I remember I did a traditional cellophane lantern in my schooling year. When the Mid Autumn Festival was just around the corner, our Art & Craft teacher would ask us to make a lantern from all sorts of materials. In order to perfect the skill in making the cellophane lantern, I stopped over at a lantern shop on my way back home from school. I stood there for hours watching an old “sifu” (master) sitting on a stool while making the lantern. After the “spying” and learning, I happily went back and tried it out myself. Though the piece didn’t turn out nice I was very happy with the result done by my little hands.
Handmade Cellophane / Glass Paper Lantern is a sunset industry due to the tediousness and the skill needed to produce it. Not many youngsters are interested to learn and inherit the skill because it can’t make them a living. If I am able to find this special cellophane again, I will make a tutorial to show you how to make a traditional cellophane lantern.
Do you remember the Pagoda lantern I made 2 years ago… gosh!!! Can’t believe that it has been 2 years!!! I am still using it at every Mooncake Festival. Browse through the above album and you will find some creative lanterns I found in my local township.
Happy Mid Autumn Festival!!!
Red Round Lantern hanging high up by the roadside
Thursday 7th of February 2013
Hey there! Did you ever make the tutorial? I am wanting to make a dragon for a very special person this Chinese New Year AND her birthday, but can`t find instructions anywhere :(
Friday 8th of February 2013
I didn't have any tutorial for Dragon but I did share an chinese dragon puppet from Family Fun, here. May be it could be a good fit for your special person.
Tuesday 11th of September 2012
My name is Kim, and it's always been a life long goal of mine to make a lantern for the moon festival. As a child, I was always jealous of my peers who competed in our community's lantern competition with pikachu, powerpuff girls, or firefly lanterns made by their parents. I learned that during this time of the year, Vietnamese parents spend time with their kids by making them lanterns. My parents lacked this skill, and so I wanted to preserve this culture when I have kids in the future. During my senior year of high school, I attempted to make a large goldfish using cellophane; however, when it came to lighting up the lantern, I discovered that the heat easily melted the cellophane. I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your lanterns photo and I would appreciate it if you can offer me basic advice to create a traditional lantern, such as what materials are appropriate to use, where I can buy glass paper (if that exists in the US), how to light up the lantern without melting it, etc. Every piece of detail will help me. I look forward to your reply.
Tuesday 11th of September 2012
Hi Kim, thanks for your wonderful story about your childhood with lantern. I am not sure what type of cellophane you used but if it is not very near the the flame, it should be nice and safe. I hope I can make up a simple tutorial about cellophane lantern, let me arrange for that. If possible I would try to do it this year since Mid Autumn is just around the corner, otherwise, sorry for keeping you waiting.