dim sum steamer lantern: circus carousel

February 2, 2011 § 13 Comments

Yay for snow days!    So how many of us here have been stranded at home because of the storm?   Toronto was delivered a foot of snow today, and I was blessed with an entire day off, allowing me the opportunity to finish the circus carousel version of my dim sum steamer lantern.

Of course, you can opt for your colors of choice.  I wanted to make the most of the gold that I already used on the previous Chinese New Year dim sum lantern, which I have since taken apart to make this version.  The carousel turned out almost as well as I hoped, with a slight oversight — I didn’t do a color test of the horses and only realized after the sticks were glued that they didn’t print as intended.  If you have a photo editing program, you can alter the colors as needed.  I’ve already designed the horses in a template for you to download here.

You will need:

a. 7″ bamboo dim sum steamer.

b. 12 wooden stir sticks.

c. Battery-operated tea lights.

d. 2 sheets of white vellum and sheets of colored cardstock.

e. Acrylic paint and a paint brush.

f. Hot glue gun and white glue.

1. Paint the steamer.

2. Paint the stir sticks.

3. Print two copies of the template on vellum.  With white glue, affix the stir sticks at 1-1/2″ intervals across both copies, connected.

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

5. Cut cardstock into diamonds and circles and glue in a pattern around the tray.

6. Cut a 10″ circle and fold into 16 segments.  Cut out 5 segments.  Using a second color of cardstock, cut additional segments to use as an alternating color.

7. Fold the circle into a cone and glue to the top of the lid.

8. Punch cardstock into 1″ circles and affix in alternating colors to the inner wall of the lid.

Place the tea lights, cover with lid, and no one will ever guess your carousel lantern is made of a bamboo dimsum steamer!

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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