DIY paper lantern hot air balloon

Recently I found a paper lantern, and then a few days later a little toiletries basket. Amongst all the other random bits I managed to link the two together in my mind for a hot air balloon project.

You won’t be surprised to find that I have a stash of loose strings that I save from fancy gift wrap etc, so I had the perfect red and white string for this DIY. Also not surprising is that I have languishing rolls of washi tape for grand DIY plans that have never materialised (thank you Pinterest). This is how I made my hot air balloon:

You will need:

  • Round paper lantern
  • Small basket, about the same size as the base of the lantern. Alternatively cut off the base of a milk bottle?
  • String
  • Thread (for hanging, in the same colour as your ceiling, or clear fishing gut)
  • Washi/decorative tape

DIY paper lantern hot air balloon

Instructions:
1. First make your balloon’s mini-bunting by cutting a section of string and folding pieces of washi tape around the string so that the sticky sides close against each other. Cut these little rectangles into a point to form triangular bunting. Space these mini flags out evenly along the string. Attach your string of bunting to one side of the basket or all the way around.

DIY paper lantern hot air balloon2. Make bunting from washi tape. Now to attach the basket to the balloon. Thread a string along the top of your basket and attach each corner to the base of the lantern. This step was easy given the type of basket I found. If you use another container like the base of a milk bottle then just pierce four holes in the “basket” and thread through there. Make sure that all four strings are the same length and that your basket hangs evenly and in the centre directly below the balloon.

DIY paper lantern hot air balloon3. Attached the basket to the balloon with string. Stretch out and open up your lantern and see how the basket hangs. My basket was very lightweight and so the lantern didn’t open up properly. I added some stones inside the basket so that it would really stretch the lantern open into a perfect globe.

4. Now that your lantern is fully extended, you can apply decorative stripes to the “balloon”. Using your roll of washi tape, attach the end to the inside of the base of the balloon. Stick it around the outside and then all the way up to the top. At the top leave a little extra before cutting the piece free; press this over the edge to the inside. The ends of the tape should be hidden on the inside. I followed the natural seems of my lantern with my tape, which is where the paper is glued together to make the globe. Apply the stripes of washi tape symmetrically and remember to keep the lantern fully open and extended.

5. Attach some thread to the top of the balloon so that you can hang it up. It would also make a nice lampshade (used exactly like the lantern was intended) but I don’t have any hanging lamps so it’s just randomly flying above the bed.

DIY paper lantern hot air balloon6. A hanging ceramic heart with our initials. I actually added some extra pizzazz in the form of a little heart that hangs under the balloon; it’s full-on twee and I wrote our initials onto it.

DIY paper lantern hot air balloon

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