St Martin’s lantern craft making

St Martin’s day is a European festival with families walking through villages and woods in the November dark evening. It preempts Advent festivities with its emphasis on light shining in the darkness. St Martins did a lot for the poor and homeless. Perhaps we could all do more too.

To make lanterns you need the following materials:

  • Jam jars with the labels taken off by soaking them in hot water.
  • Flour and water to make a simple glue paste.
  • Balloons to cover with tissue paper
  • Tissue paper of different colours ripped into small pieces for the jars and larger pieces for the balloons.
  • String or raffia to put around the jam jar to make a handle or wire.
  • Night light candles
  • Box of matches.

This is a very easy activity and suitable for lots of ages. It is fun to use your hands to coat the jar or balloon with paste so you don’t necessarily need brushes just an apron or old clothes! You don’t need to make the layers more than one or two thick otherwise the light won’t shine through. When the tissue paper on the balloons is very dry you can puncture the balloon and you will have a wonderful lantern. Neaten up the edges with scissors. Make three holes in the top of the tissue shape and attach string to a stick with a knot to make a traditional hanging lantern.

Published by Poffley Education Resources

Christopher and Rebekka Poffley have been working as musicians, as performers and in education for many years. They have worked in schools and in the home education world. Here they share some of their experience and resources.

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