How to Make Chinese Lanterns Stretch Your Budget

Photo: Tickled Pink Brides

Chinese Lanterns are one of the most economical ways to dress up a space and create a party atmosphere. Even if you don’t use a lot of them, the presence of a few lanterns spread around the room says, “There’s a party going on here!”

How economical are Chinese Lanterns? Let’s suppose you have a decorating budget of $1,000 and the space you want to decorate measures 75 by 60 feet, which is a typical space for about 200 hundred people. Just how much party pizazz you can create?

Starting with a minimal decoration scheme, we’ll plan to hang Chinese lanterns on light cords around the perimeter of the tent or room. Luna Bazaar’s No Frills lanterns are the least expensive way to go. Luna Bazaar also offers Premium Lanterns, which come in more colors, and have other nice features, but to pare down the price we’ll pick No Frills.

Luna Bazaar’s No Frills Paper Lanterns are a great buy.

No Frills paper lanterns are available in White, Pink, Red, Fuschia, Chartreuse, Turquoise, Chocolate Brown, Mango Orange, Yellow and Grass Green. You can get 6″ lanterns at Luna Bazaar for 80 cents. The largest size No Frills lanterns are 20″ across and sell for $3.50 each. A good size to use for our project is the 10-inch lantern. It’s big enough to add to the proceedings, yet it only costs $1.10.

How to make Chinese lanterns glow? You need lights! The most convenient solution is to get cords with sockets for light bulbs. In our example, 2 thirty-foot cords would be needed to cover each end of the room. The 75-ft. sides require a 30-ft and a 45-ft cord to cover them.

Convenient cords with light bulb sockets

This is our most expensive item in our example. The 30-ft. cords cost $27.95 each, and the 45-ft cords are $39.95 each.
 
 We need 100 lanterns (20 on each end wall, 30 on each side). So 100 times the No Frills 10-inch lantern price of $1.10 is $110. You can minimize this cost without losing the party feel by alternating lantern-light bulb-lantern. Then you only need 50 lanterns for $55.

How to make Chinese lanterns glow? You need lights! Although the picture above shows special vanity bulbs which are more expensive, you can use regular incandescent light bulbs. Let’s add $1 per bulb for a total of $50. So our total for decorating the perimeter of the whole tent or room is $352.60 using the numbers below:

50 lanterns – $55
50 bulbs – $50
6  30-ft cords – $167.70
2 45-ft cords – $79.90

You could stop right now, perfectly content with the way your space will be lit up, and pocket the remaining money. But for a little more you can give your room real pizazz by hanging large Premium Lanterns from the ceiling, down the middle of the room.

A 24″ Premium Paper Lantern has a big of impact!

The 10-inch lanterns we used around the perimeter will look too small hanging from the ceiling. The 24-inch Premium Lantern is a better fit. You can fit 6 lanterns this size in a 75-ft long room with a space of 4 – 8ft. between them. These lanterns are $11.95 each, so we’re adding  6 times 11.95 = $71.70 to the cost.

How to make Chinese lanterns glow when they’re hanging from the ceiling? You need battery-operated LED lights! You can hang one triple-light LED light in each of the large lanterns. That way you needn’t be bothered searching for outlets and extension cords that will reach the ceiling. You are free to hang these lanterns wherever you please. At $4.95 each, this adds $29.70 to the tab.

Putting all the pieces together, we have…

  • 50 small lanterns – $55
  • 50 bulbs – $50
  • 6  30-ft cords – $167.70
  • 2 45-ft cords – $79.90
  • 6 large lanterns – $71.70
  • 6 triple LEDs – $29.70

 …for a total of $454. We didn’t even reach the half-way mark.Now that you know how to make Chinese lanterns provide the celebratory setting you require, you can save time by saving this post and using it as your shopping list at Luna Bazaar. Happy Decorating!

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