Cheap Paper Lanterns are a great way to easily create a beautiful scene for your wedding.
Chinese paper lanterns can be found in just about any color and many different shapes and sizes.
They are becoming increasingly popular nowadays at many cultural, social and festival occasions such as weddings for not only their beauty but also because they are so reasonably priced.
The key is to know where to shop for them!
History of Cheap Paper Lanterns:
Although, these lanterns are used nowadays mainly for decoration, they first had their use thousands of years ago as military signals.
Constructed of light rice paper and bamboo, a candle was lit inside allowing the lantern to rise and communication passed on to troops.
Later on, they were used to symbolize good wishes and were used in rituals to send messages to the gods.
During wedding ceremonies, four red paper letters were attached with wishes of fertility and respect.
Where to Find Cheap Paper Lanterns:
A lot of couples are taken by the beauty of the hanging paper lanterns, want them at their wedding reception and then are taken by their tent rental company/reception venue with their offers of renting them lanterns and then charging a fee to hang each lantern!
Do not fall for this!
You will be charged exhorbitant fees for the rental of the lantern where you can purchase them for a fraction of the cost!
I am going to show you a sweet (and cheap) way to light and hang your lanterns at your wedding venue ahead of time.
But first, for sources....
- Dollar Stores - check your local dollar store (especially in the spring and summer months) to see if they carry any paper lanterns. You might not get very much selection, but the costs will be minimal.
- Online Sources - there are a few really good websites out there selling a huge selection of cheap paper lanterns. Check out Asian Ideas, or Paper Lantern Store. But you might want to forego their way of lighting your lantern with electric cords and lights until you read the next part!
- Ebay - You can find anything on Ebay for a great price! Just see what selling on Ebay right now...
A Cheap Way to Light and Hang Your Cheap Paper Lanterns:
You'll need a few things to make the lighting to "light" up your lantern decorations. Each lighting unit needs:
- a 10mm non-diffused LED (they do come in many different colors, so choice is up to you)
- two CR 2032 3v batteries
- duct tape
- fishing line
You can find terrific buys on LEDs and batteries on Ebay...
Now here are the written directions (don't worry, I've also posted a video after the written directions just in case!):
- Step 1 - Place two CR 2032 3v batteries on top of each other.
- Step 2 - Place the batteries between the prongs of a 10mm non-diffused LED.
- Step 3 - Secure the batteries/LED light package with duct tape.
- Step 4 - Use fishing line to attach light inside the lantern.
Here's the Video I promised, now it shows you how to make floaties with LEDs but just use the first part on how to actually construct the LED/battery part...
To attach these little self-contained LED lights/batteries inside your lanterns, just use some fishing line and let them hang inside the lantern. You might have to use more than one depending on the size of your lantern. This is something you will have to experiment with.
Keep adding lights inside the lantern until it has the glow that you want. For example, a 14" paper lantern might require three LED lights/batteries hanging inside of it so that it is lit sufficiently.
Now these should last a couple of days...but do an experiment just to be on the safe side! If your wedding is on a Saturday you can be sure that you could get all your LEDs and lanterns ready and hung up at your reception site on the Friday.
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