Monday, 1 November 2010

Lantern making time!

Well, it's this busy time of the year for us again. One celebration follows the next and we struggle to keep up. One thing is for sure though, no half German household is complete without making a St. Martin's lantern! If you want to find out a bit more about St Martin's Day, a festival celebrated in many European countries, head over to Red Ted Art's blog (and you get another lantern design too!). Last year, we had used an imported kit to make a mermaid lantern. Nice one, Cubling was into mermaids, but the kit was not ideal for a 2 year old. This year, we opted for an easy version that Cubling could help with more.

It took a few minutes to make. All you need is an empty 2l plastic bottle (transparent), scissors, glue, paintbrush (to apply the glue), semi-transparent paper, some wire and a stapler. Optional: cardboard of various colours to make lantern into an animal lookalike.

Cut the semi-transparent paper (multiple colours) into pieces. Cut off the top of the bottle. Apply glue to the outside of the bottle with the paintbrush and then stick the semi-transparent paper pieces onto the bottle - overlap is fine, use as many or little as you like.

Staple the wire to the top of the bottle.
Then you should have something like this:

Optional: you may want to add cardboard pieces to the bottle to make it into an animal - just cut out eyes and other features and glue to the lantern. I haven't done this yet but will do before the big day (I hope anyway), so no picture, sorry.

Get a lantern stick (that's the tricky part, they don't retail in the UK, Maggie over at Red Ted Art has some alternative ideas in the comments section) and you're done! Now all you need to do is practice your St Martin's songs, find a German expat group and walk the walk!

We are lucky that here in Glasgow there is a big St Martin's celebration, organised by the Kinderclub. It kicks off with lantern making this Saturday 1.30-3.30pm at the Hopkins Building (£3 which covers materials) and is followed by the short service and procession at University Chapel on Sunday from 6pm (with play afterwards, this is free). Anyone can come, you don't have to be German to take part in this event - it's always a great atmosphere and very well attended, and the lanterns - well, you'll get an amazing display of lantern making.

image from



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