Flying paper lanterns are like small hot air balloons, made of tissue paper and a simple fire source. Most of the supplies can be found around the house and only takes a couple of hours to complete. They can be launched for fun or as part of a celebration. Many people also believe that releasing a lantern is good luck. You can write your wishes or worries and send it off into the sky.
Glue two pieces of tissue paper together so the resulting sheet is large enough for our 35 inches by 22 inches lantern. Lay the first piece horizontally and glue the second piece along the bottom, overlapping them by about a quarter of an inch. You can make your lantern unique by using two different colors. Make four sets of these sheets.
Use cardstock or poster board to create a template for the lantern following the measurements in the picture (it's turned sideways, so the bottom is on the right). The bottom of the template should be 6 inches and the center should be 11 inches, with an overall height of 35 inches.
Like you did to the second sheet in Step 7, fold the third sheet over, so it lies on top of the two glued halves. Apply a thin line of glue along the curved edge of the third sheet as well as the unfolded bottom sheet. Lay the final sheet on top, completing the four walls of the lantern. Allow the assembly to dry completely.
Complete the lantern by attaching the tissue paper balloon to the hoop. Apply a thin line of glue along the inside edge of the tissue paper. Do one small section at a time, rolling the frame on top and pressing together with your fingers. Make sure there are no holes or open spaces.
Your fire source needs to be both light and hot enough to enable the lantern to float. Take a 10-inch strip of cotton fabric, fold it in half, and tie it in a knot, giving you a small bow. Place it in a lid from a jar or on tin foil. Using pliers, drip wax from a lit birthday candle over the fabric. It may take 2-3 candles to cover it thoroughly.
Be extra careful when lighting the lantern. Keep your distance from dry areas and power lines. With two people holding the bottom, light the fabric. It will take a couple of minutes to fill the lantern with hot air. Once it’s ready, you can feel it lifting away from your hands. Let it go and watch it fly.
Alternative fuel can be made by soaking cotton balls in ethanol and attaching it to the frame with wire. It won't last long, so you need to light it right away.
You can attach a string to your lantern to recover it after it’s launched.
Do not light lanterns indoors or in dry areas.
Fly your lantern in an open space away from trees and wires.
Lanterns should not be released on rainy or windy days.