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Hiroshima Lanterns

Several of you have requested instructions for making floating lanterns for the Hiroshima commemoration.

There are two complementary approaches -

A flat-bottomed receptacle

  • Take a margarine tub or some other pastic food tray.
  • Choose a strip of coloured tissue 4-6 inches wide. (ESK sells 16 sheets of mixed-colour tissue for 99p).
  • If the tray has splayed sides, fold a "dart" where the tissue strip is to be fastened into each corner of the tray. The maximum width of the dart should be at tne foot of the tissue sheet.
  • Glue the tissue to the inside walls of the tray.
  • Turn down the top edge of the tissue to make it less floppy.
  • Fix a tea-light candle to the centre of the base with glue, double-sided tape or a peelable tab. (Poundland sells 40 tea-lights for a pound).
Tissue does not readily stay put. Don't be dismayed if you have to abandon your first attempt!
If you have no container, you can

An Origami Lantern

Start with a sheet of printed wrapping paper between about 6 inches and 10 inches square. Don't use ordinary typing paper or card which softens in water.

The instructions below for making a sampan (a traditional Japanese boat) are taken from Robin Harbin's "Origami 1".

There is a video on the internet to give you confidence. You should start with a bigger sheet that is recommended in the video, to make sure you have room for your tea-light.
Embellish your sampan with blossom, leaves or coloured tissue. Natural materials are best added at the last moment, or they will wilt.

Have fun folding!

Finally, watch this video to see how lanterns are constructed in Japan.