Paper Lantern and Light Mobile

by ilene on October 15, 2012 · 16 comments

in baby, decor, pregnancy, tutorial

My absolute favorite project that I’ve done so far for our nursery is this paper lantern and light mobile!   When I first started brainstorming ideas for our baby girl’s room, I saw this nursery on pinterest and fell in LOVE with the lantern mobile.  I wanted to replicate it but in pink/white for our daughter’s room.  Since we just moved into our condo, the nursery doesn’t have any lighting fixtures in it yet so I’ve been trying to think of lighting solutions.  My original plan was to install recessed lighting and I had an electrician come over to give me a quote and he said it would be over $1,000 for labor and supplies.  I had no idea that lighting costs so much!   Then I was going to hang a pretty chandelier in the middle of the ceiling but we have a fire sprinkler smack dab in the middle of the ceiling already.  So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make the lanterns a light fixture, too, by adding some light bulbs inside the lanterns.  The result is a fun, colorful, cheap light fixture that has become the focal point of the room.

I love how it turned out:

Such pretty colors!!

The various pink accordian lanterns are from Martha Stewart ($15).  I bought the white round lanterns in different diameters from the Paper Lantern Store ($1-3). They were so cheap and they have so many different types!   The white paper star ($8) is also from the Paper Lantern Store.  I have a thing for stars so it was the perfect accent piece to finish out the mobile.   To make it a light fixture, I bought a triple socket cord kit ($15) and stuck them into the three biggest white lanterns  Everything is strung together with clear fishing line ($1) and hung by three  hooks to the ceiling.  The whole mobile ended up only costing about $45,  pretty cheap for a ceiling light fixture. I tried to hide the electrical cord by running it straight back and then to the corner of the room and down to the outlet.  I’m a little neurotic about  safety and I’m scared the lanterns and lightbulbs might fall down, especially since its hung over the crib, so we made sure everything was extra secure and hung up with multiple strands over fishing line.

Here it is, all lit up!

In theory, this was a fairly simple project. In execution, however, I have to say it will be forever known to me as “The Project that Almost Cost Me My Marriage”.  I forced asked Jeff to help me install the fixture since I am 38 weeks preggers and didn’t want to be climbing ladders.  Because Jeff travels and works late during the weekdays, the lanterns sat lying on the floor for weeks before he was able to get around to helping me hang them up on a free weekend.  When we finally got around to working on it, which I thought would just take at most an hour since I had already purchased all the supplies, I  learned 3 things:

1.)  Jeff and I don’t work well together

2.) …This is mostly because I am extremely bossy

3.) … And Jeff is accident prone

I am a type A, control freak who is very detailed-oriented and I realize that not everyone appreciates this. Especially my poor husband, who was just trying his best to help me.  But I am particular and hard-headed, not a good combination with being bossy.  Most of the time, it was me barking out orders: “now move that little white lantern, no, not THAT one, the OTHER one, move it a little to your right…now a little higher…oh, thats too high… and move it back to your left again, ummmm, hrmmm, ok, now move it down a centimeter. I don’t like it!”    And poor Jeff.  Not only did he manage to break one of the light bulbs before we even got started, he also managed to vacuum up one of the pink lanterns as he was trying to clean up the lightbulb fragments.  How that happened, I do not know.   I didn’t even think that was possible!!  He  claims that “it just flew up into the vacuum!”  Ha, right!    Two accidental extraneous holes in the ceiling, an extra trip to Home Depot and two weekends later, we finally finished the project and got everything hung up to my liking. Thank you, Jeff, for bearing with me and making my vision come to life!

Here is a rare pic of me, at 38.5 weeks, in our nursery:

I still got lots to do in the nursery!   I hope my baby stays inside so I can finish up the rest of the projects, but our doctor is predicting that she will make her debut early.  I may be delivering this week!  Maybe today!

You might also like:


1 Andrea October 15, 2012 at 8:44 am

AWwwww! It’s adorable! You are adorable! I totally get the hubby and wife thing not working well. My DH and I about clubbed each other one time when we were trying to label the electrical circuit box…all that yelling, is it on/off? I can’t hear you!…ROFL.. oy…I laugh now… and the sucking up of the lantern, my hubby totally would have done that by accident too.
Wishing you a safe and healthy remaining pregnancy and delivery.

2 jossy October 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

the cutest nursery room ever!! and the cutest mom!! 😀

3 Patty October 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

You look beautiful! And I LOVE the mobile!! 🙂

4 chrissi October 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

happy baby wishes for you three♥

5 Mel October 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Can’t wait to see it in person! So cute!

6 Gigi October 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Ooh! This looks like a fun and low-budget project. I’m glad things worked out in the end!

7 Jen Regrut October 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

The best thing about your blog is I can hear your voice when I’m reading your stories. Makes me smile. Good luck! Baby girls are amazing!

8 Teresa January 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Hi… I love this ideal. Whats different sizes do you use for the paper lanterns? and how did u string them together?

9 ilene January 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Hi Theresa! I just checked my receipt and I ordered a 10″, 2 12″ and one 16″ lantern. I just used fishing line to string it all together. Hope that helps!

10 Cyn May 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Your post is so funny!!I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Poor Jeff! Beautiful picture and lanterns, btw!

11 Sabrina April 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

Hi! Super cute idea. Some of the reviews said that the Martha Stewart paper lanterns are flimsy.. did you have any trouble with that? Did the paper lanterns last over time? Thanks!

12 ilene May 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Hi Sabrina! I didn’t find the lanterns flimsy BUT i will say after 2+ years, the pink colors are starting to get faded.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: