Dinner at Dusk: Paper Lanterns

Martha Stewart Weddings, 2004

The soft light of paper luminaries sets a romantic mood. Two bags, one fitted over the other, form a box. The lanterns, strung on electric Christmas-tree lights and hung along branches, are tied with ribbon and sway gently in the evening breeze.

Tools and Materials
Strings of full-size Christmas lights with clear bulbs (remove every other bulb)
Light-colored paper bags about 7 inches wide (for each lantern, you'll need two the same size)
A utility knife
A ruler
2-inch round self-stick labels
2-inch-wide single-face satin ribbon (one 48-inch length for each lantern)

Paper Lanterns How-To
1. Trim the tops of each bag to make straight edges. For the top of each lantern, stick a label on the inside bottom center of one bag to reinforce. Reaching inside the bag with a utility knife, cut two 1 1/2-inch slits, making an X on the label.

2. To attach bags to lights, first remove a bulb, and slide the socket through the X, and then screw the bulb back in.

3. For the lantern bottom, slide a second bag up over the first one.

4. Lay the center of the ribbon on top of the wire at the socket; wrap ribbon snugly down sides of bags. Knot at bottom and let ends hang.

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