Monday, April 19, 2010


Last summer I bought a couple of solar powered Japanese style lanterns to use outside. I really enjoyed them on the deck and I was intrigued with the idea of making lanterns from fabric that would be a little more colorful and interesting than the very plain ones I bought. The catch was finding the solar powered light to go inside. I looked at lights on the internet and didn't find what I thought I needed, plus the ones I found were pretty expensive. Then one day I was in the garden section at K Mart and saw these individual solar lights. I discovered that the stakes popped right off leaving just the light. And the price was right. Perfect.

So, those of you that guessed that yesterday's project was some kind of lampshade were pretty much right.

Here is the finished lantern, hanging on a little shepard's crook outside. I made the framework from bamboo-like sticks, lashed together at the corners. I sewed the fabric, a lovely gingko patterned batik, with channels at each corner for the sticks to go through, then when it was assembled I painted a layer of clear acrylic medium on the fabric to give it a little body and partial rain resistance. The solar light was  hung from each of the corners with twine and additional twine, tied to the corners  is used to suspend it from the hook.

Here's a somewhat blurry photo of how it looked tonight.

I may make a couple more of these. I think my design could be refined a bit.


  1. Totally Cool!

    I am amazed at how bright the light is. They are usually half hearted at best. The technology must be improving!

    Lovely design!

  2. How lovely! They would be wonderful for outdoor parties.

  3. What a great idea, I don't care for the solar lights I have in my yard, so this may be the way to go

  4. ... but still very inventive!

  5. I love the way this looks. What a good idea for using some fabric I’ve been hoarding...

  6. What a lovely idea, and so beautiful, especially when lit!

  7. I love the concept. I think you are off to a good start. I think the bamboo might be a little too overpowering. What about making a casing so that all you see is what pokes out at the end?