Felted Lantern Workshop

Felted Lantern Workshop

This last Sunday I taught the felted lantern cover workshop that should have happened in December but was delayed. I was teaching at the guild I belong to, Ottawa Valley Weravers’ and Spinners’ Guild.

It was a half day class. the biggest challenge with the lantern covers is laying out the wool thin enough to let the light through but with enough wool to hang together. They don’t need to be strong because the lantern will give them structure. For this class, I provided a glass vase so everyone would be working to the same resist size. You can use a large pop bottle with the top cut off but I would add some weight to it to make it more stable.

I had 5 ladies for this class. I showed them two examples of covers I made.

wool felt lantern cover, blue, green, brown wool felt lantern cover lit up, blue, green, brown

Everyone wanted the longer one so they could add wrinkles

laying out wool for a felted lantern cover laying out wool for a felted lantern cover laying out wool for a felted lantern cover laying out wool for a felted lantern cover laying out wool for a felted lantern cover


I only just realized we ended up with just 2 colour palettes. the largest part of this class is taken up with layout and decoration. We discussed how you can add things to the inside of the cover that won’t show when it’s not lit up but will show as silhouettes blocking more light.  A couple of people decided to give that a try.

Adding embellishments to felt lantern covers Adding embellishments to felt lantern covers Adding embellishments to felt lantern covers Adding embellishments to felt lantern covers Adding embellishments to felt lantern covers

It is hard to see on the last one but she is adding white and blue silk hanky pieces to the wool. they disappear as soon as they get wet. They will show up again later. You can see them a little in the pictures below. I think everyone had a great afternoon.


Group shot of the students with their lantern covers.

finished wool lantern cover finished wool lantern cover finished wool lantern cover finished wool lantern cover finished wool lantern cover

Two of my students sent me pictures of their covers dry and lit.


lantern cover drylantern cover lit up


lantern cover dry Lantern cover lit up

I hope the others will send me pictures as well. One was very thin and delicate and I think it will look amazing lit up. If they send them I will add them here.

I did have someone ask why I like to make covers rather than making them with a bottom. There are 4 reasons, first making a nice flat bottom that will allow the vase to stand properly can be tricky. A cover that is self-supporting needs to be felted much more or be thicker to be stiff enough. Having an internal structure gives you something to put the lights in and attach the controller to. And lastly, the container inside allows you to add water if you would like to use it for flowers.


16 thoughts on “Felted Lantern Workshop

  1. Beautiful results from a very happy group of ladies Ann. Curious about one of the photos where 2 layouts are showing side by side. Also what did you use to light up the lanterns. The lights seems quite strong.

    Now I want to make one 😀

    1. Thanks, Helen. I like to keep everything dry for as long as possible, so that’s the other side of the lantern. We move it aside and work on the second half and then put them together. I have them press and wiggle the first half then it sticks together enough to pick it up and move it. In the picture beside it you can see the wool just wrapped around the resist and she is just starting to pick up her first half and place it on top. It is a string of 20 LED lights, with a 2 AA battery pack.

  2. Very interesting workshop, Ann. I am thinking about making tealight covers so this is an inspiration. I have a dozen or more of small glass jars that I got from eating a lot of chocolate spread (well, my children did) and I think that they are perfect for a small candle or tealight: I made two sample covers and I feel that they were not too bad, but still not as I wanted. Now I see that I should have not made the bottom part. I also prefelted them as rectangular shapes, then finished the felting and shaping on the jars, but I see that using a resist as you did would be better to get a smoother finish. I agree that the tricky part is laying out the right amount of fiber: probably a very thin silk fabric would lend the structure without the thickness, what do you think?

    1. thank you. Yes think silk would work but they do not need t have much structure because the jar provides that. I would shrink it off the jar and just keep trying it on the jar as it shrinks. when is just a little too big stop. You want to be able to get it on and off easily. LED lights, electric candles are safest.

  3. Great workshop Ann. I see why the students like the “wrinkles” as they definitely add more interest. I never thought of making the cover longer, that’s a great idea. The lighting always gives such a different look. I hope the other students send in their finished photos so we can see.

  4. Those lanterns look really nice, Ann. I must confess I don’t normally like covers that filter too much light but these are just thin enough to show the colour beautiful- and artfully. The wrinkles definitely add another layer of interest!

  5. Love these Lantern Covers! A successful class indeed. I hope the balance of your ladies send photos, I would really like to see them. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Lovely lights Ann. I like that they look good lit or unlit and I also think the wrinkles add extra interest in both versions. Adding shapes to the inside which only show when the lamp is lit is a great idea. This is something I’d like to have a go at. I think I need to go to Ikea to get some cheap vases or pint glasses, though I suppose if all the covers are the same size I could get away with just one vase/glass. I’ve got just the place in our main room for one to stand.
    Add it to the list.

    1. Thanks Ann. Ikea would be great place to find them. I want to do a square one so I can think about 4 different sides An oval has possibilities. I have seen them at the second hand store. There won’t be any now I am looking. I hope you give it a try. I would love to see what you do.

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