DIY Floating Lanterns

Different festivals in India bring different things. And different enthusiastic levels. These can depend on the traditional celebration bar set by family, part of India you come from, your personal preference towards each festivals’ delicacies.

Diwali for me has always been confusing. While younger, my parents conscientiously planned our annual vacations during the school Diwali vacations. So while there was less of delicacies and crackers, there were breathtaking views and a lifetime of travel memories. So much so that I remember most of our vacation spots based on the school standard (grade) I was in.

Now with a family of my own, some of the responsibility of setting the bar for Diwali celebration falls on our shoulders and it can get overwhelming!

A day before Diwali 2016, nervously searching Amazon for any last minute decorations that can beautify my home, I came across this enchanting piece which was not going to be delivered in time and which was quite expensive for what I was looking for.

Also – having discovered the wonders of those fabulous LED flickering candles, I already possessed about a dozen of them. Target result already in mind, it was fairly easy to come up with a DIY solution for what I was looking for. More importantly, I love that it is simple and yet has the definite festival magic.

Sharing a simple DIY procedure for floating miniature lanterns:

What you will need:

  • LED Flickering candles – 1 candle per lantern
  • A4 transparency sheets – 1 sheet per 2 lanterns +  2 more
  • 1 thick lace – can have multiple designs (30 cms or 8.27 inches length per lantern)
  • Stapler – 4-5 pins per lantern
  • A transparent thread (or any simple thread & needle)


  • The thickness of the lace will determine the height of your lantern. I got 2 pieces of thick sturdy lace in warm colors – orange and yellow
  • The landscape width of your A4 transparency sheet determined the circumference of the lantern.
    • Cut your A4 transparency sheet in half along its long side.
    • Place the same length of lace (equal to the landscape width of A4) over 1 piece of the halved A4 so that the sheet surrounds the lace. I also used some left over butter paper of smaller height inside the lace to give my lantern a glowy effect.
    • Now gently bend the whole 3 layers (transparency, lace and butter paper) along the length to form a cylinder and staple the 2 ends.

If you now place a working LED candle inside, it will look something like below. It is also great for a DIY romantic dinner setting without the fear of candle blowing off in the air 🙂

A single source of light

If you want to hang these lanterns, you will need to create a small base to place the candle inside.

  • Cut two small strips of an extra A4 sheet,  arrange them in an X and bend the corners of both strips so that they align with the cylindrical lantern.
  • Staple the corners so that there is a simple X-shaped base to place the flickering candle on
  • Make 2 holes opposite each other on the top sides of the lantern and insert the transparent thread across. Keep the tread long enough to hang over any bar you wish.

Repeat the entire process for all lanterns. My collection below:

The marvelous flickering candles

Hang the lanterns from any bar, switch ON the candles, switch OFF the remaining lights and watch the magic 🙂

Voila! Magic.

End-note: At end of each day, popping my hand inside each lantern to flick the ‘OFF’ switch, I could not NOT hum this tune:

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