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Japanese luminarias?

East meets West in these outdoor party lights, which combine a translucent material used in Japanese shoji screens with the luminaria idea from the Southwest. The result: baglike lanterns that are easy to make yet more durable and fire resistant than paper ones. These were embellished with geometric cutouts and jagged or curving tops, then finished with silver cord. Cluster votive candles in little glass jars in lantern bottoms to cast a soft glow on patios, pathways, or outdoor tables during evening parties.

To make the lanterns, buy pliable fiberglass material (called Synskin), used for shoji screens, at a plastic supply store; 4-foot-wide rolls cost about $2.50 a foot. A yard is enough to make four rectangular boxes, eight flat-topped cylinders, or four slant-topped cylinders 5 1/2 inches in diameter. You'll also need pattern paper (from a fabric store), fast-setting epoxy glue, and a craft knife. When handling the fiberglass, wear rubber gloves (it can irritate skin).

Enlarge plans above on pattern paper with a black felt-tip marker. Lay screen material on top of the pattern and use pencil to lightly trace the pattern, which will show through faintly. Score fold lines with a dull knife, then remove the pattern paper. Using the craft knife, cut out the lantern shape; on the cylinder shape, also cut a "fringe" of 1-by 2-inch flaps along the bottom edge.

With the lantern piece laid flat on a work surface, lightly draw and cut the shapes for decorative windows or flaps. Make the score lines for the flaps on the outside surface.

Box. Assemble by making sharp folds along all scored lines. Overlap and glue side flap to the inside, then fold under and glue the bottom flaps.

Cylinder. Join sides, with a 3/4-inch overlap, then progressively fold under, overlap, and glue fringe flaps inside the bottom. To reinforce it, cut a 5 1/4-inch circle of fiberglass and glue it inside the base.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Summer Entertaining; how to make sculptural lanterns
Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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