If you are part of a Waldorf community, early November is the time for a lantern walk. Halfway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, we take our lanterns out into the dark of night to remind ourselves that while the earth is cloaked in darkness, we are the carriers of the light. It is especially moving to see the little ones walking through the darkness with their lanterns and to hear their sweet voices singing the lantern songs.
This year, I made these lanterns with my parent child classes.
We made them over three weeks. The first week, we painted the watercolor paper using Stockmar watercolors and Strathmore watercolor paper–I’m not sure what the weight of it was, but it was thick..
The next week, I gathered some fall leaves, and pressed them for a day or two. Then I mixed up some thick watercolor paint using the same golden yellow paint and we dipped the leaves and pressed them onto the paper.
then I measured about 7.5 cm at the other end and folded there, then cut up to the fold in several places. I punched 3 holes on the sides, and two holes for each end of the handle.
I cut a circle for each lantern from the same watercolor paper–I used a coffee cup that was the right size to trace them. Then they were ready for the parents and children to do the last 3 steps, which were:
1. Punch out star shapes in the lantern. I bought a Martha Stewart star stamp that you can use anywhere on the page.
First I had a big star stamp–I used it for a different project last year, but it gave out on me after the first day–these are not really meant to be used on this heavy paper. They work like a dream on regular paper. I bought a second one that had smaller stars at Michael’s, This was the hardest part–it took a lot of strength to punch out the stars. It would have probably been easier to cut them out with a scissors.
2. Sew together the sides. I used big needles and thick yarn and went around twice. I put all of my knots on the outside in case anyone wanted to use a real candle. We used LED tea lights for the lantern walk. Sew on the handle.
3. Glue the disk inside the bottom–although some people glued it on the outside and that was fine too. We put glue on the disk and on the flaps.
When the glue was dry, I used 2 sided tape to stick a baby food jar in the middle to hold the candle. And, voila! a lantern.
Glimmer, lantern, glimmer.
Little stars a-shimmer.
Over meadow moor and dale,
Flitter, flutter elfen veil.