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Lantern-making

17 December 2010

For one of my classes, in preparation for the annual UP Lantern Parade, we were required to design and create prototype lanterns to be carried by each student of the college. I was assigned to make one that (supposedly) represents the Home Economics Education Department (HEED). After wracking my brain on a design, making a few failed attempts, searching the internets for inspiration (or, if I was lucky, a straightforward DIY), I found this lovely chandelier thing made out of toilet paper rolls (which I totally cannot find right now. Sorry!). That became the jump-off point to make my prototype which I call a “Beacon”.


It’s really simple and it makes an awesome light pattern, too!

After submitting that, I thought that my Lantern parade responsibilities were behind me. But, noooooo… the professor at my other class (and, actually, all the profs in the college) required us to make our own little lanterns and actually parade around the campus. Ugh. I had intended to just watch again this year, but apparently that’s not happening.

Nevertheless, being the good student that I am, I made my own lantern based on the guidelines the prof and the rest of the class set. The new design is based on the Beacon, but larger (we had a 1.5 ft minimum length requirement) and more colorful.

The prototype had no color yet and was pretty floppy. I just made this to try out the concept. It kinda looks like a funny flower this way. It’s made out of a sheet of blueprint from an old plate in architecture (see the writing on the inside).

For the actual lantern I decided to take out the really old acrylic paints I hardly used and paint some color onto the sheet before making the lantern. I gave it a coat (or two) of clear lacquer as well, for shine and a bit of protection. I like how the floor tiles I was working on gave it a bit of pattern as well.

The paint was really old and most of them dried up inside the tubes. I couldn’t squeeze the paint out of ’em anymore. I guess it was a good thing, because it limited the number of colors I could use.

After measuring, cutting, gluing, taping and wrestling with a sheet of paper, here’s the (almost) finished product! I added a tube of tracing paper inside later on to diffuse the light that I placed in the middle.

Here’s what it looks like at night, when it’s lit up. It got rained on and the humidity was terrible all afternoon so it looks deformed and deflated by the end of the parade, but it’s still in one piece! Thank you, clear lacquer!

P.S. I just found out that UP-CHE won 2nd place in the Lantern design! W00t!

One comment

  1. […] I was painting the paper I used for my lantern, I got the idea that I could use something similar as gift wrappers. I had a few tubes of usable […]



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