Saturday, November 12, 2011

dodecahedron lanterns

With the earlier sunsets, we find ourselves cozying up in the evenings.  Lantern light can make this evening time feel special and magical.  
We still have and enjoy our star lanterns from last year.  And our balloon lanterns didn't hold up past a couple of uses.  This time we decided to try making dodecahedron lanterns from watercolor paper.  Tutorials can be found here and here.  

Just to make things difficult, my printer isn't working so I couldn't print a pentagon template to start.  I tried tracing one off of the computer screen, but my screen apparently stretches things out, because it came out all wonky.  I couldn't find a protractor, just a compass, so I went with this method of drawing a perfect pentagon.  Did you know that if you take a strip of paper and tie it in a loose knot and slowly flatten and tighten it, it always turns into a perfect pentagon?  It does.  Try it.  That page explains why, and also shows how to fold a perfect pentagon using both the American and Japanese methods.  I'm a bit of a math geek, so I love this kind of thing when it comes up.

 Instead of doing a big wet-on-wet painting and cutting shapes out of it, the girls wanted to use watercolor pencils and draw different images on each shape.  Then they painted over the drawings with water.

Gluing the eleven pentagons together was a bit of a challenge, and I ended up doing this part on my own.  I did the top half and the bottom half separately and then attached them together by alternating each flap inside and outside of the structure.  I used Magnetix to hold the flaps tightly while the glue dried.

 Sylvia's and Camille's
My camera doesn't adequately show how pretty these look lit up, but they turned out really fun and lovely.

By the way, we love Magnetix.  They get a lot of use around here, besides holding glued lantern pieces together.


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1 comment:

  1. I love this project! Great idea and lovely writing. :-)
    cuidado with the magnetix though, if kids swallow more than one, they can perforate organs and intestines.
    I thought it was just a dramatic episode of Grey's Anatomy, then I saw a newscast about it last week.
    luv you lady! <3

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