Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Cast a New Light for Hanukkah

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We dipped these lanterns in paint for new hit of holiday color.

While nothing can replace the menorah at Hanukkah, we wanted to show a modern interpretation in this lantern chandelier. With the help of LED lights, you can turn on a new lantern each of the eight nights. Want to try it? See below for the full how-to.

What You’ll Need:

8 paper lanterns
Large bucket
8 LED lights
Acrylic paint
Adhesive paper
Pen or pencil
Scissors or X-Acto knife
2 power strips
8 ceiling hooks
Twine or rope


Before you begin, lay out newspaper on the floor of your work area. String a “clothesline” for the lanterns to hang from for drying after they are dipped, and make sure the area beneath that is also covered with newspaper.

In a bucket large enough to fit the circumference of your largest paper lantern, dilute your acrylic paint with water, using a ratio of two parts paint to one part water. The solution should come up the side of the bucket at least 1″-2″ to allow room for dipping.

Dip the lantern straight into the paint mixture, and rock it from side to side before removing. Hang immediately on your line to dry.


Print numbers to the scale you want, and trace the silhouettes onto your desired adhesive paper (we went for a reflective metallic version). Using a scissors or an X-Acto knife, cut out a number. Next, peel the back off to expose the adhesive surface, and apply it to a lantern when dry. Repeat for the remaining numbers and lanterns.


You will need two power strips to safely accommodate the wattage of the eight lanterns. Each lantern gets its own bulb light and ceiling hook. Plug in each lantern as the holiday progresses.

Extra credit: To give your cords their own festive feel, try wrapping them with metallic-look cord.

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