Using Star Lanterns

 

star lantern close upHanging paper star lanterns are one of the most versatile lighting accessories available.  They come in a huge variety of colors, patterns and shapes.  Themes vary from simple and eco-friendly natural handmade papers to elaborate star lamps with cut outs backed with tissue paper that look like stained glass when lit.
 
Commonly, you will see star lights with either five, seven or nine points.  These lamps come from India and are ingeniously crafted to fold flat, then pop open with the simple tug of a string to make a three-dimensional origami masterpiece.
 
Hanging paper star lights are a great way to spice up a room with little effort and expense.  It is much easier than re-painting, lots less expensive than replacing furniture or buying new linens and bed covers, and hanging them is quick and easy.
 
The most common way to hang your star lights is to insert a swag hook (available at Home Depot, etc.) in the ceiling a foot or two from the wall. Often, stars are hung near a corner so they don't interfere with other things in the room like windows and curtains, doorways, etc.
 
Usually, star lights are hung individually, but for larger spaces or for great impact they can be hung in twos or threes. Clustering these cool lanterns at slightly different heights can make an awesome focal point. A pair of lamps can be hung each with its own cord, but for three or more stars it's easier to use a triple socket cord. It can be easy to over-do the star lantern thing, so for smaller rooms or rooms with low ceiling, keep an open mind. One star may be plenty.
 
Paper star lights are also great on covered patios or porches. Like a beacon in the night, they attract attention with their dreamy luminescence. Caution should be used in outdoor situations for several reason, however. First and most important, unless you have waterproof, outdoor grade lighting sockets and cords, do not use lantern cords where they will get wet. Also, paper star lanterns do not like water! Unless you want a water-logged lump of paper on your front porch, keep stars away from the weather by taking them in if you suspect rain.
 
Finally, live a little... What's the point of putting up a star if it's no fun to look at? Pick a star that fits with your decor, but don't be afraid to be a little daring. There are few home accents that have the impact of a well-lit paper star light!