Wednesday, December 4, 2019

winter's light

December days are short as darkness settles in early and makes for long evenings.
It is so nice to put out the Christmas decorations as we begin to celebrate this wonderful season.
During these times, I love the warm glow that candlelight provides. I thought it would be fun to create a winter lantern, using die cut greens and the Gypsy Soul Laser Cut lantern cage style.
The finished lantern measures approximately 3-1/2" square x 6-1/2" high. It arrives flat in 10 pieces. I like to pre-assemble the pieces before I begin my actual project. This helps me to envision the final piece, as well as understand which parts go where and the best method to put it all together.
When all of the pieces are carefully removed from the surround, use a dry rag or paper towel to wipe down all of the edges. I first paint all of the pieces with black acrylic paint.
When that paint is dry, I paint the exterior faces of each piece with brushed pewter distress paint. I use a dauber top to apply the paint lightly along the mullions and exposed edges.
When the paint has dried, I assemble the main part of the lantern. Add a small line of glue along the bottom edge of the side panels and insert the tabs into the openings in the base. I prefer to use tacky glue as it gives me a little extra open time so that I can be sure all of my pieces fit correctly, and if necessary, I am able to make adjustments before that glue has dried. I assemble three sides of the lantern base, as well as the top section. I do not glue down the uppermost top piece or the lantern door. I leave the door as a separate piece so that whatever is placed inside can be easily accessed.
A knob (handle) is added to the lantern top before it is attached to the lantern. To ensure that it is centered on the top, turn the piece over. Draw diagonal lines to opposite corners. Where these lines intersect is the center of the square.
Using a dremel (or an awl) drill a hole large enough to accommodate the knob screw, directly at the center. Slip the screw through the hole and then screw the knob onto it from the opposite side. Once the knob is secured in place, glue the top onto the lantern.
The lantern is now ready to be adorned. I had many ideas for this piece and decided to keep it simple, thus extending the period that I can leave it out on my shelf. I die cut bunches of various evergreens, then colored them using distress inks and paints.
I create a wreath to attach to the top panel around the knob and some additional greenery pieces are located around the base.  Inside, I place a red (battery operated) candle amongst the greens.
 Note: the GSLC lantern is made from flammable chipboard, do NOT use a traditional candle inside the lantern due to fire hazard
The lantern interior is easily viewed from the exterior. It could reasonably accommodate a snowy Christmas scene inside, or even a mini faux poinsettia plant. The lantern could also be used in a non-holiday fashion; perhaps as a base for a steampunk styled piece. The possibilities for this lantern are endless. I do hope that you have been inspired to create your own lantern cage style.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, I truly appreciate it.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts used:


  1. Another gorgeous project. We wait for winter solstice and the return of the light.