Traditional cellophane lanterns ooze mid-autumn nostalgia.
With timeless designs like the rabbit, fish, chicken and dragon, these wireframe, multi-coloured plastic sheet lanterns are simply classics.
However, trying to light a traditional cellophane lantern can get a bit fiddly at times. Having to get the candle to sit properly, dealing with the wind blowing out the flame and even getting the lantern on the stick can make it tempting to ditch tradition for a new-fangled battery-operated or inflatable lantern.
If you have ever experienced the joyful anticipation of lighting up a cellophane lantern snuffed into frustration, we have a few simple hacks to get your enjoying traditional lanterns once again.
Time to start a new hobby? How about baking?
Hacks for Mid-Autumn Cellophane Lanterns
Hack 1: How to Hang the Cellophane Lantern on the Stick
Cellophane lanterns typically come with a loop of string at the top and a separate wooden stick.
The first thing you have to do is to attach the lantern to the stick. Rather than having to loop the string endlessly around the stick, or to try tying multiple dead knots to prevent the lantern from slipping down the stick, here is a simple way to attach the cellophane lantern to the stick.
First, lay out the loop of string.
Next, take the top of the loop and fold it forward over on itself. This should create two smaller loops where the string crosses over itself.
Finally, put the stick through the two smaller loops.
Now, you can lift up the stick and the weight of the lantern will keep it in place. Easy-peasy.
Hack 2: How to Sit the Candle in a Cellophane Lantern
The light source for a cellophane lantern is the simple candle. This needs to sit within the lantern on a round “candleholder” made from wire.
If you are using a “standard” pack of candles that typically comes with traditional cellophane lanterns, you may find that the diameter of the candle too small for the candleholder. This results in the candle slipping through and difficulty putting the candle in place.
To address this, you need to adjust the lantern’s wire candleholder. If it makes it easier, you can bend wire candleholder out from the lantern’s body to access it.
Take a pair of pliers and squeeze the candleholder slightly to shape it from a circle into an oval. This will allow the candle to be inserted into the candleholder and fit snuggly.
Even if you don’t have a pair of pliers handy, you can press the candleholder against the ground to create the oval shape to sit the candle.
Hack 3: Lighting the Candle
On windy nights, it can get frustrating trying to light up cellophane lanterns. It can often feel like it is the wind’s birthday as it constantly blows out the candle each time it is lit up with matches.
We have a suggestion on how to light up the candle in a cellophane lantern.
First, bend the wireframe with candleholder (with the unlit candle in place) upwards into the lantern. Most cellophane lantern designs have a decent-sized body which can protect the candle from the wind.
Next, use a kitchen fire starter (the kind with a flame at the end of it, not a spark) to light up the candle within the protection of the lantern. Done!
Using the kitchen fire starter is much less frustrating than using matches which can get blown out. It is also better than using a cigarette lighter as you can easily reach the candle while it is sheltered in the body of the cellophane lantern – reducing the chances of the flame being blown out.
And there you have. A few simple hacks to enjoying your cellophane lantern and keeping tradition burning bright!