"Star light, star bright..." Maker Team member Laura of @feltlikeaparty has created a clever felt lantern that will turn a dark space into a starry night. This would be a lovely addition to any room in your home. Or how about creating multiples as centerpieces for a later summer celebration? Your guests would be star-struck!
For being an avid stargazer, I am very much afraid of the dark. Good thing I vibe with anything neon, glow-in-the-dark, shiny, sparkly, or mesmerizingly lit. And the rainbow shimmer of Iridescent metallic felt - let’s just say I found my spirit textile. This project can be paired with nearly any color from Benzie’s felt rainbow, but I love that icy blue! It is a summer evening feeling as the sun starts to set below wispy clouds, lightning bugs blink from the shadows, and I turn on all my night lights.
Skill Level: Beginner
Time: 2 1/2 hours
One 12 x 18" sheet of Icicle Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Midnight Wool Blend Felt
One 9 x 12" sheet of Iridescent Metallic Felt
Three Midnight Felt Stars
White Gel Pen
Water Soluble Marker
Hot Glue Gun
7’ strand of Battery Operated LED Lights
1. Cut an ironed sheet of Icicle felt to 12 x 16". While you may measure and hand cut, I use a self-healing cutting mat and rotary cutter. They are my must-have tools!
2. Fold back 1” of felt and iron until well-creased. Your sheet will now be 12 x 15".
3. Fold your sheet in half, aligned with the folded end and iron a second crease. You will end up having a book-like sheet about 12” tall and 7.5” wide.
4. Place 2-3 wonder clips at the long end of your felt. Using a rotary cutter, trim to square your felt.
5. Open your felt like a book. One side will have the 1” fold; the other side is the half to which you will apply the lights! Check that your LED lights are in working order and, if you have opted for another felt color, make sure the lights are visible through the felt. Light colors work best!
6. Use a water-soluble marker to mark the border for the lights. I did a 1/2” border on each width and the creased middle fold. It is very important to have a minimum 2” border on the 12” length!
7. Using a hot glue gun, tack the lights onto the felt in even rows. I used a silicone finger protector to apply glue and immediately press in place, rather than wait for glue to dry. The flattened hot glue will ensure a smooth finish. Continue across the felt until you max out the lights. Do not adhere the unlit portion of wire to the felt.
8. Cut away a small triangle from the four corners.
9. Lift the 1” fold and lightly spray Aleene’s fabric fusion to the lighted side of your lantern. Press firmly and smooth. The 1” fold should not yet be glued. Gather any remaining wire and the LED battery and glue to the bottom corner of the felt. Your finished project will be cylindrical. Make sure that you can access the on/off switch, as well as be able to change the batteries!
10. Seal the sides with hot glue. Start with your 1” fold, then each of the widths. Set aside and let dry.
11. Cut a 12 x 2.5" strip of Midnight felt and a 12 x 2" strip of Iridescent metallic felt with your rotary cutter.
12. Start with the metallic felt. Flip it over so the shimmery side is face down. With a water-soluble pen, mark the middle of each end. (This is 1” on the short sides of the rectangle.) Using this as a guide, freehand a cloud pattern onto the felt. Be careful not to draw below your 1” center mark. Cut.
13. Keeping the metallic side down, attach the Midnight felt rectangle with wonder clips. Use the white gel pen to follow the cloud pattern, about 1/4” above the metallic felt. Cut.
14. For metallic embellishments, I chose stars. You can make a template to trace onto the felt or cut them freehand. I used a 6 x 6" square of Iridescent metallic felt and a Cricut cutting machine to cut three 1.5” stars and four 1” stars.
If using a Cricut: Place the shiny side down. Use the “Felt, Craft Bonded” material setting. Select the rotary blade.
15. Crafters, assemble! Start with the lighted Icicle felt. Slightly overlap the ends and hold in place with clips. That 1” fold and the battery should be on the inside. Hot glue to form a cylinder.
16. Take the Midnight felt and glue the side without your white gel pen markings around the bottom of your lantern. The 1” fold is the bottom. It helps to keep your project flat while gluing the decorative base. Line up the clouds of Iridescent metallic felt to the Midnight felt and glue in place. Cut and discard any extra.
17. Illuminate your lantern and decorate! I really love the added dimension of felted stars. I adorned my lantern with three Midnight felted stars. One I placed on the inside along the line where the felt was glued together and other places where I did not have any lights peeking through. I added metallic felt stars wherever I wanted a pop of extra shine and, again, did not cover any of the LED lights.
Great job! Sit back and enjoy your happy lantern! There are so many ways you can personalize and style this lantern to make it your own. Whether you opt for an alternative color palette or change the pattern, it’s guaranteed to be a midsummer night’s dream!