Simple DIY Christmas Lanterns

Nov 22, 2012

This post is sponsored by Digital Parents
christmas decorations

One of the most magical things about Christmas time, for me, are all the marvellous decorations.
We all complain as the shops put them up earlier year by year, but there's something about hanging decorations that brings the festive season together and can instantly turn average spaces into magical Christmas Wonderlands.

Here is a fabulously simple craft that you can make with the kids.
Christmas Lanterns

Materials: Paper Lanterns (buy inexpensively from variety shops or dirt cheap off ebay), sponges, paint, scissors, fishing/jewellery line, 3M Command Clear Decorating Clips

Cut shapes from your sponges. We chose a star design but you could try bell/tree/angel shapes etc

Note:Cut a different sponge shape for each colour you are using. We used 2 colours so I cut 2 large stars and 2 small stars. This is because it will take forever to get all the colour out of the sponge if you wanted to switch colours. Much easier just to use new sponges for each colour.

Press your sponge shape into your paint

Hint: Do not leave your sponge sitting in your paint, it will absorb it. If you're finding your sponge getting too damp you will need to wring it out as it absorbs the water out of the paint.

Then press it carefully onto your expanded paper lantern. 
Press down on all areas of the sponge shape to transfer the paint.

Carefully peel off your shape. If there are patches you have missed you can sponge them in or leave them for that extra character.

If you're using different sized sponge stamps, start with the larger shape and then use the smaller shapes to fill in the gaps.

Your lanterns should sit on the table but if they have wet paint where it may roll, you can stand them on a glass to dry.

We went with the traditional red and white and used a mix of large, medium and small lanterns. 
You can easily adjust the colours to suit your theme

When dry, attach fishing/jewellery line at your desired lengths. (A good way is to cut double the length you need and attach both ends to the wire in the lanterns. You can then just loop them over the hooks)

Using the Command Clear Decorating clips, position your clear hooks on the ceiling where you want your lanterns to hang. (We went with over the dining table)

After following the instructions on the hooks, your lanterns are ready to hang.

As you can see in the pic, the Command Clear range of hooks are hard to spot.
The hook is great for hanging just about everywhere, even upside down like this as they hook around so nothing can fall off.
My camera had a terrible time trying to focus on this hook on the ceiling. It focused better on the fishing line!

Ta-daa! The combination of the 3M Command Clear Hooks and the fishing line mean that even when you are quite close up, the lanterns appear to be floating over the table.

We were really happy with the result (and, after Christmas, we can always use them again in different ways as the design isn't over the top Christmas).


Since discovering the 3M Command Clear Hooks range, I must admit that I've been really enjoying using them in so many different ways. I've been happy to use them just about everywhere because they are easy to use and they come off cleanly and without damaging my walls (or ceilings).

They work especially well on the dark wood of the front door to hang the Christmas wreath and it's great to finally have something that also isn't going to damage the door in any way (shame about the thumb tac hole from last year!)

Not that you can see in the pics above, but we actually left the unused hooks from our earlier decorating on the ceiling still as you can barely notice them and we figure we may one day use them again :)

Click here to see a FAB-U-LOUS way to use the clear hooks. We're doing a similar design at home on the window (post coming).

I could finally hang this Christmas Advent Calendar that I've struggled to hang properly each year! A Command Small Clear Hook was the perfect size.
My 3 year old is loving that it's hung at her height and she's always in there counting the numbers now.

We also used the 3M Command Clear Hooks, teamed with Paper lanterns in the following 2 posts.
(yes, we love them! haha You can click on the links to see more details)

Your Chance to Win

Congratulations to our Winners
Lbd. bawden
Jodie Daley
Lynda Black
Please contact me with your name and postage details

I've been so happy using the Clear Hooks range for all my decorating and now
3M want to help you with your decorating too!

Thanks to 3M
5 lucky Learn with Play at home readers will win
A Command Clear Hooks product prize pack

Individually priced from $6.99 (RRP). Available from all leading supermarkets and retail outlets across Australia. 
Total of 5 Prize Packs valued at over $180

How To Win

Leave a comment on this post telling us what you'll be hanging this Christmas

The 5 most creative responses will each win a Product Prize pack valued at $36.35 each

Terms and Conditions
- Apologies but this giveaway is open for Australian Residents Only
- The competition ends Tuesday 27th November at 9pm (EST)
- The winners are chosen based on originality and creativity
- Entrants will need to provide a valid email address
- Winners will be contacted via email and announced on this post and via FB and Twitter on Wednesday 28th Nov. Winners will need to get in contact and provide their postal address within 48 hours or the prize will be redrawn.

Good Luck & Happy Decorating,
Debs :)

{Disclosure: this is a paid post for 3M sponsored via Digital Parents Collective. We received some Command Clear Hooks to review for this post. Opinions expressed in this post, as always are purely my own}

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. this Christmas I will be hanging wet washing, as Christmas at my house is always messy, with my Nana, various Aunts and Uncles, about 20 of us Cousins, 4 Nephews and a Niece (and more on the way.)

    (find me Rebecca Wagner on Facebook, jimmybec on Pinterest and Jimmyinthedryer on Tumblr)

  3. Wow. Those hooks look amazing. I love that they are clear and leave no marks.

    My little girl is turning 1 just a few days before Christmas. I've decided to hang a collection of photographs that I have taken for every month since she was born. The grandparents will love looking at them on Christmas day. Of course it will include the classic Santa photo.

    Great post. Thanks.

  4. This Christmas I will definitely be hanging our home made Christmas decorations!! There is nothing quite like being able to decorate with some meaning. The pride just beams from my kids when they see their beautiful art work on display for everyone to see! Papier-mâché is an all time favourite for us!

  5. This Christmas we will be hanging homemade snowflakes from our ceiling to complete our winter wonderland theme - I could certainly use those brilliant clear hooks! ;)

  6. I agree clear hooks are perfect and as we are in a rental I have been a 3m user for the past 3 years.

    This christmas we will be hanging our fabric buntings (one for each member of the family) that usually adorn the bedrooms around the living space adding a big burst of colour. Then quick smart these will be replaced with some pompom and flower garlands for my little girls birthday on the 30th.

    We are also about to embark on making a wreath for the front door, no nails allowed!

  7. I love all your lantern ideas Deb!! So pretty and colourful and they really do look like they are floating!

    Fantastic idea the 3m clear you think they would hold the weight of the twins so i could keep them still enough to finally decorate the Christmas tree without it being pulled over? Just kidding of course....;)

    Seriously though i have so many photo collages of the girls i would like to hang as well as their artwork but living in an older house i don't like lots of hooks around...these would be perfect!! Wouldn't mind those lanterns for the girls rooms either...hmmm one step at a time!

  8. Your lanterns are very pretty. A great idea for a party.

    We will be hanging many homemade paper snowflakes as part of our Christmas winter wonderland theme. Underneath our silvery blue snowflakes we will sit in our shorts and thongs with our icy cold drinks and continually say "how hot is it?" to each other. :)

  9. These are just beautiful. You have been using them everywhere!

    Hmm, I think I'd use them to hang my christmas clingers or perhaps I'd use them to hold us certain things that the twins like to get a hold of! They have many uses!

  10. I have some plans to hang various items that Twinkle (one of Santa's elves who comes to stay with us for December) can use for tricks. I'm thinking that he might zip wire across the playroom or fishing line attached to parachute from upstairs! Maybe he'll up the naughtiness and hang the girls undies from the ceiling rather than the tree as he did last year.

    1. how cute! might have to try something like that when my kids are old enough to understand!

  11. I'll definitely be making and hanging Christmas lanterns with our two-year-old after reading this post, as well as bunting I've already made.

    They'd also be really useful to hand our son's Christmas stocking that I have never successfully hung anywhere.

    After Christmas we'll make space-themed lanterns to hang in his robot/space bedroom!

    Thanks for the brilliant idea!!!

  12. What a brilliant idea.

  13. We will be hanging ornaments and maybe some snowflakes made from hot glue and sparkles! We hang tons of stuff this way. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thanks for the great idea!! i have just ordered paper lanterns to create exactly what you did lol! i think it will "make" our christmas table to have the lanterns hanging above and the kids and i will have fun creating them. It's our first year hosting for all of the extended family too :)

  15. These lanterns are gorgeous, I am definitely going to nab this idea for my own Christmas decorating this year :) I love command hooks, I use them for decorating all the time. This year I was thinking of stringing up lots of individually hanging Christmas baubles from the ceiling, at different heights, using fishing wire - so it kind of looks like they're suspended in mid air? We'll see how that goes :)

  16. Hanging pom pom balls in my daughter's new room

  17. This year I would love to get our family wall together with pictures of everyone and this giveaway would help us out a great deal!

  18. I went out and bought some clear contact the other day - going to cut out some bauble shapes, stick the contact in the middle and get Mr 3 to decorate with little cut up bits of cellophane so they look a bit like lead light - I could hang them on the windows with the command hooks, for gorgeous Christmas decorations and for the beautiful sunshine to shine through and add colour to our play space - and then I can take them down after Christmas (or leave the hooks up for more craft pieces all year round)

    1. oh and my email (if I'm so lucky) is

  19. we will be hanging our felt Christmas tree that the kids can decorate over and over again as well as there Christmas decorations that they make, all over the house!

  20. These would be great to get our house into the Christmas spirit!
    As a renter, it's impossible to find ways of hanging things without freaking out the landlord.

    I'd hang the homemade stars I made that feature a photo of all our loved ones that can't join us for Christmas due to distance or illness. For us, Christmas is all about family - from my son's 96 yr old great grandma to his 2 week old cousin - who are both interstate but still very much part of our lives.

  21. We'll be hanging our decorations, tinsel, fairy lights and bunting as inconspicuously as possible because we are rigging it as an elf trap to catch the cheeky little rascal! ;)