Homemade Decorations: For Christmas, Birthday or Everyday

I might be late to the party but I think I am in love with paper lanterns!ย  I recently purchased four 20cm white paper lanterns from an online party supplies store and thought Immy and I could have fun decorating them for the playroom.

homemade decorations

After all, creating for the home doesn’t just have to happen on canvas and involving children makes it extra special ๐Ÿ™‚

homemade decorations

The first lantern Immy and I painted together with cotton buds and diluted food colouring. To stabilise each lantern as we decorated it, I sat it in an ice cream container, a large bowl would work just as well.

Our second lantern is decorated with strips of coloured tissue paper glued on with diluted PVA glue. This process was the most time consuming and delicate and would be a great way to involve older children.

The third lantern doesn’t look quite how I imagined it would but it was fun to make. We used a small cosmetic spray bottle to spray on diluted food colouring – yellow first and then an orange/red. A tip – the process was messy and so we took it outside!

homemade decorations

Finally, Immy helped me sort through a packet of self adhesive letters to find the letters we would need to make the words joy and peace.ย  These letters are very sticky and hard to manage so I stuck them onto the lantern while Immy experimented with some of the other letters and a piece of cardboard.

I love that you can decorate paper lanterns with all sorts of creative processes and to suit your chosen colour scheme, whether it be for Christmas, a birthday or a child’s bedroom.

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  1. They look great. I’ll have to do this with my kids. We’ve had paper chains up all year that they spray painted with food colouring, and which they refuse to let me take down. They’d look great with the lanterns

    1. We quite often end up with seasonal decorations that seem to hang around all year ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love! Thank you for another brilliant idea.

  3. these are amazing! I actually really like the third one! cool idea!

  4. Love it!! We will have to try this out. I love the Joy one ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Pretty! I am going to suggest this project to decorate for an upcoming festival at my daughter’s preschool.

  6. They all look fabulous and what a great decorating idea for kids rooms! Might have to give this a try with the kiddies ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Megan @ Writing Out Loud says:

    They look great, Christie!

  8. oooh these are sooo cool! Makes me wish my girls had a proper light fitting in their bedroom (they have a fan with a light, as we have in pretty much the whole house) cause they’d LOVE these. Pinning for future reference!

  9. These look amazing, wondering where you purchased the plain lanterns??

    1. Our lanterns came from Occasions By Design (online store), Vanessa, but I imagine many of the online party supply stores stock them ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Great idea! We too don’t have the right fittings (we have halogen down lights everywhere which I ignore and use side lights) but I reckon you could just hang these from the ceiling in an ‘artistic cluster’ and they’d still look fab – well done! Actually I just got pinterest so thanks for reminding me to ‘pin’ them, Kate ;0)

    1. We have just grouped them for effect too, Rebecca. Though I have seen battery powered tea lights that might work as well if you just taped or hot-glued them to the inside.

  11. We love paper lanterns here because they are so inexpensiveโ€”a wonderful craft material. You’ve made creative creations with yours!

  12. you know what? i have 2 lanterns hanging over my dining room table & meant to decorate them & just couldn’t get to it- I think I just hadn’t wrapped my head around what I was going to do with em & this is perfect- my boys will love it- thanks for the great ideas!

  13. Hey this is such a clever plan…they look great to hang for longer than just the festive season.

    1. I imagine ours will stay hanging for a good long while. I even have a Valentine’s bunting that I made the year before last still hanging in our lounge room!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Can Grandma put in an order for 2 for Christmas? Option 3 is my favourite and could I have them in lime and yellow for my Study. I won’t let Immy know that I know so she gets the fun of giving them to me on Christmas Day. xxx

  15. Great idea. I love the spray bottle one. I bet it would fetch a packet on Etsy…hehe.

  16. This is now really on my to do list! Can normal paint be used? Just wondering why you went the food colouring and earbud route? Could I just give the kids some acrylic paint and brushes?

    1. I thought the food colouring (or watercolour) would give the lanterns a more translucent look than acrylics. I am sure the acrylics would work just as well and you could water them down a little if you wanted to ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. What a great idea, they look great. I like the spray bottle one too.

  18. My kitchen is currently crowded out with all the paper lanterns from around the house, drying, ready for re-hanging. ๐Ÿ™‚ They all match the house colours now lol.

  19. How do you hang them from the ceiling? Do you put hooks in the ceiling? Am thinking of doing lanterns like these to put over the dining table for Christmas but not sure if hubby will agree to having hooks in the ceiling permanently. (Ditto in the girls room).

    1. We use the smallest removable 3M hooks, Suzy, they are clear so you can’t notice them at all.

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