DIY | While inexpensive paper lanterns used en masse contribute enormously to the festive mood in a room (try imagining the space pictured above without them), a plain pendant lantern used on its own can easily look like an uninspired afterthought.
Of course a single Noguchi Araki light sculpture would be beautiful, but shades like these, which are fashioned from handmade washi paper and authentic bamboo ribbing, are anything but cheap.
If you are going to use a cheap Chinese paper lantern alone in a room, why not personalize it in a way that makes it distinctive? Here are four of our favourite eye-catching ways to embellish paper lanterns, plus a how-to video from Martha Stewart that covers some of the basics.
1. Coloured tissue is perfect paper for decorating a lantern because it lets the light through. Cut any shape you like and stick it on to the shade using Modpodge. (CLICK HERE to watch Martha Stewart show you how to do this.)
2. British artist Kate Daudy is famous for inscribing poems on everything from walls to vintage clothing. Here she uses letters made of felt to add wise words to the surface of an inexpensive lampshade in her parlour. (CLICK HERE to see more of her home featured in the New York Times magazine).
3. Priced at just $4 each, IKEA Regolit seem to be the go-to shade for crafters wanting to experiment. Here a Scandinavian designer has used acrylic paint to add polka dots to her pendants.
4. Could there be anything easier than putting vinyl peel-and-stick letters and numbers on a lantern? Alexa at The Swell Life came up this inventive font treatment (CLICK HERE to get her instructions). —eds