Monday, February 21, 2011

Project Paper Cup: Chinese Paper Lanterns Made from Yogurt Paper Cups

Kung hei fat choi!

Chinese New Year has finally arrived and we hope you all enjoyed celebrating this worldwide festivity whether you partake in celebration or not. The Chinese New Year is officially punctuated by the Lantern Festival, which in some regions and countries is also said to be the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day. For this edition of Project Paper Cup, we shall be making our very own Chinese paper lanterns made from recycled yogurt paper cups. In ancient times, it is said that the paper lanterns were made simple because only the aristocrats could afford to make elaborate lanterns. Today, Chinese paper lanterns are made with many complex designs.

For our yogurt paper cup version, we’ll make it red and glittery. So aside from used and cleaned up yogurt paper cups, you’ll need scissors, two kinds of glue—the regular white glue and gold glitter glue, gold glitter chenille stem, red acrylic paint, and gold felt paper.

First, get your chenille stem and cut it in half. Insert both ends to the bottom of one of the cups. This will serve as your hanger. Reach inside the cup and bend the ends to secure it. Now, get another yogurt paper cup and make sure it is the same size as the one with chenille stem. Glue it together mouth to mouth and set it aside to dry. Once dry, paint it with red acrylic. You may coat it twice for a brighter hue of red. Again, allow it to air dry for a few minutes. While waiting for your yogurt paper cups to dry, get your gold felt paper and cut a piece of about five inches. Fringe it with scissors by cutting thin slits. Go back to your yogurt paper cups and decorate it using your gold glitter glue. Let dry and then attach the fringed felt to the bottom of the cups. Make sure to hang your lantern!

If you have more used yogurt paper cups, you can make more paper lanterns and you can customize each one. You can even give it away as gifts. See you next time for another edition of Project Paper Cup for more simple and eco-friendly ways to reuse your yogurt paper cups.