To make a Kongming lantern, cut four leaf-shaped panels out of fire-retardant paper, glue them together to form a column, attach the column to a wire hoop, and thread a fuel cell onto the wire. This process takes about two hours and requires fire-retardant paper, scissors, a glue stick, lightweight wire, paper towels and candle wax.
- Form the column
Cut four large, leaf-shaped panels out of flame-retardant paper. If you cannot find flame retardant paper, make your own by soaking lightweight paper in a solution of alum and water, or borax and water, and allowing it to dry completely. Draw or trace simple designs onto the panels with markers. Use a glue stick to glue the four panels together to form a column. Glue the top closed.
- Attach the hoop
Make a hoop out of lightweight wire. Use two additional lengths of the wire to form a cross shape across the hoop. Glue the paper column to the wire hoop.
- Thread the fuel cell
Fold two paper towels into quarters, and stack them together. Soak them in candle wax, and allow the wax to set completely to form the fuel cell. Thread the fuel cell onto the cross-shaped wire in the middle of the hoop.