Sunday, January 4, 2009

Merry and Bright

An auspicious new year to you and yours. ^_^

I would really like to thank all the folks who've been following this blog for whatever reason. I hope you aren't disappointed when the posts are few and far between or when they're weird. It's my sincerest wish to improve the quality and frequency of updates to Shishi Girl (and maybe explain why it's called what it is) in the coming year. よろしくおねがいします!


We are currently in the midst of a strange period of time between two calendars: the Gregorian calendar, which dictates that the new year has begun, and the Chinese calendar, which pokes the Gregorian calendar hard in the ribs and gives it the look that says "not yet, idiot."


That is to say, for a few more weeks, the world will be at odds over what year it really is. For those among you who were too jetlagged from Christmas to enjoy the Eve celebrations (or if you drunk yourself into an early bedtime), this is good news. You have another New Year's Eve to enjoy! January 26th, save the date. And maybe make some Asian lanterns in the meantime.

For those who prefer hammer, nails, and metal to paper and glue, there is the good ol' tin can lantern. Here is what they look like, and how to make them

Tin Can Lantern Tutorial

You need:
nails and/or tin punches
wire or string
tea lights
(or any short, fat candle)
1) Get some tin cans together. If you have one of those safety-lid can openers that pry off the lid without sharp edges, try to use that for the opening of cans you intend to make lanterns from. Larger soup cans, baked bean cans, etc. are good; small coffee cans are even better. Cans that have a white or shiny reflective surface on the inside tend to make brighter lanterns.

1.5) Eat whatever good things are in the cans, then wash them out. Of course.

2) Fill the cans with water and put them in the freezer. Leave the water level about 1cm below the top so the ice will have some expansion room. The ice in the cans keeps them from denting in while you punch holes in step 3.

2.5) If you have a design in mind, draw it on the outside of the can with a marker so you can follow it later. Or just wing it, like I always do. XD

3) Punch holes through the frozen can with a hammer and nails. Make sure you're doing this in a safe place, like outside or somewhere that you won't accidentally hammer into the floor. Also, don't hurt yourself. Please. If you have or can borrow a metal punch, it makes the process much easier. You can make big holes with the punch, or tap it once to mark out dents that will settle the nail in place on the surface of the can, so it's not slipping around on the metal. Don't forget to punch two holes opposite from each other near the top rim of the can so that you can hang it.

4) Light 'em up. Put candle in the bottom of each lantern and hang it with a length of string or wire. I prefer wire because there's no fear of it burning if the flame gets too high.

I love these for Halloween because you can hang them in the trees where little candy-hunting kids won't accidentally knock them over or get too close and set their costumes on fire.

Unburnt children are always preferable to burnt ones. :D

More lantern patterns and tutorials on the Internet:
Cylindrical Harlequin-fold Lantern and another tut for the same shape
Indian Party Lantern
(kinda similar to the Korean lantern)
Reverse-fold Lantern
Round Harlequin-fold Lanterns


se7en said...

My kids loved this post so much that they went on a bit of a lamp frenzy!!! We linked to you and the link to our post if you would like to see it is here: said...

Oh how perfect! I love both of them. I'll be linking.

Ku said...

Wai, doumo! I really appreciate it, both of you!

Hey se7en, nice to meet you! My name means "nine," by the way... didn't earn it like you, though. Homeschooling 7 kids sounds like a gauntlet. O.o;;

Siladitya Banerjee said...

Great tutorial.
BPO work from home

lisbonlioness said...

Hey, that is way cool! Especially the idea of filling them with ice to keep the cans from denting. Genius!

Cool said...

Excellent articles. Thanks for sharing.!!!

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