If you like the look of paper lanterns, you’ll love this simple project for making a floating old book lantern. This easy to make craft is the perfect hanging decoration for any room. You can use it as part of a simple home décor project or give it as a gift. Create one or create several and have a one of a kind lovely decoration.
Hanging Old Book Lantern
I love crafting with old book pages. It gives a simple and elegant look to almost any type of craft. I also love that it is a great way to reuse the books instead of adding them to the trash. So, any time I get a new box of books that are torn apart, stained, or unreadable, I get excited to start crafting.
Paper lanterns are one of my favorite things to decorate with, but this project gives them a whole new meaning. It’s a slightly different style of lantern but still has that simple paper appeal. Adding a tassel on the bottom gives it a bit more style and can easily be customized. What’s not to love about that?
How Can I Make This Lantern Different Colors?
This old book lantern can be kept the sepia color or you can stain the pages to give it a different look entirely. Paint works as well to turn this different colors, but you’ll want to use it sparingly.
I’ve used craft paints, watercolors, and spray paints on old book pages. All three work great, but they also give different results. I recommend doing a test page first to see if you like the way it looks after painting. You can match your tassel to the paint color for a more cohesive look.
How do I Remove the Book Binding?
There are several ways to cut the pages from the book’s binding. You can use scissors or something with a straight edge like an Xacto knife or a regular knife. Usually, however, it’s super easy to just separate the hard book cover from the glue.
Whatever you choose, be careful to not fully remove the glue as you’ll want the pages to stay together for turning into the lantern shape later.
What Can I Use to Hang This Lantern?
The lantern can have a string or loop at the top to help is hang. You can use ribbon or twine or even yarn to hang the lantern. Then you can attach the old book lantern to the ceiling using a hook.
There are a lot of very pretty hooks that are designed to hang things. Most people think of these types of hooks to hang plants but you can use a small one to hang the lantern. You can also use something as simple as a tack or tape since this lantern ends up being pretty lightweight.
If you make this with a larger or heavier book, you will want to add extra glue to the rope or twine to hold up the weight. Of course, you don’t have to hang this. You can easily just lay it on a shelf or mantle and it will look beautiful!
How to Make a Hanging Old Book Lantern
Remove the book from its outer binding leaving the glue on the pages intact.
Begin by folding the page inward in a triangle on top.
Then fold the bottom half upward and in to form the folded triangle.
Continue this process throughout the book while keeping the folds the same size.
Once you have folded the entire book of pages, you will stand the book up, and pull the front pages around toward the back to form the lantern.
Secure the two sides of the book together with hot glue.
While the glue is drying, take a length of yarn and begin wrapping it around the palm of your hand. Wrap this 15-20 times.
Snip the end of the yarn, then push that long loose end through the middle of the bundle on your hand and tie it in place. Cut this dangling piece of yarn to a longer length that will then be glued in place as the tassel.
Cut the longer end of the loop in half and pull off your hand. This loop of yarn will have dangling ends and the top will be tied together.
Trim off the uneven ends of the yarn.
Add a bit of glue to the loose end of the tassel, and push it inside the opening on the bottom of the lantern. Add additional glue if needed to keep this in place.
Now, cut a length of rope and tie the end into a knot.
Add glue to the end of the rope, and secure it in place on the opposite end of your lantern.
Once the glue dries, you can hang your lantern from the ceiling, a door, or mantle.
If you have extra books to use for crafting, make sure you bookmark some of my other favorite projects. One of my recent projects is this old book page paper vase. It’s so pretty and easy to make, you’ll absolutely love it! Of course, I love a good paper flower bouquet, or this old book page wrapped wreath with flowers. Both are seriously gorgeous in your home.
If you prefer to add more lanterns to your home decor, bookmark this paper 3D lantern, music sheet lantern, and this beautiful lantern with lace. All are fun and easy to make plus beautiful at the same time.
If you don’t want to bother with making a tassel, you can buy silk tassels on Etsy in tons of different colors and styles. I keep a few of these on hand at all times for craft projects when I don’t want to make my own.
- Remove the outer binding from an old book leaving the pages glued together and in tact;
- Fold the first page downward from the top half at an angle forming a triangle;
- Next, fold the bottom of that page upward at an angle turning the page into a triangle;
- Repeat this process until the entire book has been folded into matching pages that are triangular;
- Now, pull the front towards the back creating the lantern;
- Glue in place with hot glue and set aside;
- Wrap yarn around the palm of your hand 15-20 times, then cut leaving a 10"-12" long piece dangling;
- Pull that extra yarn through the center of the bundle on your palm and secure with a knot;
- Now you will cut through the end of the loop of yarn to create a small tassel;
- Trim the uneven ends into shape;
- Add a bit of glue to the end of the yarn and stick it into the end of the lantern to secure;
- Next, cut a length of rope and tie the end into a knot;
- Glue the rope in place on the other end of the lantern;
- Now you can hang your lantern from a door, ceiling, or mantle!
Paint the book pages before you fold them into this lantern shape for a different look.