How to make Waldorf Martinmas Lanterns  (tutorial)


Martinmas is another one of those fantastic holidays, like Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) that most Americans either have never heard of, or only heard of through Waldorf schools. It is celebrated by retelling the story of St. Martin of Tours and by holding evening lantern walks. In the Netherlands we call it “Sint Maarten”. As I mentioned, it is also celebrated in Waldorf schools around the world .

The lantern is the traditional symbol for the Martinmas celebration. It is the symbol of our own light which we can shine on a dark world, and in the Waldorf schools we celebrate the holiday by holding a “lantern walk”

Making different lanterns

This year we are making a Dodecahedron Star Lantern {Tutorial}

First we paint our paper sheets with watercolors. We use the technique of wet-on-wet painting.

Before I start, I use some paper tape to attach the sides if my paper sheet to the table. Than with a cotton ball I make the paper sheet wet. Not soaking wet. Now I apply my water paint and because my paper is wet, the colors flow beautifully into eachother.

We let our paintwork dry. After it is dry we oil the back of the dry painted paper sheets. We use cotton balls and olive oil for oiling. After this process we let the paper sheets dry again.

While the oiled painted paper sheets are drying, I draw a pentagram on white cardboard paper and cut it out. I use the pentagram as a base for the lantern and I will use 11 in total. 5 per ring and 1 for the bottom. If you want to make a lantern without a bottom you only need to cut out 10 pentagrams.

I draw pentagrams on the dried oiled painted paper sheets, per sheet there fit 3 of the pentagrams. After drawing them I cut them out.

Now I have 11 pentagrams. On every pentagram I draw a line from the point of the pentagram to the bottom point, turning the pentagram till the next point points upwards and drawing another line. Until all lines are drawn. I choose to do it with a yellow pencil, something that I could see but wouldn’t interupt my work.

When all the lines are drawn it shows you a 5-pointed star.

I fold the point of the star towards the line. I do this for all the points.

Here are all the 11 folded pentagrams.

I lay 5 pentagrams next to eachother, side to side. I glue one side under and one side over. You can glue the four pentagrams together when they still lat flat, but with pentagram number 5, your ring will become round. I use a paperclip to glue pentagram number 5 to pentagram number 1. Do this a second time for your second ring.

Now I glue ring number 1 to ring number 2. Again I glued one side under and one side over. But you can also chose to glue all the parts of ring number 1 to the inside of ring number 2 and glue the parts of ring number 2 to the outside of ring number 1.

Here you see from the inside how ring 1 and 2 are glued together.

Now the lantern is almost done. You can choose not to have a bottom, than you are almost done now. All you have to do is glue the top and bottom sides to get your star.

Otherwise all that you have to is glue in the bottom. And glue the top sides to get your star.

Here you see the bottom glued in. Do you see the star shapes?

The finshed dodecahedron lantern.

Top view of the lantern with a light.

End result.

Other Lanterns and Activities

The boys and I love to fold these window stars (tutorial). We also make them as presents.

The Waldorf Star Lantern (tutorial) we mostly make these during Yuletide or Christmastime, but it would fit during Martinmas as well. Everything that brings light in your house!

An easy lantern to make (tutorial), instead of tissue paper you can also glue leafs on your jar. We used tissue paper again. We went outside and collected leafs, but by the time my boys were ready to glue the leafs to their mason jars, the leafs had dried.

Post Author: The Art of Home Education

I am a former Business Intelligence Consultant / Account Manager DWH and still work as a freelance photographer. After working for a couple of years (trying, struggling, picking myself up and trying again) we discovered I have Pernicious Anemia and EDS, which I am struggling with daily. Now, I am a SAHM! - I am a mom to four boys and with The Art of Home Education, my husband and I provide our children with the opportunity to learn based on their interests. Our slogan is "Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…". - You can find us on Instagram , Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest and Google+ .

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