Little Mermaid Jellyfish Lantern

From our friends at Disney Family Magazine!

Jellyfish-Lantern-B-cropped-1200x1200Inspired by a spirited young mermaid with a whole treasure trove of manmade objects at her disposal, this whimsical lantern crafted from ordinary household wares will brighten your backyard with a little seaside color. Lightweight and weatherproof, it’s designed to float and flutter in the breeze, much as its real-life counterpart rides the currents.

Time: 20 minutes
What You’ll Need
•9-10 yards of wide-wired (about 2 1/4 inches) and/or decorative-edged ribbon in shades of light blue, purple, and orange
•2-3 yards of light blue curling ribbon
•12-14 yards of thin (1/8-inch) unwired ribbon in shades of blue and purple
•Scissors
•Measuring tape
•Lid from a plastic to-go cup, or another similar-sized plastic lid with an X-shape opening cut through the middle
•Plastic colander
•Colorful bead with a diameter large enough to thread ribbon through (optional)
How To Make It

1. Cut two or three 5′ long wide-wired ribbons to serve as the jellyfish’s inner arms. Layer the lengths atop each other. Then fold the stack in half, and push the looped end up through the slit in the plastic cup lid, as shown.

2. Slip a short piece of thin ribbon through the loop above the lid. Then thread the ribbon ends through holes in the bottom of the colander and tie them together. Don’t pull the ends too tight — you want the ribbon arms to hang loosely (an inch or so) from the bottom of the colander once you’ve inverted them.

3. To fill out the middle, cut a few additional yard-long wired and curling ribbons. Rather than fold them in half as you did in Step 1, simply tuck one end of each up through the slit in the lid, as shown (the tension of the plastic will hold them in place). Now use scissors to gently curl the curling ribbon. To curl the wired ribbons, loosely wrap them around a spice bottle or paper towel tube.

4. For the jellyfish’s outer tentacles, cut eight or more 4′ long thin-unwired ribbons. Starting from the outside of the inverted colander, thread the ends of each through holes in the side, as shown, spacing the tentacles equidistant apart. Knot the ribbon ends to keep them from pulling back through the holes.

5. For a hanger, cut a length of ribbon long enough to suit the location you have in mind. Thread the ends from inside the inverted colander up through holes in the top of the jellyfish. Then tie them together just above the colander. Now thread the ends through the bead (if you’re using one), slide the bead down to the knot, and your jellyfish lantern is ready to hang outdoors.

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