Mid-Autumn DIY

Mid-Autumn DIY

25 September, 2015
Lovely Lanterns
Have fun and be earth-friendly when you celebrate the fall moon this year

With Mid-Autumn Festival just a few days away, we’ve scoured the web for some neat ways to make eco-friendly lanterns for you and your family to enjoy this festival season!
Not only are they fun to use,  but you can create quality time with your family by making them at home together before your moonlit night out – and you can know that you’re celebrating the holiday without buying mass-produced plastic lanterns and toxic glowsticks.

Most grownups will have fond memories of papier-mache, and it’s still a great way to make crafts from old newspapers and magazines! First, make a big bowl of paste by combining 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Make sure you mix it thoroughly so there’s no lumps, and the paste is runny like a white glue, not thick like paste.  Then you’ll need to tear your old newspapers and magazines into strips. To make papier-mache animals, simply twist newspaper into roughly your desired shape (rabit, pig, giraffe!) and then start layering on the paper strips dipped in the mixture. TIP: You can also choose to upcycle plastic containers as the base shape for your papier-mache project!
It’s easy and quick to make your own dye using vegetables and fruits for lanterns. It all depends on the colour you desire - for instance beets or red cabbage for purple, tomato peels for red, spinach or kale for green, lemon peels for yellow, orange/ grapefruit peels for orange, cherries or raspberries for pink. Simply combine one cup of peels/chopped vegetables with two cups of water and simmer on medium heat for about an hour. Then use it on your papier-mache for a naturally colourful finish! TIP: Try dip-dyeing  your project, starting with the lightest shades, to get a gradient or mutlicoloured effect!
You can make lanterns from soup and veggie cans by using a hammer and nail to poke holes in the sides of the can. You can even create patterns – get creative! Hang your lantern by poking two holes on two sides of the upper rim with a sharp utensil and stringing wire through them. Place a tealight in the bottom and voila - your personal light show of twinkling stars. Remember to recycle the can afterward! TIP: to prevent the metal from bending when you’re punvhing holes in it, fill the can with water and freeze overnight. Once your holes are punched, melt and pop out the ice, and replace with a soy tealight!

After emptying your pasta sauce or fruit jam, make a beautiful lantern from the glass jar! There are many ways to go about this, but one of our favourites is also one of the simplest: removing the inner part of a mason jar lid tie some twine around the metal rim and screw the lid back onto the jar, so the string stays in place on either side. This is your handle. Then simply fill the bottom of the jar with rice, soil, coffee grinds or even coffee beans, and nestle a tea light inside. That’s it! TIP: for children, consider using a reusable LED tealight or even string of lights (from your Christmas decorations box) to fill the jar with light!
Mid-Autumn festival is about enjoying the light of the giant autumn moon, so rather than adding to the 'stuff', why not enjoy its natural splendour, and that of the many lanterns hung around city parks and public spaces? If your family wants to add a little light to the show, a good quality LED torch is all you need, and kids will love playing with it year after year.

Wishing you and yours a very happy, safe and cheerful Mid-Autumn Festival!

By: Ecozine Staff


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