Making a withy (willow) lantern

Join us in lighting up Kenilworth with #lightupthedistrict from Warwick District Council. 

Instructions for making your own Withy Lantern below, we are also offering kits to purchase, which will be delivered in Kenilworth only. Simply click on the ‘Order Here’ button, which will take you to our email, please include your deliver address in the email and we will send you our PayPal details for payment. 

The Lantern kits are £4.75 including delivery. 

Kits include: 12-15 lengths of withy, white wet strength tissue paper and a selection of coloured tissue paper to decorate your lantern. 

In addition you will need: masking tape, PVA Glue, brush or sponge and a torch or small LED lights. 

We would love to see your lanterns on display (in your windows etc) so please do let us know how you get on. 

Order Here

(instructions courtesy of BID Leamington)

Materials Needed:

  • Sticks/Willow twigs (soak overnight, use when dry to the touch) 
  • Masking tape
  • Wet strength tissue paper
  • Decorations e.g coloured paper & glitter
  • PVA glue (mixed with water to a ratio 1:1)
  • Brush or Sponge
  • 1 x torch or some battery powered tea lights
  • 1 x lantern stick (bamboo or stick from the garden ) This will only be required if you are planting your lantern in garden etc. 



  1. Make any 3D shape from the willow and tape the ends and points together where the sticks join, ensuring you make strong joints.
  2. Strongly fix a bamboo pole through the centre of the Lantern to carry it above the head. Alternatively tie a loop of string from the top point to hold / tie the lantern on a bamboo pole like a fishing rod. This is also the attachment point for the torch at a later date.
  3. Fix the 3D Lantern frame to a table or chair so it is sturdy.
  4. Saturate one side of a square of wet strength white tissue paper with the PVA solution using a sponge and lay the tissue over your frame. Repeat this process until the entire frame has been covered, making sure that each tissue square is overlapping.
  5. Decorate your lantern with coloured paper or glitter.
  6. Leave to dry.

Lastly, attach a torch or battery powered tea lights to the pole with tape so it shines upwards.