My family had some very sad news last week, which was that my uncle passed away unexpectedly. I spent a couple of days trying to figure out what I could make for his little grandchildren, who range in age from 4 to 10, that would give them an opportunity to remember their grandfather and would also be beautiful. I did a bunch of searches for things like "bereavement gifts for children," which didn't turn up anything I was interested in. Finally I started thinking about Waldorf-oriented things (why this took me so long I don't know, since a core of Waldorf is children + beautiful), and I discovered paper lanterns made from wet-on-wet watercolor paintings. I read that these are usually used for decoration at the winter holiday season, but I think they will work perfectly for this purpose as well.
If you're interested in making them, I have a couple of recommendations.
- Be sure you are exact as you can be with your cutting and folding. The bigger they are the easier it is to fold.
- Don't plan on your first one being perfect. You might even try it on regular paper first so you can get the hang of it.
- This may be really obvious, but remember they are made of paper, oiled paper at that. I wouldn't leave them unattended or let children do the lighting.
I boxed them up today and will mail them tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing my extended family next week at the services but I do wish it were for another reason.