You will need:

  • A tray or container
  • Willow (willow stem is known as a withe or withy)
  • Bamboo Garden Cane (to carry your lantern)
  • Masking Tape (to join the withies together)
  • Tissue paper – white (preferably wet strength – to cover the frame)
  • Thin wire (for hanging loops)
  • PVA Glue (diluted with water 50/50 - to stick tissue to frame)
  • Sponge / paint brush (for applying glue mix to tissue paper)
  • Secateurs or wire cutters and scissors
  • Tea Light or string of lights (please use rechargeable lights if possible)
  • And a space that can get messy

How to create your Lantern:

1. Arrange your workspace so that you have everything you need close to hand, and use a surface that can get messy or cover your surface to protect it.

2. Create the lantern base: Decide how big you would like your lantern to be. Cut 4 pieces of your willow (withe) so that they are all the same length and thickness. Tape the corners together using the masking tape to make your square. Tip: To fix your withies together create a tag of masking tape on the end of one withe and wrap the tag around the end of the other withe and back again in a figure of 8 pattern to attach the pieces together securely. Cut 2 lengths of withe to fit the diagonal and tape to the square to reinforce it.

3. Create your lantern frame: Decide what height you would like your lantern to be and cut 4 withies to the same length. Tape the ends of your upright pieces to the corners of the square base and tape them all together at the top. If your lantern is particularly large you may want to add some diagonal supports, a second square of willow half way up, or bend 4 circles out of the thinner ends of the withies and fix each to the 4 sides of your frame.

4. Make a carrying loop: To make the carrying loop, bend a piece of wire and attach it to the top of your frame using the tape.

5. Cover your lantern frame: Now for the messy bit! Use a brush or sponge to cover a sheet of tissue paper with your PVA/water mix. Ensuring that the four corners stay apart, place your piece of wet tissue on to your lantern frame. Overlap edges of the tissue paper as you go, smoothing any pieces of tissue that are sticking up. Cover the whole lantern, but don’t forget to leave a gap at the base to insert your LED light(s).

6. Create your carrying cane: Take another piece of wire, bend it in half and attach it to one end of your garden cane using the tape. Bend the end of the wire into a hook shape to carry the lantern.

7. Light up your lantern: Once your lantern is dry, place your light into the base of the frame and tape it in to secure it. Turn off the lights and see your lantern glow! You can also add coloured tissue paper to your lantern to decorate it.

Bring your lantern along to our #TorbayEarthHour event on Saturday 25 March 2023, 8.30pm at Torre Abbey, Torquay. Keep your lantern and hang it in your room or garden after the event.