Albany Lantern Parade 2020

Lantern Making Instructions

These instructions were adapted from instructions provided by the Albany Lantern Parade organizers at the Washington Park Conservancy. The Albany Institute of History & Art partnered with the Albany Lantern Parade in 2018 and 2019 and is happy to help promote this re-envisioned event in 2020.

More information can be found on their Facebook page.


About the Lantern Parade

The Lantern Parade is about a diverse community coming together around the arts as we celebrate the changing seasons with light- our hope is that as you make your lanterns, conversation, warmth, and laughter lead to a fun and creative process!

Groups making lanterns might consider: What does light mean light mean to us? What are some reasons people celebrate with light (from birthday candles, campfires, to religious ceremonies)? Are any other traditions or religious practices that incorporate light? If light can symbolize hope, does anyone want to write wishes to accompany their lantern this year?

Directions for lantern-making:

Link to YouTube tutorial: Soda Bottle Lantern

Please note: Kits are available through the Albany Public Library. You may also use this list as a guideline to making your own lanterns from materials you may already have at home!

You’ll Need:

  • materials from your kit
  • 2 liter soda bottle or other recycled plastic (or glass) container
  • scissors or utility knife
  • small container for mixing glue
  • water

Your Kit Includes:

  • 2 liter soda bottle or other recycled plastic (or glass) container
  • tissue paper
  • school glue
  • pipe cleaner
  • foam brush
  • knife or scissors
  • hole punch (or scissors)
  • battery-operated tealight candle


1. SAFELY cut top off bottle, about ⅓ of the way down (Adults should do this part!).
2. Select a handful of tissue paper shapes- it helps to choose them before you start gluing.
3. Mix your glue with equal parts water in another container.
4. Brush a thin layer of glue solution onto a small section of the bottle.
5. Stick tissue paper onto glue.
6. Dab another thin layer of glue over tissue paper.
7. Repeat until the bottle is covered- remember that the more coverage you have, the more glow!
8. Punch holes near the top on opposite sides of the bottle (hole punch or scissors, carefully).
9. Thread pipe cleaner ends through holes and twist to make a handle.

Please display your lanterns in your windows from November 1-November 8.

Spread the word! Share pictures to the Facebook event page:

Any questions, please contact Sarah Read at or 518.727.3730 Thank you!