string lanterns

This is a project I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but it’s a bit time consuming so it kept getting pushed to the end of the list. My friend got me the prettiest little white lanterns made out of string—I love them, so I decided to try to make some more myself. This project is messy and time consuming and sometimes a little frustrating (aren’t you excited to do it now?!), but the end result is well worth the glue covered hair/clothes/body (really, I promise). I made a string of different sized small balls and put them on white Christmas lights, but you could also make bigger lanterns or even just make a bunch in different sizes to hang from the ceiling without lights.
For this project you will need:
Roughly 4 oz glue
½ cup cornstarch
¼ cup hot water
Embroidery string (or yarn if you want something thicker)
Clear spray paint
Balloons (I used water balloons. If you want to make larger lanterns I would recommend those party balloons that come with a rubber band tied to them that are meant for bouncing…any idea what I’m talking about?...Anyways, those are usually rounder than regular balloons)
Vaseline (We didn’t have Vaseline so I used Crisco because I’m lazy…uh, I mean, innovative)
White string lights
Paper towel
Clear or white wire (this wire should be stiff and not easily bent out of shape—you could use paper clips for this)

To prep mix together the glue, cornstarch and water until there are no clumps and blow up your balloons. If you don’t blow them up all the way, they will be more round.
Cover the balloon in Vaseline/Crisco so that the string doesn’t stick to the balloon once it’s dry.

Coat the string in your glue mixture as you wrap it around the balloon. Begin by wrapping vertically and slowly begin to wrap horizontally. Wrap until there are no large holes. If you are planning on putting lights into your lanterns, make sure there is a hole big enough to insert them.
Allow the lanterns to dry until they are completely hard.
Use a needle/knife to pop the balloons and pull them out carefully. You may need to use tweezers, depending on the size of the holes you left.  There will most likely be a bit of dried glue in the holes. If this bugs you, you can use a knife to carefully scrape it out.  It looks a little weird up close, but I decided to leave them on mine because it looks really nice when the light shines through them.
Next, spray paint each ball to give them extra strength.

While you're waiting for the paint to dry, cut your wire into pieces around 2 inches long.  Wrap them around the bases of your lights so that the ends stick out opposite sides.  Carefully insert the lights into holes that are just big enough to fit them.  Position the wire so that the lights can't be pulled out easily and you're done!

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