DIY Yarn Lanterns for Flameless Tea Lights and Votives

Yarn lanterns are an easy way to jazz up a party, wedding, or just have an easy craft day. We’ll show you how to make these easy and versatile DIY yarn lanterns.








Yarn, twine or crochet thread (this is what I used)
Newspaper or disposable tablecloth (to cover work surface)
Glue-1/2 cup (about 4 oz) 
Cornstarch- ½ cup 
Hot Water- ¼ cup
Hanging place


Time commitment
Prep: 10 minutes
Project: ~60 minutes
Drying: several hours

1. Spread newspaper or disposable tablecloth over working surface to minimize cleanup. 

2. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch, ½ cup glue, and 1/4 cup hot water to make a thick paste. 

When I did it I dumped everything in together; it might have been easier to mix the cornstarch and water and then add the glue. Whisking it a while got all the lumps out eventually, though.

3. Blow up as many balloons as you wish. Some balloons become egg-shaped while others maintain roundness. Be aware of the shape you want compared to the shape the balloons become. 

1. Hold the balloon in one hand and work the yarn in the other. It sounds like you might need to grow a third hand but after a few goes you’ll get the hang of it.  

2. Unwind several feet of yarn at a time and get it saturated with the glue mixture (putting all the yarn in the glue will increase the chance it gets knotted). 

3. Run the yarn between fingers to squeegee some of the glue off before wrapping it around the balloon. There’s not necessarily any pattern to it, just try and cover all parts of the balloon equally. 

4. When the glue-drenched yarn runs out, unwind more and continue the process.

At this point your hands will start to get a little messy and covered with dried glue.
5. Continue unwinding, dipping, and wrapping yarn until the balloon has the coverage you like. We did three different amounts of coverage so you can see what one you like best.
6. On one balloon we drew a circle outlining an opening, and didn’t layer any yarn over that circle. This created a cleaner opening, rather than the jagged edge of a hole that we cut out later. Both ways work, it just depends stylistically on what you’d like. 

7. Once your balloons have reached the coverage you like, find a place to hang them to dry. A paper towel or newspaper underneath each one prevents drips from landing on counters or floors. 

Tip: Dabbing off extra glue will eliminate how many glue chunks you have to knock out later. As you can see we did not do this. 

A few hours later . . .

1. Once the balloons are dry, pop them with scissors or a pin and remove.
2. The balloon might stick to the dried yarn, but it shouldn’t be hard to get out. If there are spots of dried glue among the yarn strands, take a toothpick and break the pieces off. 

3. (Optional) Cut a hole large enough for a votive candle to sit inside the lantern. The yarn was surprising hard to cut and made more jagged edges (for smoother edges see previous point 6).
4. Now you’re set! You can either hang them by themselves for decoration or use them for other purposes. If you’ve cut a hole in the top, place a flameless LED candleinside (we recommend flameless so as not to cause any fire hazard). They can be hung like this or balanced on a flat surface. 

What are some ways you plan on using the yarn lanterns? Let us know by posting a comment or a picture!

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