Wednesday, September 15, 2010

bunny lantern craft

No Moon Festival is complete without the soft glow of a lantern. Children often parade their lanterns of different shapes and colors. Nowadays lanterns can range from modern cartoon characters to rocket ships, but usually they are round (like the moon) or in the shapes of rabbits (because of the Jade Rabbit that lives on the moon).

Which is why I decided to create a bunny lantern craft! This bunny lantern is easy, fun and (I think!) extremely cute:

When I was a child in school we had a paper lantern craft, but I was never quite satisfied with it because those lanterns could never be lit. So when I created this bunny lantern, I made sure it could really GLOW:

Isn't that fun? But before it glows, it has to be made. To make this bunny lantern you will need:

1. a sheet of tracing paper at 8.5 x 24 inches (my sheet is 19 x 24, I cut it to the right size)
2. a ruler
3. a pencil
4. a pair of scissors
5. scotch tape (invisible/not shiny is better)
6. markers, colors of your choice (mine are peach, black, brown, light blue)
7. 4 inch lightstick necklace, any color (mine is yellow)
8. cord (should come with your light stick necklace)
9. a chopstick
10. bunny template, download and print HERE

STEP 1. Fold your tracing paper in half, to make an 8.5 x 12 inch rectangle:

STEP 2. Using the ruler, measure and make a line .75 inches from the edge of the long (12 inch) side. Fold on the line:

STEP 3. Repeat on other long side:

STEP 4. Tape both folds down. Make sure you tape down the entire length:

STEP 5. All sides of your paper except one should be closed (like an envelope). Fit the bunny template under you paper, making sure the opening is at the top. Trace the thick black lines:

STEP 6. Cut out your markings, as indicated by the template:

STEP 7: Draw your bunny face. My bunny face uses 2 simple black ovals for the eyes, a brown circle for the nose, blue whiskers and a peach color in the ears. But you can make your face anyway you wish!

STEP 8. Poke a hole through the top of your bunny's head (both layers of paper). You can use a small hole punch if you have one. I did not, so I just used my pencil:
STEP 9. String your lightstick inside the bunny using the cord. Tie it loosely:

STEP 10: Tie the other end of the cord to a chopstick. Tie this tightly, perhaps wrapping around the chopstick a couple of times to keep it secure:

And your bunny lantern is complete:

Now all you have to do is wait until nightfall, activate the lightstick according to the lightstick's instructions (you may have to untie & retie the cord) and let your lantern GLOW:
Make one for all the kids on your street and have a Moon Festival lantern parade!

In honor of my new book Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (now available!!) I'm running a week-long series of posts on the Moon Festival. Don't forget you can celebrate the book & the festival with me this Sunday in NYC at the MOCA's Mid-Autumn Family Festival!


Bev said...

Grace, how cute! My daughter and I will be making this for Autumn Moon!

Bev and Angel

Nancy said...

so cute, we made just made some with white paper lunch bags!


Linda Austin said...

This is adorable! I think I like the Chinese moon festival better than the Japanese "tsukimi" harvest moon viewing.

Grace Lin said...

Thanks! If any of you make this lantern, I'd love to see a photo!!

Louisa said...

Our Mother-Daughter book club read The Year of the Dog for January. We made bunny lanterns for our craft -- because we're about to enter the year of the rabbit. We simplified them a bit, and they turned out so well. Each of the girls' lanterns has such personality! Thank you for the wonderful book and for the craft project.

christinaliu said...

I read "Thanking the Moon" a part of the Moon Festival lesson for my students today. The students also received a red rabbit lantern (design inspired by Grace Lin's lantern above) as a gift from me, inspired by the book "LinYi's Lantern" by Brenda Williams & Benjamin Lacombe.