Beaded Lantern Patterns
Over the past few months, I have been working on a range of beaded lantern patterns. You will have seen some of them emerging on social media, or perhaps through my mailing list. Well, I wanted to use this post to share an update and explain the different options. So, if you are interested in making your own beaded lanterns, you will know which is best for you.
Why should you make beaded lanterns?
Simple, really. They are great fun to create and look fantastic!
Each of these beaded lantern patterns is built around a battery-operated tea light. So, you get the effect of a candle flame (mine even flicker), but without any danger to you or your beads.
The way in which the light glows through the beads is really magical.
Then, of course, you have a lot of options for styling and colouring your lantern. I will come on to that as I take you through the projects I’ve been creating, in a moment.
But first, let’s briefly talk about techniques.
What beading techniques do you need to know?
Now, you may be looking at the images and thinking these beaded lanterns look very complicated to make. But they really aren’t.
You are going to be working entirely in tubular Peyote. And if you’re not sure what this is, just take a look at this blog post.
The shaping is created very simply by increasing and decreasing. Again, simple Peyote techniques.
The only other Peyote technique you will need is ‘stitch-in-the-ditch’ technique. But again, this is a basic technique, so nothing difficult in there.
You can find out about all these techniques in the ‘learn Peyote stitch‘ section of my website.
So, that covers the techniques. Now, how about the materials?
What materials do you need for these beaded lantern patterns?
Again, this is a very basic style of project, using materials that you probably already have in your stash.
So, you are going to be working with size 11 Delica beads. You do need to use cylinder beads because these beaded lanterns are self-supporting. So, if you try to work with ordinary (rounded) seed beads, you’re going to discover that the beads don’t ‘click’ together as well. That will lead to a slightly floppier structure, which you don’t want.
Now, the ‘glass’ panes of the lantern are all created with transparent delica beads. But, if you have ever worked with these in the past, you may know that your beading thread is going to be slightly visible through the beads.
So, that wouldn’t give a great effect when you’re trying to create transparent glass. How do you get over that problem? Simple: use a specific transparent beading thread. I have found a couple of good options. All the beaded lantern patterns will give you full details of these. But you can also find out the basics in this blog post.
So, that gets you set up with the basics. How about the actual projects…?
Which beaded lantern patterns are best for you?
As I said in the beginning, this has been a journey of exploration for me.
I first came up with the idea of making beaded lanterns using tea lights, in the latter half of 2020. So, given the time of year, my first lantern happened to be a Halloween lantern.
As you can see, I created a square design for this one. But I also had ideas for more rounded lanterns.
Specifically, I wanted to create a series of lanterns that I could hang on my Christmas tree. So, my next step was to work on a rounded design. I decided to teach this as an online class. So, if you’re not yet too confident in Peyote stitch. Or, if you enjoy Peyote, but lack confidence in dimensional work, then this online class would be the best place for you to begin.
The class focuses on teaching you the techniques for the basic lantern structure. I then sell a wide range of patterns for the side designs (don’t worry – you get your first choice included in the class!). So, you can make lanterns for literally any occasion.
Yes, I’ve got a great range of Christmas designs. But I also have floral lanterns, Valentine’s, Easter, and so on. They are all illustrated in the class, and available for you to preview for free before you join up. So, again, this would be the link to look at that.
Now, the idea of lanterns for all occasions is lovely. But the one flaw in that plan is having to make a new lantern every time you want to celebrate a new occasion. This is great if you want to give them as gifts. Or, again, if you’re hanging them on your Christmas tree.
But how about being able to make just one lantern and then switch out the panes of glass in the sides?
One lantern, many different designs
Well, that is the third option that I am exploring at the moment.
So, you can get your tutorial for the basic lantern here. Then, you can either create your own designs for your side panels. Or, you can follow along with me as I create more and more designs for these beaded lanterns.
I’ve started with butterflies. But I have many more ideas: flowers, four seasons, Christmas, Halloween, more nature, cats, cupcakes… So, if you want to follow that creative journey, you’ll find all the side panel designs here.
So, what is best for you?
Well, if you’re confident and just want a beaded lantern that you can use for any occasion, then I would go for the third option.
If you’re wanting that, but not yet feeling quite confident enough in your beading skills, then I suggest you take the online class option. Although the lantern shaping is a little different, you’re going to be learning the same techniques that you would use for any beaded lantern patterns. So, from there, you can expand into other areas.
But whatever you decide, I hope you will also enjoy making these fabulous beaded ornaments. They really will get huge admiration and bring much enjoyment!