dim sum steamer lantern

February 1, 2011 § 8 Comments

Crafting with a bamboo dim sum steamer has long been on my list and this week’s Chinese New Year gave the nudge to do finally do so.

If you don’t already have an old bamboo dim sum steamer to repurpose, you can go to your Chinatown or Asian superstore and pick a brand new set (a tray with lid) for as little as $3 or $4.

You will need:

a. 7″ bamboo dim sum steamer.

b. 12 wooden stir sticks.

c. Battery-operated tea lights.

d. Red tissue paper and a pair of scissors.

e. Gold acrylic paint and a paint brush.

f. Hot glue gun and white glue.

1. Paint the steamer.

2. Paint the stir sticks.

3. Measure the circumference of the inner wall of the steamer.  Although my steamer was sold as 7″, it actually measures 6-1/2″ in diameter.  The inner wall is 5-3/4″, giving it a circumference of about 18″.  That measurement is the length of tissue paper needed.  Cut the height of the tissue paper slightly less than the height of the stir stick.  Using white glue, affix each stir stick at 1-1/2″ intervals.  You only need the left edge to have a stir stick.

4. Place the tissue paper in the tray, with the stir sticks facing out.  Using a hot glue gun, affix each stir stick to the inner wall of the tray.

5. When you reach the end, trim off any excess tissue paper and affix the seams together using white glue.

6. Place the battery-operated tea lights and cover with lid.

I realize there are endless ways to decorate a dim sum steamer.  After seeing the end product, I was inspired to create another variation of this lantern for those, like myself, not celebrating the Chinese New Year.  I’m hoping to make a golden circus carousel lantern!  Hopefully it works out and I’ll have it posted in a couple of days!

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Update: I’ve completed my circus carousel lantern and you can find it here.

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