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DIY garden lights

Decorate lanterns with personal messages and a romantic atmosphere on a summer’s evening

What could be nicer than relaxing on the balcony or patio on balmy summer evenings, leaving all your cares behind? And as you unwind, DIY garden lights are the perfect way to add ambience to your summer decoration. There are loads of beautiful handicraft ideas which use hand lettering – ranging from greetings cards and notebooks through to breakfast cups with cheery quotes for an early morning boost – so why not use creative lettering on outdoor summer lights as well? We were really impressed with the results because messages or a few fitting words stand out really well when written on the lanterns in plain black. You can use block or cursive lettering and experiment by varying the size of the letters and the spacing between them as you wish. When it comes to lettering, there are no set rules – anything goes. You can also add extra touches such as dots, borders or other embellishments.

  • Good quality translucent vellum paper. Suggested size: 18 cm high x 32 cm long
  • Square pieces of black card for the base and cover
  • edding 1800 profipen in black, line thickness 0.3 mm or 0.5 mm
  • Pencil for sketching out design (if required), transparent adhesive tape
  • Bone folder; ruler; double-sided, transparent adhesive tape
  • LED tea-light
  • Template
  • Instructions
Step by step instructions:
  1. Divide the length of the vellum paper into four equal sections and remember to include a 1 cm edge for joining and sticking down. Make sharp folds between each section with the aid of the bone folder.

  2. When you’ve decided on a suitable message or word, use the edding 1800 profipen to make a template. You can trace this onto the vellum paper afterwards. Hand lettered words look especially nice; try combining large and small letters, cursive script and print characters. Play around with different styles until you find the one you like best.

  3. Place your template under the translucent paper and go over the letters with the edding 1800 pen. 

  4. Next, stick three strips of double-sided adhesive tape on the 1 cm edge you allowed for, fold into a square block shape to form the lantern and press the edges together to secure. 

  5. Now take the black drawing paper and make the folded lid and base by following the folding instructions which you can find in our download section. Make sure that the vellum paper sleeve is a little smaller than the lid and base so it fits inside. 

  6. Assemble the base and lid and place a tea-light inside your lantern.