We are still running our air-conditioners, but summer is on its last leg here in Georgia. Yellow finches are cleaning out the purple cone flower seeds. The grass is starting to dry up. Purple blossoms are dropping from that mysterious bush out back. Summer is fading out.
Like many of you, my back yard is a constant source of inspiration. This week, I’ve been inspired by the soft, washed-out colors and warm breezes of September. Using inks, rice paper, and my sewing machine, I created a soft paper lantern embellishment that conveys the nostalgic feeling of the last fruit of summer. This easy project is such a fun way to add an element of softness, light, and color to any room or outdoor space.
- Yasutomo 6E Hanshi Paper, 9 ½” x 13”
- Niji Splash Inks: blue, yellow, magenta
- Yasutomo Traditional Chinese Ink, black
- Paint brush
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Drying rack covered with plastic wrap
- Sewing machine with black thread
- Paper lantern
- Yasutomo Nori Paste
Step 1: Stack 4-6 sheets of rice paper on your work surface.
Step 2: Spray the paper thoroughly with water.
Step 3: Drip inks directly from their bottles onto the paper. If you want to create new colors, mix them in a small cup and use a wet paint brush to drip the ink colors onto the wet paper. Use the spray bottle to further dilute and mix the colors on the paper.
As you can see from my photo, I really had no plan and kind of played around with dripping, using a paint brush, and spraying with my spray bottle. The pattern is not very important, as each piece is cut into small pieces once dry.
Step 4: Hang the wet rice paper on a drying rack that has been covered with plastic wrap. The wet rice paper is very delicate, so be careful as you place it on the drying rack. Once dry, it is quite sturdy.
Step 5: Once dry, cut the pieces into small rectangles.
Step 6: Using a sewing machine, stitch the pieces together side by side about ½” from the top of each rectangle. Do not worry if the pieces don’t line up perfectly. When you’ve stitched all the rectangles together, you will have a garland of lovely imperfect flags.
Step 7: Wrap the garland around the paper lantern, using a small blob of Yasutomo Nori paste every 3-4 inches. The paste works so well with the rice paper. Just a tiny bit of paste and a little bit of pressure secures the garland into place.
Step 8: If you have gaps of unpainted or unadorned lantern, add some ink drops and squirt with water. Hang the lantern to dry.
- Instead of a white paper lantern, use a colored lantern.
- Mix Niji Splash Inks to create colors that perfectly match your décor or party theme.
- Add some shimmer with metallic gel pen accents.
- Create a variety of lamps in different sizes. Hang them in a cluster for a dramatic effect.
How do the changing seasons inspire you?