This Thursday marks the start of the Chinese New Year. 2015 is the year of the goat, which are thought to characterize love, peace and trust. But like all zodiacs, they have their flaws as well, including a propensity to be clingy and resist change.
While my zodiac animal is a horse, I’m just as happy to celebrate any New Year and so I baked a cake! Topping it off is today’s DIY project—miniature Chinese lanterns complete with glowing LED lights. The lights add such a magical and special quality but they are deceptively simple to use. In fact they were so much fun that I’ll be looking for more way of incorporating them into my projects in the future!
DIY Chinese New Year Cake Topper
Approximate time: 1 hour (not including cake baking)
- 1 sheet of red paper
- 1 sheet of translucent gold paper
- 5mm red LED resistors
- 3V Lithium batteries
- Thin gold Washi tape
- 2 bamboo skewers
- Red embroidery floss
Tools & Supplies
- Cutting mat
- XACTO knife
- Small hole punch
- Tape and/or glue
- Filament tape or electrical tape (not shown)
With the red paper cut 1.5″ x 4″ strips for the total number of lanterns you want to make*.
With the gold paper cut the same number of 1″ x 4″ strips.
*I found 2 lanterns fit best atop a 9″ round cake.
Measure 1/4″ in from the long edge, score lightly. Follow on the other side.
Measure in 1/4″ increments along the length of the paper. At each 1/4″ increment cut a slit between the two score lines.
Align the top edges of the gold and red paper. Adhere the gold to the inside 1/4″ edge of the red paper. Repeat on the bottom.
Pull both short ends toward one another and adhere together. You’ve now complete the lantern shape.
Trim the top and bottom of your lantern with Washi tape.
Punch two adjacent holes at the top of each lantern. Thread with embroidery floss.
Place your battery between the two threads of the LED resistor. If it doesn’t turn on, flip it over (the threads match to the positive / negative sides of the battery).
Wrap a piece of embroidery floss around the battery and attach all with a piece of filament or electrical tape.
Place in the middle of your lantern and tie to the thread.
Attach the ends of your garland to the two bamboo skewers. Trim the excess thread. Place on top of your cake.
Finally, take in your majestic handy work!