An Attempt (fabric scrap lanterns)

I believe I have happened upon my style over the years, and it seems to revolve around yarn and books.  I like the look of piles of either.  Sure there are lots of other elements of home decor that I like as well, I just have no idea how to implement them at my house.  I also find myself constantly saying to myself, “I’ll get some pictures hung on the wall in here just as soon as we touch up the paint.”  Or, “Goodness, why bother decorating when Beatrix does such a good job with her crayons (or that sharpie she found in a drawer.)”
I am in awe of the moms who opt for white couches (I know one of them, and I love her style, but I don’t know how she does it!)  I am tempted to buy everything in brown to match what my kids bring in every day.  I keep my couches covered in quilts in an attempt to try to keep the chore of washing slipcovers and scrubbing upholstery to a minimum.
I arrange, and I rearrange.  I organize, and I organize some more.  But decorate?
Sorry, I don’t have time, and I am afraid that even if I did, I wouldn’t be very good at it.
But I do craft.  Not as much as people imagine I do, but it does happen.  Even Beatrix has learned the phrase, “Do a craft.”  She uses it at really inconvenient times, such as when I am up to my ears in something that really can’t be abandoned (for instance changing a dirty diaper on a crying hungry baby), and she wants my attention. I suggest a book, and she replies, “no.  I want to do a craft.”  I look at her and think, “But you’re two.  What have I created (meaning her)?” Sometimes this crafty stuff can really come back and get me.
When it comes to crafty ideas, I rarely search the internet for inspiration.  Sometimes I happen upon it that way, but not usually.  I honestly can’t bear to sit in front of a screen for that long, nor would my little ones let me if I tried.  I require books.  There are lots of craft books out there for children, and while they are all quite lovely I’m sure, I find that sometimes they are more lovely than they are useful.  We recently purchased a copy of Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crafting with Kids and I have found it to contain a great collection of do-able crafts for my kids combined with great visual instructions.  All of my children have taken turns pouring over all the projects and letting me know which ones they want to try.  I like this book, I really do.  But, I sort of shot myself in the foot when I decided that rather than go with one of the age appropriate crafts, that we should start with a bottle of Mod Podge (my first ever actually,) some balloons, and a bunch of fabric scraps.  I got this idea in my mind that we could make these fabric covered lantern thingies, and I would use them to decorate.
Well, let me say:  lovely project, but not with a two year old and an infant.  I am sure no one else would be so silly as me to try such a thing.  The Mod Podge will be taking it’s place on a high shelf.
And the beautiful colorful lanterns, which we are actually using as a garland, are hopefully detracting from the fingerprints and the broken bits of glass surrounding one of the windows who lost a pane to a rock a few years ago rather than drawing more attention to a spot that really needs a bit of work.  Either way, I never claimed to be a decorator.


  1. What a lovely idea for fabric scraps!

  2. Debra E says:

    I don’t have the book you talked about but my girls and I did this craft and just winged it. My question is, how do you get the fabric to maintain its beautiful shape after it dries and you cut the top off of the balloon? My balloon deflated and took the fabric with it leaving me with a deformed ball shape. We only used modge podge to glue the fabric to the balloon. Did you use modge podge to cover the outside of the fabric as well? Thanks!

    • Yes, we did cover the outside as well! The lanterns could still be crushed once they dried, but they could easily be pressed back into shape by putting your hand inside the lantern and just pushing the dents back out.

  3. This is a great idea! I love the hot-air version as well. So you use mod-podge? Could glue/water mixture work as in paper-mache too?

  4. Christina says:

    Turn them upside down and hang a little basket and you’ll have the cutest hot air balloon!

  5. Christina says:

    Turn them upside down and hang a little basket and you’ll have the cutest hot air balloon!

  6. I love these lanterns. My daughter loves to cut up the scraps of fabric, but until recently, hasn’t done anything with them. She has started to collage with the bits of fabric scraps, but I think she would enjoy this as well. Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

  7. I do love to decorate but it took me some 20 yrs to let go of the white ideal. I love the look. But I surrendered to brown leather and never look back. It wipes clean in two seconds. We now work around earth tones – you know like dirt, grass, and apples. : )


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