Mother Earth Living

Try This: Paper Lantern Lamp Shade

Turn a boring paper lantern into a personalized lamp shade in a few easy steps.

Artistically and geometrically interesting, lanterns can be strung from corner to corner to bathe a room in light. These spread the illumination and make your watts go farther. Use compact fluorescent bulbs to get the most bang for the buck.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
The paint effects look complicated but are actually easy. The more free-form and hand-done they look, the better. Using nontoxic acrylic paints, apply wide brush strokes to highlight the Asian feel.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
The rim of a glass and a lip-balm cap become block printing tools; simply place one hand inside the lantern and apply pressure while stamping on the color to get better contact.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
Start with plain, inexpensive paper lanterns in various shapes. To soften the overly white whites and bright colors, spritz on a “tea stain”—actually a strong mixture of 3 parts black tea and 1 part coffee.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
With a nod to Jackson Pollock, simple swirling dribbles spruce up this plain globe lantern. On the bright yellow lantern, brush strokes combine with paint drips in two colors.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
Allow the stain to saturate the open lantern, then hang to drip dry. Turn the lantern upside down and repeat the spray.
Photo By Susan Wasinger
Sparing use of metallic paint makes the lamps sparkle even when the lights are out.
Photo By Susan Wasinger

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