3 creative ideas for kids

As the days shorten again, lantern season approaches. And in families, this is often synonymous with time for crafts, because children always like to walk around the house with homemade lights. If you use materials that build up at home anyway, the fun is also sustainable. Here we tried some creative ideas on how to make lanterns out of plastic bottles together.

Preparing plastic bottles for crafts

If it is not water bottles, the bottles should be cleaned first. Sticky juice or soda residue can be easily removed with dish soap and warm water. It is more difficult with some labels on the bottles. They can be very stubborn. Sometimes just a sticker remover helps. Once all residue is removed, all you have to do is let the plastic bottles dry. Then the repair process can begin…

On the plastic, set, go!

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Make an owl lantern from a plastic bottle

With their huge eyes, owls are always a popular craft idea. Cute little animals can also be made quite easily from an old plastic bottle.

you need:

This is how this thing goes:

1. Cut off the top of the bottle. This is a parent’s job because you need very sharp scissors for this. It is better to take nail scissors and punch in it first.

Messing with lanterns from plastic bottles
Young children need help here.

2. You can use a large piece of transparencies to design the body of the owl. I chose yellow instead of brown because the light shines better. You can attach the paper to the back with some Tesa.

3. Draw the wings on the back of the corrugated board. It can spread or droop a little. Also consider a piece about 1 to 2 cm long for installation.

It is the children’s job to cut it.

4. Now you need a slit on each side of the bottle, which you can make again with nail scissors. Then place the wings and secure them with some masking tape.

Messing with lanterns from plastic bottles
The wings are bomb resistant.

5. Now comes the face. You can simply use triangles of corrugated board for the nose and ears. Even young amateurs can do it well. Cut out the eyes as circles of white paper. Draw the pupils with a black pen. Then glue everything.


6. For the stick, make small holes in the plastic as high as possible. There you push the craft wire through, preferably a few times, and then wrap the end around the whole thing a few more times. Then the same on the other side.

Messing with lanterns from plastic bottles
The next Lantern Parade could come!
On the plastic, set, go!
On the plastic, set, go!

The price may be higher now. Price from 01/09/2022 07:19

Making lanterns with the kids
Making lanterns with the kids

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Make colorful lanterns with transparencies

If you want the lantern to shine in many colors, you can choose a wild pattern made of translucent paper. However, you should not be a perfectionist.

For this you need:

This is how this thing goes:

1. First you must remove the neck of the bottle. At the same time, let your kids cut or tear a lot of scraps from the transparencies.

2. Then you or your children stick the individual pieces of paper. You can use a glue stick or hot glue for this. BUT: This only lasts temporarily. Running all the snippets, unfortunately you have to wrap everything with masking tape, because the usual glue (I also tested craft glue) does not stick well to plastic. However, I do not recommend plastic glue for crafts with children, as it can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

Messing with lanterns from plastic bottles
This will take some time…

3. We also cut out an image from transparent and translucent paper and pasted it using Tesa.

4. Tie the wire at the end as with the owl. You can string the beads on the wire to make the hanging look fun and colorful.

How does it look with the light?

If you are using a lantern stick with the lamp, you should always keep in mind that the cables for these lamps are usually very short. The wire must be correspondingly short, otherwise the light will swing back and forth over the lantern!

Messing with lanterns from plastic bottles
It gives a warm light.

Making lanterns from plastic bottles: jellyfish

With their slack tentacles, jellyfish are very cheerful subjects. You can easily turn it into a lantern with a plastic bottle.

you need:

Messing with lanterns from plastic bottles
Material for jellyfish lantern.

This is how this thing goes:

1. Unlike other lanterns, for jellyfish, you remove the bottom of the bottle. Especially suitable green or blue plastic bottles.

2. Cut a few pieces of masking tape of equal length. Your sweetheart can decide whether to do it with one color or multi-colored.

3. Paste the overlapping strips from the inside of the bottle with masking tape.

How many tentacles does a jellyfish have?

4. So that this is not visible from the outside, you can attach masking tape to the bottom of the bottle from the outside like a bandeau. Simply attach it to the back with a piece of Tesa.

5. You can make the eyes look like an owl or use ready-made eyes. Then tie the wire – you’re done!

Simple jellyfish lantern with fun fluttering ribbons.

Of course, you cannot put a candle in this version and you can clearly see through the lamp. But I don’t think it’s bad. In the dark, the little animal also has a little soul, right?

Ghost or jellyfish?
The first lantern: extra stability and easy to make
The first lantern: extra stability and easy to make

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Tina Hoffman

Make lanterns out of plastic bottles – Conclusion

I think all three results are great. However, I must admit that I prefer other materials for making lanterns with children. At least with young children, their children’s share is rather small. You need very sharp scissors, kid-friendly glue doesn’t stick well, and parents should stick to the wire too. So I recommend it more as a project for elementary school students.

By the way, I used a small battery powered light string to light on the first two lanterns. Candles are not good for wild kids for reasons and I’m not a fan of these sticks either. We already had quite a few people off when the Lantern Parade started. The fairy lights shine brighter, too.

Not yet decided on a lantern? Then take a look at this set of ideas:

You can see how you can make autumn decorations yourself in our video:

Quiz for kids: a general knowledge test for bright minds

Image source: familie.de editors

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