Thursday, September 26, 2013

allie the alligator (lantern)

Last year, the staff at Aden's school organised a celebration in school for the Mid-Autumn festival. A memo came in his Communication Book informing us of the date of the event, as well as to request that parents make a lantern using recycled materials with their kids.

Well, I thought, (1) most parents would be too busy to make lanterns with their kids, and (2) it was simply too difficult to get Aden to sit down to make anything since he was only 2 and had the attention span of a little puppy!

So I sent him to school on the day of the celebration with a Thomas the Train paper lantern.

And I was totally okay with that.

Well, that was until a few months later when I saw pictures of the event. Almost EVERYONE had a home-made lantern, and there was Aden, holding onto his obviously store-bought Thomas the Train lantern.


I was mortified.

So this year, we were again informed that the school had scheduled a celebration for the Mid-Autumn festival, and yes, this time I was adamant that Aden would go to school with a PROPER home-made lantern.

The thing was though, being a WAHM, I also don't have that much time to spare, so it had to be a project that was easy.

My recent obsession had been chiffon cakes. So since I buy the biggest eggs possible to make the chiffon cakes, what I do have a lot of are egg cartons.

Hence, after doing some research, I found this amazing woman who makes all sorts of craft work with her son.

And the result was this.

An alligator lantern!

Here's how the LAM and I made Aden his 99.5% made-from-recycled materials, and 100% home-made 'gator lantern.

I started by cutting an egg carton - one part for the body, and the other for the eyes.

I found a kitchen roll holder and used that for the rest of the body.

Using a hot glue gun, I stuck the bits together.

And did some painting, with Aden.

Gosh, I felt like I was back in school again.

When the green paint had dried, I painted the eyes white.

And waited for them to dry.

At this point, Aden looked at my "alligator" and was silent. Then,

Aden: What is that Mommy?
Me: An alligator lantern, Aden!
Aden: (silence)
Me: Does it look like an alligator?
Aden: No.
Me: ...

The next morning, I found an empty cardboard box. And drew some hands and legs.

After all these years, I am still hopeless at drawing.

I cut them.

And painted them.

They looked a bit creepy.

I painted the rest of the eyes and well as inside the tube at the mouth-end.

And using more hot glue, I stuck the arms and legs to the body.

Finally I drew and cut the teeth, and stuck that on too!

This was then passed to the LAM, who did a manicure for the 'gator (wasn't that sweet?), and painted the nostrils.

He also poked some holes and attached a fishing line to the alligator. From the garden, he found a broken branch, and tied the free end of the string to the branch.

And the lantern was done!

Now, I know I was supposed to have sat with Aden to make the entire thing, but he still has a attention span of a puppy and the mentality of a project Nazi so he could only give partial help.

So I promise, next year, when he is a little older and less bossy (I hope!), we will sit down and make the entire lantern together!

Linking up with Sandra for Talkative Thursdays!'s Talkative Thursdays


  1. Really a very good effort. Like you, Jay recently had a dress-up-like-a-pirate day, and I TOTALLY underestimated the lengths his teachers and classmates would go to, and so he ended looking like... The ship hand, not a pirate compared to them. Haha! I guess we all learn... :) All the best for NEXT YEAR!

  2. Thanks Sandra! I have not done any craftwork since I was pregnant with Aden, so it was definitely a slow start for this. Next year I shall be better prepared!! (a ship hand would have stood out against all those pirates, no?) :)

  3. Its actually a great attempt Diana! I loved how the egg cartons gave the gator the characteristic bumpy look. :)

    1. Thank you! thank you! i was actually surprised at how fun it was hehe.