Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Winter Lantern with Guest Designer Betsy Skagen

For those of you who don't know me, I live up north. Waaaaaay up North. I live in Minnesota where the winters get bitter cold and dark winter nights come early. I'm Betsy Skagen of Paper Calliope and while my fingers may be cold, my heart is warm from the opportunity to be Gina's Designs' November 2015 Guest Designer. I created this week's project to light up some of those approaching long winter nights.

Tutorial--How to Make the Rustic Winter Tealight Lantern

Step 1: Assemble the bottom and sides of Gina's Dimensional Diorama. Leave out the interior sections and the metal revolving piece as you will not be needing them. Adhere with a strong glue, such as Beacon Fabri-Tac.

Step 2: Using the Christmas Shape Set, Snowflake Shape Set and Winter Shape Set, pre-determine
the scenes you want to create for each side panel. Make sure to design one of the scenes so that you will be able to push open the vellum panel to slide in a tealight. In the picture below, I left the vellum
slightly bent so you could see how I access my tealight. Notice that the sled is actually attached to the vellum and not the lantern. This enables me to open the panel to operate the tealight.
Step 3: Paint both sides of the chipboard pieces you selected with two coats of Tuscan Red acrylic (gloss) paint, letting dry between coats.

Step 4: Paint the interior and exterior of the Diorama, the remaining lid piece and the Let it Snow Chipboard element, with two coats of gloss red paint, letting dry between coats.

Step 5: Remove the handle from an old pail and paint the wooden part with two coats of gloss red paint, letting dry between coats.

Step 6: Adhere the chipboard scenes to the exterior edges of the diorama's open panels. Adhere the Let it Snow element to the lantern lid.

Step 7: Use stiff dry brushes to stipple burnt umber, cocoa bean and Tuscan red paints in random
places along the edges and corners of the lantern, chipboard elements and handle. Repeat this process numerous times to build up a texture that mimics corrosion and rust.

Step 8: Cut the vellum to fit the panels. For three of the panels, place a strong adhesive on the interior edges of the diorama's panels and adhere the vellum. For the fourth panel, only attach the upper half of the vellum so you can access your tealight.

Step 9: If you wish, you may punch a hole in the top sides of your lantern to insert the pail handle. I chose to keep mine merely decorative and did not actually attach the handle.

Step 10: Install and glue in the lid to the lantern.
Step 11: Repeat Step 7 of creating rust along where the lid meets the rest of the lantern.

Once it is dry, your lantern is complete. It would look great on a mantle or make a festive centerpiece for a holiday meal. I would love to see the lanterns you make--please email me pictures of how you use them to light up your holidays!

In the meantime, don't forget that Gina's Designs is soon changing their name to Gypsy Laser Soul Cuts! Until next time, Betsy

  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint, 2-Ounce, Tuscan Red 

  • Americana Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint 2oz-Cocoa Bean

  • Deco Art Media Fluid Acrylic Paint, 1-Ounce, Burnt Umber

  • Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, 4-Ounce

  • Instapark® LCL Series Battery-powered Flameless LED Tealight Candles (2-Dozen Pack)

  • Silhouette Vellum Paper for Scrapbooking


  1. Fabulous project, and so clever Betsy!

  2. Betsy!! This is not only delightful & wonderful but oh so clever!! I just love it!!