How To Make Biodegradable Floating Water Lanterns

Olivia Miller | Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Whenever there is a party or any celebration at night, the need for floating water lanterns is paramount in a home set-up. Floating lanterns are structures made of paper with a candle or any form of artificial lighting source at their centers. These lanterns float in pools, and some float in the sky to create a perfect decor for night events. In addition to creating the perfect lighting for your event, floating lanterns will also make your scenery beautiful and attractive.

One can use these types of lanterns for events like weddings and receptions to enhance the decor. However, some of the questions most environmentalists ask are: Are water lanterns biodegradable? Yes, they are. If so, what are floating lanterns made of? Paper material used to make water lanterns can decompose, even though they take more time to do so. In this article, we focus on how to make biodegradable floating water lanterns.

Making a water lantern


  • Parchment paper, also known as baking paper. It is a waterproof and heat-resistant paper, usually used for baking. In case you do not have a parchment paper, you could grease the regular paper to make it one.
  • Plastic plates, can be round or square-shaped. Make sure to use something that you already have in the house and to reuse it after (Please do not let this go into the environment/sea).
  • Candles or tea lights.
  • Glue (Should be a strong-grip glue).
  • A thin string.
  • Some material to use as a pool weight.

The Process

Below are the steps you should follow to create a paper lantern:

  • Using a tape measure or any other measuring tool available, measure the perimeter of your plastic plate. Always ensure that you put an additional one inch for structuring the seams. With this measurement, you can now cut the width of your paper lantern.
  • Work out the height of the lantern you wish to make. In this case, too, add a half or full one inch. The additional height is where the glue.
  • Cut the paper to the size you wish to have, not forgetting to put an extra seam allowance.
  • The next step is to fold the bottom edges of the paper for about half an inch each.
  • Smear glue along one edge of the parchment paper and stick it to the bottom of the plastic plate. The type of glue you use matters a big deal. Parchment paper does not attach to the normal glue; hence we advise that you acquire the 'Quick-Grip' or Multi-Grip' glue. They function perfectly with this kind of paper.
  • Apply glue to the side edge of the paper to close the lantern. After gluing the paper, try creasing the edges to bring out a square or any other shape you would like to have.
  • Finally, position the tea lights or any other light source you deem fit on to the plate. You could then add weight to the lanterns to avoid them floating at one point in the pool. It is at this point where the string and weight material get to be used. Always ensure that the weight materials are strong enough to keep the floating lanterns in place. The string should also be strong and long enough to ensure that the lantern doesn't get pulled down underwater. One could use a fishing line for this purpose.


The good thing about making your floating lanterns is that you can give them a personal touch and make sure they suit your definition of beauty. One can make them colorful to match with some traditions, depending on the event.

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