Monday, November 16, 2009

paper lantern candle sleeve tutorial

Today is my friend, Kathryn's birthday. She's one of my best friends and one of the only people who stood by me during a very difficult time in my life. To celebrate her birthday, we had Kathryn and her husband over for dinner this weekend.

One of the things I like best about a dinner party is setting the table. Themes dance in my head and I love using the many dishes I have. (Here's an entertaining hint: Buy inexpensive, plain, white, dinner plates and then spend your money on super fancy salad plates. Salad plates are usually cheaper than dinner plates and you can just place them on top of the white dinner plates for a custom look.)

I wanted the table this weekend to be very fresh and bright, so I placed some clementines in a vase and added some white roses from my garden. Then, for lighting, I raided my scrapbook paper stash and made some paper lantern candle sleeves to slip over my mismatched collection of votive candle holders and empty pickle jars. The paper lantern candle sleeves are a snap to make and can be customized to any occasion. (How about using some Thanksgiving paper?) The other great thing about them is that, when you are done with them, you can lay them flat and easily store them for the future.

Here's my tutorial for making them. (I didn't come up with how to cut paper lanterns, that craft has been around for years, but my candle sleeve is pretty original I think.)

Paper Lantern Candle Sleeve

-12"X12" Decorative Scrapbook Paper (the kind that is printed on both sides is the best because you will see the back in the finished project). I used Amy Butler's paper.
-Glass jars/candle holders in various shapes and sizes
-Tea light candles


1. Measure the height of your glass jar or candle holder.

2. Cut a strip of your scrapbook paper the height of the candle holder plus 1/2 inch. I keep the length of the paper at 12" so that I have ample room to slip the lantern sleeve over most containers, but you can measure around your holder and cut the length, with an additional 1" or so as well.

3. Fold the strip in half.

Then measure and mark every 1" along the folded edge of the paper.

4. Using your scissors, cut strips (starting at the folded edge) into the paper. Be careful to leave about a 1/2" at the end of your cut (as shown in the photo).

5. Unfold the paper and bring the two short ends together. Allow them to overlap by one strip and tape at the top and bottom.

6. Set the lantern down and gently push down on the top to make the strips bow out a bit.

7. Slip the paper lantern sleeve over your glass candle container, drop in a tea light, and carefully light your candle. (Do I need to tell you this is a PAPER sleeve and that you need to be careful not to set it on fire? Use a long lighter when lighting the candle and make sure that the candle flame isn't so high that it could catch the lantern.)

I'd love to see your version if you make any! If you want a PDF, printable version of this tutorial, click here.

To celebrate Kathryn's birthday, please visit her Etsy shop, Camellia Designs and take a look around. Her work is amazing. She is an excellent seamstress and knitter and the quality of her work is way above average. I think the purse below is my current favorite. Leave her a convo and tell her Happy Birthday!