Gel Printed Lantern with Marsha Valk Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) demonstrate the ability to turn paper into lanterns


  • How can you construct a paper lantern?


  • 8″ x 10″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
  • 4″ Pop-In Soft Rubber Brayer
  • stenciles
  • Acrylic paints
  • Gelli Arts® Parchment Paper
  • Paper
  • Chipboard scrap
  • Metal ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil
  • Embossing stylus
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brush
  • Glue stick


  • Step 1: Choose two or three of your favourite paint colours and start printing. You need at least two 8.5” x 11” Gelli prints to create 11 pentagon shapes that are about 3.5” x 3.5” in size.
    • Try not to cover the entire paper with paint. Leave some white spots for the light to shine through later on.
    • You can achieve this by pulling ghost prints or for instance by removing paint from the plate before pulling a print:
  • Apply acrylic paint to the Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate. Roll it out on the plate with a brayer. Place a stencil on top of the paint and then a sheet of (parchment) paper. Use the thin paper to remove the paint from the open parts of the stencil. Remove the stencil and pull a print with your paper.
  • You don’t have to cover your paper in one go either. Pull partial prints and layer them if you like.
  • Step 2: Create a pentagon template to help you cut the paper into identical pentagon shapes.
    • Print an image of a regular pentagon. Make sure you print it at a size of about 3.5” x 3.5”. Resize it if you want a smaller or a more substantial lantern.
  • Trace the pentagon image onto a scrap of chipboard. Use a craft knife and a metal ruler to cut along the lines of the pentagon on the chipboard.
  • Step 3: Use the template as a guide to cut 11 identical pentagons.
  • Step 4: Mark the middle of each side of each pentagon with a pencil.
  • Step 5: Score a line from one pencil mark to the next one and repeat for each of the pencil marks.
  • Step 6: Fold the score lines.
  • Step 7: Use a brush to apply vegetable oil to the back of the Gelli printed pentagons.
    • The paper will absorb the oil, and this will give the prints a translucent quality. Blot any excess oil with a paper towel and leave the pentagons to dry, preferably overnight.
  • Step 8: Start with the bottom pentagon of your star lantern. Place it printed side down. Apply glue to one of the flaps on the printed side.
    • Take another pentagon and apply glue to the blank side of one of the flaps. Adhere the two pentagons together.
    • Move on to the next side of the bottom pentagon and repeat until you’ve attached a pentagon to all five sides.
  • Step 9: For the second row adhere one new pentagon to each previously attached pentagon, but make sure to glue each new pentagon to the exact same side of each previous pentagon. Like this:
  • Step 10: Now adhered all the remaining flaps.
  • Step 11: Glue the five remaining loose flaps to the inside edge of the star lantern.
  • Step 12: The folded lantern looks cute as is, but the real magic happens when it gets dark. Switch on a LED tealight, place it inside the lantern and… enjoy!
  • Happy Festive Season!

Leave a Reply