Light up the outdoors with these festive votive candles, which can be strung along a porch or hung from the branches of trees, much like a string of holiday lights. The candles in these mini lanterns create a soft, glowing ambiance that is unmatched by electricity. Here are some easy directions from Paper Illuminated, by Helen Hiebert (Storey Books, 2001).
Bold, translucent papers work best for this project, since the candlelight provides a soft glow. Use paper that is stiff and has some body to it, so that the votive cover holds its shape.
Materials (for one votive cover):
• 20-gauge wire, 24 inches long
• Glass votive holders, 2½ inches in diameter
• Needle-nosed pliers
• Paper, 8 x 3½ inches
• X-acto knife
• Bone folder
• ¼ or ½-inch double-sided tape
• Votive candle or tea light
Twisting the wire hanger:
1. Wrap the wire around the glass votive holder just below the middle and twist it a couple of times.
2. Pull the wire underneath the bottom of the glass and over to the other side, threading it through the circumference wire. Remove the glass and wrap the wire around the circumference wire a couple of times. Pinch it tight with pliers.
3. Bring the loose end of the wire around to meet the original twisted joint and twist the end of the loose wire around to the left and right of the original joint to hold it in place.
4. Place the glass in the wire holder. Pinch the top loop together with needle-nosed pliers and twist the wire 3 times.
5. Bend the top to create a hook.
Making the paper shade:
1. Place the piece of paper face down on your work surface. With a rule, draw two lines along the 8-inch length of the strip, ½ inch in from each edge.
2. Using a triangle, draw slits perpendicular to and between the two lines at ½-inch intervals. Cut the slits with an X-acto knife.
3. Use a bone folder to score the paper along the two horizontal lines. Make a third crease with the bone folder in the center of the length of the strip. Carefully erase any pencil marks.
4. Fold the strip of paper in half, with the right side facing out. Fold the strip in the other direction along the other scored lines.
5. Apply a strip of double-sided tape to one of the short edges on the wrong side and wrap the paper strip around the glass votive. Attach the tapes edge to the other short edge (the right side) to complete the miniature lantern. Place the candle in the votive holder.
* You can use brightly colored, translucent vellum paper to add another design element. Try decorating with a variety of colors to create a visual interest and a lively mood.