So you wanna save some skrilla on the decor, but the thought of “Doing-it-yourself” scares the crap out of you? Well, you’re screwed. Go take it out on Martha. Ok, no. I’m kidding. Come on back. I didn’t mean it. I am here to tell you NOT to be afraid of DIY. I am by no means a hands-on artistic person. I can slap some paint down on a canvas like any other a-hole, but making it look good… Well, that’s a whole different beast. My fiance Mike and I are ridin’ shotgun on the Broke-Ass Mobile right now, so we know damn well that if we want a rad looking wedding, we have to DIY… or DIE. Once we committed to the daring act of DIY, we hopped in the car and traveled into the eye of the craftstorm Michael’s, blind. We ended up getting some paints… some tissue paper… a glue gun… some heavy cardstock… yarn… ribbon… whatever we could fashion into a centerpiece or a fake flower, we bought it. But then we got home. And things got real.
Suddenly, we were at the helm of hurricane DIY without any idea of what to actually DO with it, and we were indeed screwed. But I’m not a quitter. If I say DIY or DIE, I mean it. So we re-grouped. Realized we needed less crafts and more raw materials… like recycled bottles and vases… stuff that we already had in our house even. Then our brains started to get more hip to the crafty jive, and we started to clean out our closets. We found endless amounts of re-usable stuff that was just begging us to make centerpieces with. For example, we found buttons, shoe boxes, sheet music, cardboard, magazines, boxes, T-shirts, vases, frames, bottles, misc containers, CD jewel cases, etc. etc. The jewel cases in particular, are what initially ignited my fire to craft hard… Oh yes. When I saw those puppies collecting dust in the closet, I had an urge to craft hard with a vengeance… then live free and craft hard! Yeah, I know. Serious centerpiece inspiration exploding in my face… and that’s when the idea to turn them into lanterns was born! And it didn’t stop at jewel cases. I soon discovered that any flat surface with an opening for light to shine through would do the trick. SO, I present to you one of my scrappy decor tutorials:
affordable, green and creative – the broke-ass trifecta of crafts!
“HOBO LANTERNS” I find it hilarious that I am about to teach you how to DIY a lantern when I literally flew by the seat of my pants during initial construction. But lucky for me, I made something pretty cool that actually works! Materials:
- CD Jewel Cases, sans sleeves. TWO for each lantern. Or any flat surface that can be glued together to make a box. Just make sure parts of it allow light to shine through.
- A glue gun.
- Tissue paper (don’t think you need to go out and buy this new… look in old shoe boxes and shopping bags)
- Re-usable paper: i.e. sheet music, old books, outdated maps… your class notes from Spanish 101 even!
- Battery-powered mini-tea lights. Candles. Light strings. The glow of your cat’s eyes. Anything that shines a light.
- Paint (optional)
- Yarn, string or something of the sort (optional)
- Pants (always optional)
Glue your jewel cases into a box shape, leaving the top and the bottom exposed. Pssst! This is a FANTASTIC task for the men to do. Mike was all over gluing these things together. For him it was like putting together the world’s easiest puzzle over and over. He was a jewel case-gluin’ beast.
Glue tissue paper on all sides of the jewel case that are clear (some cases will have all clear sides, and some will only be clear on half. Using both kinds totally works).
Cover the non-clear jewel case sides with some of your re-usable paper. Then cut out shapes like hearts or stars, and glue them on the tissue paper sides in whatever design suits the style of your wedding. I chose to paint flowers on some of my lanterns to give a them a little more color.
Place your chosen light source under the finished lantern, and there you have it! A scrappy, but beautiful alternative to illuminating your tables or your outside reception. The best part about hobo lanterns is that they can sit on a table, or be hung from above. That’s where the yarn or string would come in.
You can stack them, or let them roll solo.
These hobo lanterns use recycled Chinese character paper and outdated maps…
And scraps of wood leftover from which we built 3-D animals with!
What are some other reusable materials we could use to make Hobo Lanterns?