When I first moved to the UK more than 15 years ago, I have to say that Chinese New Year was definitely one of the holidays I missed out on the most. CNY is based on the lunar calendar every year and falls around February/March time. Traditionally, we gather as a family for a new year’s eve meal, and receive blessings from our elders. By blessings, I mean, cash in red packet envelopes! They are not meant to be lavish cash gifts, but blessings to start the year with. Sometimes, instead of cash, we might get chocolate coins inside red packets – as kids, that is literally a million times better.
Our houses are always decked out in red items of decorations, candies and treats are laid out for guests who come over to celebrate, and generally it’s a few days of just running around with our cousins wreaking havoc on our poor, tired parents because there is no school. How fun, right? It’s kind of like Christmas, just two months after Christmas.
Lanterns are synonymous with Chinese holidays. In fact, you often see them in a lot of “oriental” restaurants in the West, with gaudy gold decor and chopsticks font. Today, I wanted to share my updated, modern version of lantern decor with our signature colourful twist- made with tassels and honeycombs! When all hung together, they are super colourful, yet takes on an exotic and more Eastern kind of look because of their bright colours.
To start, you’ll only need scissors and your trusty glue gun for tools.
Collect your honeycombs, lanterns, some gold trim, and colour thread- whatever you can find in your craft cupboard.
The key is to arrange them in a sequence where the large ones are at the top and they go gradually smaller in size. I like to finish off with a small lantern at the bottom, and glue on gold trim, tassels* or both so that they trail off in the wind. When you have figured out the sequence, just heat up your trusty glue gun, open up the honeycomb balls and lanterns, and simply got together to hang.
*To make a tassel: tie multiple strands (about 20) with a looped knot at the top. Tighten as much as possible, then snip off the loop, leaving the knot at the top. Apply hot glue to the top of the knot to attach to the honeycomb ball or lantern. Trim edges at the bottom to make sure they are straight.
You can hang them over a small arch as a backdrop like I did here, or hang identical ones on either side of a doorway.
PS. These are not designed to be lit up! However, I think if you placed LED lights inside, they would also look really pretty. Let me know how you get on trying them out, I’d love to see!