Use This Simple Hack To Give Paper Lanterns A Vintage Look Without Any Paint

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Do you love the paper lantern aesthetic to light your home? There is something whimsical about adding these floating orbs to a room, creating a soft ambiance thanks to the filmy paper that transforms a standard light fixture into a dreamy landscape. The tricky part of decorating with paper lanterns can be finding the same paper shade, especially if you purchase new lanterns down the line. If your existing lights have a beige or off-white vintage look, but you've added to the collection and the paper is snowy white, a simple coffee and water spray can transform it to match your antique globes.

With so many websites and stores offering paper lantern options, it can be hard to ensure your new and old pieces always match. Home Depot's Lumabase Multi-sized lanterns, for example, come with six lanterns in total for only $16.16, but the white color might be too bright for your decor. Rather than spending hours or days (and a lot of money) tracking down the exact vintage color you want, just grab a few standard white lanterns and dye them with a homemade mixture that won't harm the fixture but will create uniformity among your lights. For the ideal ivory shade, you just need to mix some coffee from your home coffee maker and cold water and voila! Expensive, vintage-looking lanterns that you can modify at home.

Get a vintage look with a cool cup of joe

To easily tint lantern paper, combine fresh espresso or coffee brewed at home with cold water and wait for it to cool. Pour the mixture into a constant spray bottle like this Continuous Spray Bottle from Amazon, also known as a mister bottle. It's important to use a bottle that creates a constant stream of spray to ensure that the mixture is distributed evenly across the lantern. Before spraying, make sure to unplug (if you've been using it) and lay the lantern on newspaper or a trash bag to avoid getting the coffee solution on your floor.

Cover the entire paper lantern in the coffee solution, turning it continuously to get all around. Make sure to spray the top and bottom too, then take a microfiber cloth and pat the entire surface of the lantern to help it dry. This should be very gentle to avoid tearing the delicate paper. Let it dry fully before hanging it back up. If you want to go over it again to get a darker shade, you can simply reapply the mixture a few more times to intensify the color. Using coffee to stain your lanterns also keeps your home safe from harsh chemicals found in other types of dyes, and the smell isn't displeasing, either! Keep leftover coffee grounds from your homemade dye to deodorize your basement, too. Waste not, want not!