Your Guide

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Helen Hiebert

Helen Hiebert is the author of five how-to books about paper: Playing With Pop-Ups, Playing With Paper, Papermaking with Plants, The Papermaker's Companion, and Paper Illuminated. Helen has appeared on Sesame Street, has produced two films, and writes a weekly blog about all things paper. She teaches, lectures and exhibits her work internationally and runs a studio near Vail, Colorado. Helen's e-mail address is

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About this course

Collapsible Party Light

These lanterns are a simplified version of the collapsible Chochin lanterns, which were originally hung outside of small shops in Japan as the shop’s sign. The support structure is thin basketry reed cast over a yogurt container. The paper technique for this project falls somewhere between collage and papier mâché. It doesn’t take long to make one of these simple designs, but finessing the collage can turn it into a work of art.

In this course you will learn:

  • How to create a simple reed armature
  • How to collage in the round
  • How to set eyelets
  • Skill building for future sculptural paper projects

You will need the following tools & materials: 

  • 1/4” flat basket reed (you could also use string or wire, or create this without an armature)
  • thin, flexible, strong paper
  • quart-size yogurt container
  • masking tape or artists’ tape
  • white glue
  • optional: small metal eyelets & string for hanging
  • small glue brush
  • scissors
  • hammer & cutting mat (if setting eyelets)