the ribbon to a stick, and place the tea light candle in the lantern.
You are ready to show-off your Pagoda Lantern by carrying it in the neighborhood, hang it or place it somewhere while you enjoy a piece of mooncake together with chinese tea and be mesmerized by the charm of the moon.