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Christmas lanterns

Gedling Winter Lanterns

This year will be different for many but we wanted to do something that could bring some Christmas cheer and bring the community together so we are launching the #GedlingWinterLanterns

We want you to make your lantern using the instructions below and then send us your pictures to share across the Gedling community.

The lanterns will be displayed across Arnold Town Centre and the borough. We want you to be as creative as possible and we are very excited to see the lanterns you create.

Share your photos and tag them on the council’s Facebook and Instagram pages using #GedlingWinterLanterns

To make a lantern you will need:

1 large, clean plastic bottle - the straighter the sides the better

Coloured tissue paper

PVA glue

Marker pen


Pots for glue & paint brush for gluing

Cover for your table

Battery operated lights: strings of fairy lights or small LED lights

String or wire

A hole punch

Two wooden skewers (for the Santa and snowman only)

Clear tape

Equipment needed to create a lantern

How to make your bottle lanterns

First decide on what style of lantern you would like to make; you can have different designs and sizes. You can cut the bottle at different points to have different designs.

Tall standard

Santa (small standard)

Snow man

Cutting a bottle to make the shape of a lantern

WARNING – adult supervision required: Draw a line where you want to cut. Cut a hole in the bottle using a sharp knife on this line. Then using your scissors cut along the line. Some bottles you can fold and cut into to start a hole. Trim the edge smooth.

So that you can hang your lantern up, use a hole-punch to make 2 holes and thread with string or wire. If you are doing a Santa or Snowman skip this step. Using a marker pen draw your design onto the bottle or put a picture inside the bottle to follow. Big bold designs work best.

If you are doing the Santa or the snowman you need to put something to attach your light to at the bottom.

Drawing a line or design on a piece of paper as a guide to cut the bottle

WARNING – adult supervision required: Make four holes across from each other at the bottom using a hole punch. Take yours skewers and run them through the holes (they should form a cross). mark and trim the skewers to length with some scissors. Secure the skewers with plenty of clear tape.

Thin the PVA glue with a little water. Tear your tissue into small pieces and glue them onto the bottle, coating the bottle with glue then placing the tissue where you want it. Cover the whole bottle, you can trim any overlapping tissue from the top once dry. Coat all your tissue in a thin layer of glue to seal the tissue down and leave to dry.

Once dry you can add extra details with marker pens or neaten up your outline drawing that is showing through. To hang up the Santa and Snowman lanterns tie your wire or string around the neck of the bottle. You can also cut the tissue into shapes or add decorated cardboard shapes, like Santa’s pompom and snowman’s hat.

Applying tissue mesh to a bottle

For the standard lanterns you can just place you lights right inside. For the Santa/Snowman you need to feed your lights in though the bottom and then tape the battery pack to the wooden skewers.

Well done! You now have your finished lantern

A homemade lantern with a snow man design

A homemade lantern with a Santa design

A homemade lantern with a baubles design

A homemade lantern with a Christmas stocking design