Light up your summer party with paper lanterns. Here’s where to find the best ones.
SIMPLE & PERFECT | Yes, they’re only paper moons sailing over a concrete sea (my patio), but summer parties automatically feel more fun when I hang a few of these.
While string lights can remain outdoors 24/7/52, paper lanterns work outdoors only when the weather is fair. This is not an insurmountable problem in the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest because paper lanterns are always more about adding pizzazz to a particular event not hanging around indefinitely.
The least expensive paper lanterns I can find locally are at Diaso in Richmond and its sister boutique Yokoyaya in downtown Vancouver. Almost every paper lantern in these stores is just $2 for any size. Two of my Diaso favourites are the 15.7-inch ivy and floral lanterns pictured above.
Two great places to buy paper lanterns online are the Paper Lantern Store and Luna Bazaar; both have very good prices and ship to Canada—though to save even more money, I would have my order sent to The Letter Carrier in Point Roberts. The adorable white eyelet lantern pictured above (from Martha Stewart’s website) is available from each of these companies.
Part of the beauty of paper lanterns is the way they appear to float in the air. Lanterns weighted down on the bottom with tacky looking plastic rings that hold an LED light and batteries defeat this effect and look cheap to me.
When I want my lanterns lit (I never light all of them because I prefer to look at random spots of coloured light), I use battery-powered remote-controlled LED lights like the one pictured above from Luna Bazaar that can be moved from globe to globe. —Carolann Rule
Photos top to bottom: C. Rule, Kim Stuart, C. Rule (X2), via marthastewart.com, Luna Bazaar