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A Summer DIY to Remember

What goes good with a warm summer night? How about sweet giggles saying goodnight to the sun, and a cheerful grin illuminated by a homemade lantern?!
There’s nothing more memorable than a childhood summer… filled with family vacations, backyard BBQ’s, and fun that always seemed to creep past bedtime.
Some of my favorite memories would definitely have included those things, but one thing in particular seems to stand out more than the rest, and that would be fun summer DIY and summer crafts my mother would put together for us. A picture frame made of leaves and twigs was one of the summer crafts that hung in our house for over a decade!

kids lantern summer DIY

Add Summer Crafts for Kids to Your Summer Checklist!

These summer crafts ended up defining most of my childhood summers, and that’s why I wanted to make sure I did the same for my kids before they head back to school in just a month from now. I might also mention my summer checklist is running short, and I’m scrambling to find ways to keep the dreaded “I’m bored.” to a minimum!

you might also like: Choo Choo Cute: 3D Train Printable or Rocket Launchers

homemade lantern summer crafts

Ramble: Art Outdoors Kids Lantern Parade

Luckily for us, a local art gallery is celebrating their 10th anniversary and they’ve put together some amazing summer crafts for kids with their Ramble: Art Outdoors program. This week we are joining in on the fun and putting together our very own homemade lantern! And guess what, you can join in to! The Reach Gallery is still passing out kids lantern kits so you and your family can participate in their lantern parade, this Thursday August 9th at 8:45 pm in Mill Lake. Just look at how much fun we had putting this summer DIY together!

And if your finding this homemade lantern DIY after the big parade, no problem! You can still make this kids lantern for a memorable summer night (or perhaps include them in a Tangled birthday theme) by following these simple steps!

homemade lantern summer crafts


You might also like: I’ll Always Remember, a great read on storing those cherished memories.

Kids Lantern Summer DIY How To

The Reach Gallery did such a wonderful job putting this summer DIY together. Not only did they bundle the materials all together for us, but they had easy instructions attached. I’ll outline their instructions, as well as add a few tips after our experience of making this homemade lantern together.

Homemade Lantern Materials List:

summer crafts for kids

  • Two 12 inch pieces of Flat Reed (you can find this at a local craft store or fabric store; or substitute mason jar rings and popsicle sticks)
  • Four 6 inch pieces of Flat Reed
  • 13 x 7 piece of cloth (light colors work best)
  • 12 inch piece of wire
  • Two 6 inch pieces of wire
  • Four 4 inch pieces of wire
  • LED tea light
  • String or Pipe Cleaner for handle
  • Wood Glue
  • Elmer’s Glue or Matte Medium
  • Paint Brush
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Coloring Material to decorate lantern

Note: This craft requires adult supervision and might require an adult to help assemble for younger age artists.

For younger artist, try out this fun coloring activity: Our Little Chickadee Treat Box Birthday Idea  & Activity

Step One:

Form your longest pieces of reed into two circles by wrapping with the medium pieces of wire.
After wrapping the wire a few times around the reed, my kids were then able to finish.


summer crafts for kids

summer crafts for kids


Step Two:

Next, attach the smaller four reeds to one of the circles.

Note: This is where adults might have to help on this homemade lantern. Using a criss-cross action, wrap the smaller pieces of wire to attach each reed to the base circle.

summer crafts for kids


Now use the same actions to attach the top circle to the homemade lantern.

As you can see Tristan wasn’t quite amused at this point, but once I showed him the tea light that would illuminate his homemade lantern there was all smiles! Sometimes summer crafts for kids need a little magic in them, am I right?

summer DIY kids lantern

Step Three:

Now using the longest part of wire, wrap your LED tea light in a way that you can attach to the bottom of your homemade lantern. I did this be wrapping and twisting around the light section.

summer DIY kids lantern

Step Four:

After your frame is assembled, cover in wood glue and paste your cloth onto the frame. Tape would also work if you are wanting less of a mess.


Tape a few areas to hold until dried. After about 30 minutes you’ll be ready to paint on the Matte Medium or Elmer’s glue. The key is to dilute with water so it spreads evenly. This hardens the cloth and makes your kids lantern more durable. Summer crafts need to hold up to all the memories about to be made!

summer crafts for kids homemade lantern


Wait another 30 minutes or until your homemade lantern is dry. Then attach our handle and decorate as you wish!

You might also like: How to Be a Three Year Old

Step Five:

Time to decorate this summer DIY! We had such a fun time making our own paintbrushes out of a sticks and leaves we found in the backyard. Not only did it have a creative twist, but gave me another idea for summer crafts for kids. And if you don’t have a paintbrush it can be a lifesaver!

summer crafts for kids homemade lantern

Summer Crafts for Kids: Kids Lantern Round Up

The kids ended up loving this summer craft. So much so, that Tristan begged to do it again for Halloween! I think we will definitely pull it out again and add some fun fall vibes to it, the wheels are already turning!

summer crafts for kids homemade lantern


These kids lanterns not only kept their little fingers busy for a few hours of the day, but now we get to make more summer holiday memories by joining in a lantern parade! I can just see their gleaming faces now, skipping to the beat of the music and holding their homemade lantern up proud for all to see.

If you’re in the Fraser Valley area we hope to see you on August 9th at 8:45 pm in Mill Lake Park! Alberta based artist and puppeteer, Randi Edmundson and her crew will be leading the parade with a giant sturgeon shaped lantern! But that’s not all, this Family Night at Mill lake will also include an orchestra concert presented by Calvin Dyck (starting at 7pm), and a screening of Disney’s “Planes” proceeding the parade.

Find out more About Me and my Workshops!

Stay Tuned for More Summer Crafts for Kids

And Ramble: Art Outdoors projects in celebration of The Reach’s 10th anniversary! Remember to use #goldngrassesdiy so I can see all your homemade lanterns! Happy crafting!

Looking for ways to tidy up the house after a fun filled summer? It might be time to get those spring cleaning items check off with my Keep Calm and Spring Clean Guide

4 thoughts on “Summer Crafts for Kids: Homemade Lantern”

  1. Great idea and good directions! Love the full display of emotions. They can get bored quickly and need to see the “light” at the end of the tunnel!

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