Creating John Next Door Mini Lanterns by Sherrill Willis

Hello again from snowy Wisconsin! Now that we’ve had our fill of turkey with all the trimmings, it’s time to turn our attention to Christmas, and what better way to start than to make little mini lanterns to light Santa’s way? (I don’t have a chimney, so lanterns are how Santa “finds” us.) John Lockwood, of John Next Door, came out with this die set back in August, and I’m glad I’m finally getting the chance to play with them.

Here are the basic supplies I started out with, the die set and some Christmas Magic Graphic 45 paper, and later hit my stash to find other dies that would work with the set (I found a bunch!):

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The main worker die fits perfectly on a piece of 8.5” X 11” card (Crafter’s Companion Centura Dark) shown here:

 

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Next, using my Platinum I cut two pieces of paper at a time, which the die cut through with no problem at all:

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I folded the top rounded pieces in the middle to line up the décor die, which made placing it much easier, and attached the décor dies with a bit of washi tape and ran it through:

Ribbet collage

I repeated that once more so it had 4 “windows” and then began to burnish all the score lines. (Side note: make sure you burnish the top pieces really well so later when you’re closing it, it’s easier.)

The score line between the two apertures you’ll want to use a ruler or bone folder to help the crease form, otherwise you’ll run the risk of ripping your paper. I butted the edge of a metal ruler right next to the score line and carefully folded the paper over it. Then, used the same edge to burnish. I had great edges using this method, I later wished I had done the same on the top pieces.

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At this point I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly, so I stopped and pulled up the video on how to make the large lantern, and I’m very glad I did! You want to make sure that you use either red liner double sided tape or liquid glue. When using red liner double sided tape, there are two tabs you will put the tape on then cut half off so the tape doesn’t show through the “windows” like this:

Ribbet collage1.jpg

Then it’s just a matter of sticking it all together. I used an old nail file to make sure everything stuck nicely, I’m sure a bone folder would work fine, too, but due to the small width, I found the nail file to be ideal:

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Now it was time to finish it by pulling the top pieces together, and here’s where I made a few mistakes the first time around. I didn’t burnish the top fold piece near enough, so even though I “pinched” the triangle tops in place, I still ran into trouble when I went to thread the bakers twine and pull it shut. I did finally get it to shut and look halfway decent, but I wanted another shot at it, so broke out the Centura pearl card stock again.

To thread the twine through the teeny-tiny holes at the top, I laid one end on a small piece of red liner tape, and careful not to remove the liner, rolled it around to make the end nice and straight, and used it like a needle, threading the twine through tall the holes and, importantly, made sure the two ends met on the outside, not the inside, or the lantern. Then I pulled it shut, and after some fiddling, got it looking almost perfect:

Ribbet collage2

You can see in the last picture how nice and crisp those folds are, that’s because there’s no apertures beneath them. Also, I should have burnished the score lines better. So, because I’m me, I had to try again to see if using some acetate and working the score lines better would help.  It totally did!!! Take a look:

Ribbet collage3

In closing, I want to make sure you all know that John Lockwood’s video is very clear, and the mistakes I made were because I rushed and didn’t watch it in its entirety. I think the second one turned out great! It also came together a lot faster. I hope you’ll give these lanterns—big or small—a try. They have definitely earned a permanent spot in my yearly Christmas decorations!

My next blog will be on the Angela Poole Magic Slider cards, and oh are you in for a treat! Until then, thank you for choosing to spend some time with me, and happy crafting!

 

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