How to make a Lantern for Winter Solstice. - The Magic Onions

How to make a Lantern for Winter Solstice.

Today is Winter Solstice… the shortest day of the year and tonight will be the longest night. It is a time to celebrate and mark the year by inviting the light back into our lives. In all this darkness, it is a time to reflect inwardly and ask that light and warmth grow our hearts too.
In honor of Winter Solstice, we made a winter lantern. We collected ‘nature bits’ that remind us of winter. As we worked, we talked about the things we love about this time of year and the things we look forward to as the sun returns. My children feel magical when they are holding a lantern… it signifies the capturing and nurturing of light… a power they know they posses inside. I love to see the excitement it brings.
Our Winter Solstice Lantern to welcome in the light
To make a lantern like ours, you will need…
A small balloon
Tissue paper (we chose white for the winter snow)
Nature bits
Bendable wire

Tear the tissue paper into small strips.
Squeeze glue into a recycled dish (we used an old yogurt tub and put it in the recycling bin when we were done with it).
Dilute the glue with a little water (you want the glue/water mix to be the consistency of light cream).
Dip a tissue paper strip into the glue and wrap it around the round end of your balloon.
Continue until the round end of your balloon is covered in a layer of tissue paper…
Stick your winter ‘nature bits’ to your tissue papered balloon and cover with another layer of gluey tissue paper. This layer seals your ‘nature bits’ into your lantern.

Set your gluey tissue papered balloon in the sun to dry. As it dries, the glue hardens, making the tissue paper firm and sturdy.
When the tissue paper is completely dry, pop the balloon with a pin. Once again, T found this the BEST! He is our official ‘balloon popper’!
As the balloon pops, it comes away from the hardened tissue paper, leaving a lovely round lantern.
Cut a length of wire, about 20 inches long, for your lantern’s handle. Poke one end through one side of the tissue paper and twist to fix in place. Repeat with the other side.
Voila! You have a delightful winter lantern.

Before dinner, we lit our lantern. T and K took turns holding it as we sang our favorite Christmas carols and I could see the light in their hearts grow with each second that passed. Light and warmth is now kindled within us for us to nurture throughout the year ahead.
I want to end this entry by taking you to this beautiful winter lantern made my Luciana and her family.
Blessings and magic.
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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. We are celebrating tonight by hanging pinecone bird feeders and a string of popcorn on our trees. I wish I’d had time to fit lantern making in. I keep telling myself next year. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. This is perfect. It would make the perfect holiday gift to make with my kindergarten kiddos next year.

    I wish I had half the creativity and know how that you have. I love looking at your site and finding all teh fun creations you have made.

  3. Absolutely beautiful! Have a wonderful week together with your family x

  4. What a fun little project. We’ve made Martinmas lanterns like this, but wouldn’t they look cute as a placesetting? Keep the crafting ideas coming! Good to have something to do with the kids home these two weeks!

  5. what a brilliant idea!

  6. lovely donni, just lovely!

  7. Lovely!

  8. So pretty! What a great idea!

  9. Hi good day ! nice post you have . It’s very nice , I have plan to setting up my garden can you give me an idea or steps on how to make it beautiful. i have heard some garden accessories such as wind garden spinners , wind chimes , and many more . I want to try this things in my garden but i don’t know how to get the right accessories . I hope you can help me . thank you .

  10. Marcy Zweig says:

    This looks so lovely. I love the idea. One question though- doesn’t it burn if you put a candle in it?

    • Hi Marcy,
      we use a small tealight candle that doesn’t touch the paper at all and we do not leave burning unattended.


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