Visitor Guide

Rome Lantern Parade – How to Make a Lantern

Step 1 – Brainstorm ideas or concepts

You can grab your inspiration from anywhere to create your lantern. Lanterns can be made in all shapes and sizes and can be made of any material (Note: Glass is not permitted in the Rome Lantern Parade) and can be simple or complex.  For example, maybe you love dance and your lantern reflects a dance theme, or maybe it is inspired by your favorite ballet or maybe you simply want to make your lantern in the shape of a ballerina.

Ideas are limitless: animals, people, cartoon characters, birds, bird houses, architecture, complex shapes, hearts, decorative spheres, hearts,  flowers, Chinese lanterns, vehicles, technology, Rome landmarks…the list can go on and on. Once you have decided what story or theme you wish to use, then you can design your lantern.

Step 2 –Design – Sketch Idea

A lantern is a three-dimensional object with length, width and depth. In designing your lantern consider the basic shape and size.  Make a rough drawing of your lantern. Once you have a basic shape, add detail to the faces or sides of your lantern to illustrate your lantern concept. Add color and consider your lighting source.

Step 3 – Identify materials and build the frame

You may be able to source the frame of your lantern to simplify this step (purchase a round paper lantern, recycle a tin cup, upcycled material) or you may choose to build from scratch.

Lanterns can have different frames (the basic structure of your lantern) depending on the type or design. Frames can be made from wood, wooden sticks, wire or metal. Choose the material that works best for the shape and size of your lantern.

Step 4 – Build the sides or faces of the lantern/decorations

Identify the material to makes the faces or sides of your lantern. Materials include wood, string, crepe paper, cardboard, plastic, tissue paper, transparent materials. You may opt to cut out shapes or add shapes to your lantern faces. The idea is to consider how the light will radiate from your lantern in a beautiful and unique way.

Step 5 – Final Touches

Make sure your lantern looks it’s best. Glue down any corners not completely sealed, add the extra glitter or ribbon to finish the sides, add paint where needed for added visual appeal.

Step 6 – Attach the light source

The most fun part of building a lantern is illuminating it with a light source. All the hard work of your designing and building is enhanced with light. Most light sources are placed inside the lantern. Battery powered lights and string lights work well (Note: Any flames or fire light sources are NOT permitted in the Rome Lantern Parade).