DIYdiy projects

diy project: piñata-inspired party lanterns

by Brenna

We love having outdoor parties in the summer. During long summer days, it is great to have friends over to enjoy the warm evenings. One of my favorite party motifs is a fiesta. With plenty of make-your-own tacos and endless margaritas, guests can help themselves, creating a low-maintenance but very festive get-together.  To add some colorful decor to the fiesta idea, I took inspiration from traditional Mexican celebratory piñatas, held the candy filling and layered on the tissue fringe, creating piñata-style lights that are perfect for your next outdoor fiesta. Make sure to hide all of the broomsticks. Salud! — Brenna

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  • paper lanterns (IKEA carries paper lanterns in interesting shapes and also carries cord and light socket sets that are made for lighting these particular lanterns. Just add a light bulb, plug in and you are ready to go!)
  • tissue paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • string


1. Assemble the paper lantern. Use the string to hang the lantern so that it is at shoulder level. You can tie knots in the string so that you can move the lantern up and down as needed to make it easier to work on.

2. Take the tissue out of the package and unfold so it is full length. Cut a length from the tissue along one of the long folds. Fold this in half.

3. Keeping the tissue folded — it should look like a really long book with a “spine” on one long edge and loose pages on the opposite long edge — cut across the short width, along the “spine” or folded edge about every quarter of an inch leaving about a quarter of an inch before the edge of the “pages.”

4. Unfold the tissue to reveal a stack of looped fringe. If you would like single fringe instead of looped, cut along the fold with your scissors to cut the fringe in half along the length.

5. Start at the bottom of the lantern and work your way up. Apply a small zigzag of glue to the paper lantern in a horizontal line all the way around the lantern. The zigzag allows the looped fringe to adhere better by providing space for both the back layer and the front layer to come in contact with the glue.

6. Peel one sheet of fringed tissue from the stack and gently fold it in half without creasing it. Apply it to the glue with the fringe side down and the uncut band side up.

7. Work your way up in a circular or spiral pattern to the top of the lantern until it is completely covered, remembering to alternate colors if desired.

8. To make the tassel, cut long pieces of tissue about a quarter of an inch wide. Fold the tissue streamers in half and loop them around the wire form used inside the lantern. Use a small piece of tissue to wrap around the top of the folded bundle, about an inch from the fold, and glue to secure.

9. Hang above your party table, light and you are done!!

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