Monday, March 10, 2014

String Lanterns

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been helping with a wedding of a close family friend. The bride had mentioned that she really liked string lanterns as decorations and I thought that I could throw some together pretty fast. Ha ha. Two cups of corn starch, four bottles of Elmer's glue, several packs of balloons, and a pound of cotton string later, I realized it might not be as easy as I first thought, as often is with these crafty projects I get myself into. However, being a lover of paper mâché since I was a small child led me to endure and turn out quite a collection of string lanterns (17 large ones and 45 small ones). I made about nine at a time over a period of two weeks. You are right, the math doesn't add up. I took days off during the two weeks. :) 

As a scientist, I must interject here a exclamation of how amazing the properties of corn starch are. If you are in doubt simply mix a bit with a little bit of water and scrunch it with your hands. You will see that corn starch has both the properties of a liquid and a solid.  I love playing with it. 

I have included some pictures of my lanterns drying in my laundry room. You will see that Mr. B's diapers are also drying in the background (I suppose is should clear up any misconceptions about that statement and explain that Mr. B is my one year old baby. My husband gave him that nickname when he was ten days old and somehow it has stuck). I have also included pictures of them (lanterns not diapers) hanging at the wedding. 

Some tricks I learned was to dip my hands in the glue and corn starch mixture, not the string. If you dip the string it goes on to thick and takes longer to dry. If you are storing them for a while before using them, leave the balloons unpopped and it is easier to transport them. About two arm lengths do string is perfect for a small water balloon. Cut the string before you start for the small balloons. I found placing the container of glue in the sink helped to cut down on the mess. On the larger balloons it helps to pull the string from the ground if it is on a spool. 

Have you ever tried to make these? If so, have you tried to spray paint these different colors? I would have, but I ran out of time.  I rather like them white too.  

Aunt Suzanne put these flowers together and I thought they were lovely. 

My husband decorated most of the house and I thought it was beautiful too. You can see some string lanterns hanging from the lights. 

Lastly, a picture of my little family. 


Anonymous said...

That's a very nice picture of your family at the bottom of the post. Also, I like your string lanterns a lot. I've seen them online before but never tried making them.

As I sit here doing taxes on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I can't help feeling a bit jealous of all the crafting and cooking you have been doing. :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, and you and Jared make a great decorating team! :)