Paper lanterns out of furniture catalogs

A few weeks ago, we received what I thought were multiple copies of telephone books delivered to our door. Turns out, it was a home furnishings giant that went full on cray cray with their catalogs. “WTF?” I thought to myself. “Do something about it!” my alter ego responded.

So I DIY’d.

When you get something so absurd in this day and age, you wonder about the desperation of the company behind it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love catalogs and magazines and eye candy that produce salivation and “gotta have it” angst, but this is REDONC. I did some research and found various sources citing the retailer as taking a more “green” approach to catalog production. Instead of the Vicky’s Secret once-every-few-days assault on consumers with their propaganda, they are choosing to send out their encyclopedias once a year. They also refer to them as “source books” instead of catalogs, offering customers eye candy categorized by bath, lighting, accessories, and so on.

To that I say, let’s find another use for said source books in the form of my favorite past time.

Today’s DIY is brought to you by the folks at Restoration Hardware.

I made some paper lanterns out of my stash because lanterns are fun and romantic and can be used in most settings.

I first used a paper cutter to cut 1 inch strips of the catalog’s front page (one of the 8 catalogs).


I cut 2 pieces of equal (well, almost) size from a toilet roll.

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I then glued the strips to each piece.

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After the glue dried completely, I compressed the lantern to form a bubble shape.



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It takes under an hour if you count drying time for the glue. The actual labor takes about 15 minutes.

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Another easy method is to cut lines within a full sheet. Start by drawing a line 1 inch in from each edge of the sheet (do it on the opposite side), then draw lines about 1/2 inch apart.

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Turn the sheet over after cutting the slits and glue each edge together.

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Compress the lantern to form a bubble.

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Light ’em up!

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Definitely less time than it takes to do my hair in the morning.


Obviously, you can use any type of paper to do this. I typically have a preference for bright colors, but I couldn’t NOT use what was sitting in my entryway begging for a transformation.

Catalog faith almost restored.

PS – there’s a way to unsubscribe to the mailing list (unless, of course, you’re DIY’ing to try out my lantern project). I can’t attest to whether or not this really stops the madness, but it’s worth a try. Click here to give it a shot and please let me know if anyone has unsubscribed successfully.