Our Paper Lantern Creature DIY Kits come with all the pieces you need to make your own whimsical bird. This kit is for the bird with the rainbow strip in the back.
Check out the tutorial below.
Additional supplies: ruler (optional: see through ruler), scorer or nail file, binder clips
Assemble the paper lantern by first expanding the lantern. Insert the wire expander
Then gently pull one of the wire loops over the wire expander little “ears”. Repeat on the other side.
In order to determine placement of the back strip, I often use the lantern vertical seams as guidance. But that is only if the seams are equally spaced so that the back seam (where my thumb is), lines up with loop C as well as the front seam, per the red jagged line. If the seams do not line up naturally, use loops A and B as guidance and lightly pencil draw a line on the back perpendicular to Loops A and B.
I use two methods to figure out the first placement of the tissue circles. Depending on where the back seam is, it is usually placed in-between the 2nd and 3rd spiral or the 3rd and 4th spirals. You can also line up one of the tissue circles so that the top lines up to the 3rd spiral and the bottom of the circle should stop at the center of the bottom, roughly where the dotted lines is.
Once you have the right spot: on the back seam or pencil drawn line and between the right spirals, which in the example above is the 2nd and 3rd spirals, apply the glue mixture.
Starting with the color that will be in the center of the rainbow strip, apply the first circle. For this tutorial, pink is the center of the strip, with purple on either side of it and blue is on either side of purple.
Working quickly, apply glue mixture to the right and left of the pink circle then place one blue circle on either side of the pink circle, making sure that both blue circles slides under the pink circle.
The pink circle must always lie on top of the colored circles.
After the left most blue circle is place, start to add the white circles. From this point on, use and follow the spiral as your guide. Be sure, when applying the tissue circles, to overlap the previous circle by about a 1/3.
Some minor adjustments may need to be made, in terms of how much to overlap, so that the rainbow strip is straight and follows the curve of the body. Once you come back to the right-most blue circle, on the spiral above it, a little planning has to go into play. At this point, this is the second layer of feathers, so all four colors have to be used. I recommend placing the four colors on the lantern to see the proper positioning before you actually glue it down.
After the second layer, it becomes a lot easier to figure out proper positioning without too much prep work. Continue with the application, making sure to hold the bird up to look at the alignment of the rainbow strip so adjustments can be made before the glue dries.
When you reach the top of the top, over lap as shown in the photo.
Use some ribbon, thread, twine or yarn to attach to loop c. Tie the top of the ribbon and hang the bird to dry. This is the only way to keep the bottom portion of the tissue circles from adhering onto themselves and keep them looking like feathers.
While the body is drying, time to work on the wings. Apply regular strength glue (I prefer tacky glue) to the purple (medium sized) wing as shown in the photo. Of note, I purposely added a lot of glue for this tutorial so the you see the contrast. But generally my policy is to use as little glue as possible. Too much glue makes the whole project messy and is often difficult to clean it up without a mess.
Gently attach it to the blue (largest size) wing. I like lining it up so that the first scallop on the tip of the purple wing, does not lie on the blue wing. See photo above.
Repeat process with the pink (smallest size) wing.
Make any adjustments necessary so that everything lines up as desired. Keep some paper towels around to carefully wipe any glue that seeps out. Set aside for a few minutes to dry.
Once the first wing is dry, its time to put together the second wing. To make sure that each wing is set exactly the same way, this is the easiest way to do it. Line up the smallest wings on top of each other. Hold it them together with a binder clip.
Next place the medium wing so that it lines up exactly with th other medium wing. Hold in place with a binder clip.
Repeat with the last wing and hold in place with a binder clip.
Cut off a small piece parchment paper and place it between the set wing and the un-adhered wing pieces. Put glue on the middle piece as you did for the other wing. Hold in place for a few seconds and then repeat with the pink one. Once all pieces are adhered, remove the binder clips and set aside to dry.
Wings all done and set aside to dry.
For the beak, line up the ruler so that you see the distinct shapes: triangle and rectangle. Score as shown. Since I love to use multi use tools, the nail file is my tool of choice for scoring.
Measure the exact center of the rectangle and place a mark at the bottom of the rectangle.
Line up the ruler so that it runs through the tip of the triangle and the marked point on the bottom of the rectangle. Score it. Repeat the the process with the other beak piece.
Fold fold the beak pieces along the scored lines …
In both directions.
Next cut the rectangle section in half along the scored line, up to the beginning of the triangle.
Repeat for the other pieces
Add glue to one of the rectangle pieces, per the photo above.
Place the other side on top of the glue and use a binder clip to hold it in place. Repeat for the other beak side. Set aside to dry.
Glue the smaller eye piece onto the bigger eye piece. Repeat on the other side. Set aside to dry.
While the other bird pieces are drying, you can finish off the body. Make 8 to 10 slits into the overlaps as shown above.
Then using a small brush, apply glue to just inside of the top of the lantern. All around.
Then gently press in the overlaps. You may need to add additional glue so that all the overlaps stay glued down.
An overview of the rainbow strip.
For placement of the wings, I use the loops A and B as guidance. You want to line the wings up so that the front curve of the wings lines up in line with either loop A or loop B and you want to place the wings on the vertical center of the of the body, that is the round most part of the bird, roughly where my thumb is.
Apply glue to the bottom of the front edge of the wings and gently press down. Keep holding it until is is set enough not to move when handles are removed.
Repeat on the other side.
To figure out placement of the eyes, you want to place then just above the vertical center of the body as well as the just off center of loop C. Roughly where my thumb is positioned.
Adhere the eyes to the body.
Next, adhere the eyebrow to each eye.
Apply glue to one side of the beak.
Press both sides of the beak together. Allow to dry briefly.
Add more glue to the bottom of the beak.
Position the beak centered between the eyes and about vertical center of the bird.
All done! Birdie is ready to play.