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How to make fish scale paper lantern balls

A little while ago I was in one of my favourite shops, The Paper Place, and a noticed some beautiful glowing lanterns off in a corner. They were bright with little petals that almost resembled fish scales.

The Paper Place paper fish lantern balls

The Paper Place (Photo by Sharalee Mushore)

Kara Paslay for Design Sponge fish paper lantern balls

Kara Paslay for Design Sponge

Martha Stewart fish paper lantern balls

Martha Stewart

While browsing in one of my favourite shops (The Paper Place!) I was struck by their beautiful display of glowing lanterns that looked a little like fish scales. These pretty fish-like lanterns lit up a whole corner and I thought they would make fabulous party decorations.

Happily, I discovered how easy they are to make. All you need to pull these off is a basic paper lantern (easily found at your local dollar store), some tissue paper and double-sided tape or glue.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Start by taking your tissue paper and cutting out round circles. You can select whatever size of circle you like. A two-inch diameter will probably work well with an average-sized lantern. About two sheets worth of circles should give you plenty to work with.

2. Set up the lantern. Then starting at the bottom and working your way up, glue or tape down the circles around the edge of the lantern overlapping the circles so that they create a fish scale pattern.

3. Once you’ve reached the top of the lantern, flip it over ‘right side up’ so that the petals flutter downwards and you’re done — a beautiful lantern decoration for your party!

Here are some great examples of this beautiful craft and the different looks to make:
Martha Stewart
Design Sponge