No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Pierced-Paper Hurricane

These beautiful pierced-paper hurricanes are a great addition to any table top, and are very simple to make.




  • Sewing machine with heavy-duty needle (size 110 or 120)
  • Dressmaker's measuring tape
  • Pinking shears
  • Decorative paper
  • Spool of thread in coordinating color
  • Hurricane lantern and candle


  1. Step 1

    Measure the hurricane lantern's height. Cut strips of paper as wide as the lantern is tall.

  2. Step 2

    Stack two paper strips on top of each other. Using your sewing machine, set on a decorative stitch, without thread, and sew across the paper strips in parallel lines. Experiment with different decorative stitches on some scrap paper to see which make the prettiest pierced design.

  3. Step 3

    Measure around the outside of the hurricane lantern with the measuring tape. Take this measurement, divide by 4, and add 1. This new number is the measurement for the next step.

  4. Step 4

    Cut four pieces along the length of the paper strips, using the measurement calculated in the previous step. (You may have some paper left over.)

  5. Step 5

     Using a zigzag stitch, sew two pieces together, wrong sides facing, along the side that matches the height of the hurricane. Use an approximately 3/8-inch seam allowance. Sew the third piece to the joined pieces the same way. Sew the fourth piece to the third piece, and then join the fourth piece back to the first piece, all with a zigzag stitch, to create a sleeve with 4 seams. 

  6. Step 6

    Use pinking shears to edge the small width of paper sticking out from each of the seams, being careful not to cut into the stitching.

  7. Step 7

    Carefully slide the sleeve you have created over your hurricane lantern, and light the candle.

The Martha Stewart Show, September 2007



Reviews (33)

  • bettymoc 23 May, 2008

    I like it but can't understand how it's done. I agree, we need more pictures or
    at least more clear directions.

  • bettymoc 23 May, 2008

    I like it but can't understand how it's done. I agree, we need more pictures or
    at least more clear directions.

  • bellespirit 22 May, 2008

    Got it! What a wonderful idea. The decorative sewing allows light from the candle to show through highlighting the stitch design. Clever. I plan to use it for my daughter's engagement party. I found beautiful paper on the web.

  • mastrohome 22 May, 2008

    I agree that there should be more pictures. I can't tell anything from the picture. This is the web you can have lots of pictures including pictures of each step. Yest it is work but come on how many more on these crafts will we all look at if they keep getting more poorly explained.

  • willowisp80 22 May, 2008

    What the heck?!?!?! Maybe if there were illistrations for each step? And I do a lot of crafts, but this one I'd have to read it very carefully and may doing it step by step I'd get it figured out. Some of my quilt patterns were very hard, but with good instructions I did them.

  • applledumpling 22 May, 2008

    Again, confusing instructions , picture is poorly done. What a disappointment!

  • mahze 21 May, 2008

    I agree that this definitely needs a close up as the color chosen for the paper does not allow for contrast. It might not be so dangerous if the candles inside the container were low, so regardless there should be some type of safety warning, That said, I do think that the process is interesting and could be beautiful, but I won't bother with it at this stage. Too many other crafts that I'm sure of.

  • morgang 21 May, 2008

    As with many other craft projects, this is poorly-pictured and a waste of time. Please take the time to make close-ups.

  • emperesscatherine 20 May, 2008

    I have to agree with the other comments. Picture is not clear nor are the instructions. Obviously whoever came up with this idea did not read it once it was posted as the daily craft. Confusing and dangerous.

  • tinkonthebrink 20 May, 2008

    This was super easy and the directions were more than adequate. To all the people who have commented on "fire danger", if the paper is on the outside of the glass hurricane lamp (per the instructions) there is no exposure of paper to flame. None at all, breeze or not, completely safe.

  • BloomOn40 20 May, 2008

    i'd like directions to the photo's on the string. Are they on the site anywhere?

  • Patrilla 20 May, 2008

    I am so glad that I read the comments after reading the directions. I thought it was just me who didn't understand them. Too wordy. Pictures are worth much more. Would have been nice to see the designs up close too. A better solution to using candles would be the LCD lights - same effect and no fire danger.

  • 2beCreative 20 May, 2008

    I have to agree, a better picture is what is needed. But the paper is wrapping the hurricane lantern so should not be exposed to the flame.

  • pgkellyd 20 May, 2008

    this is ridiculous. the directions are not even clear. there is no contrast in the picture. come on martha, a few more disspointing crafts and i'm cancelling.
    way to go using candles.... not safe

  • pgkellyd 20 May, 2008

    it doesn't show the piercing,

  • aingael_mama 20 May, 2008

    Make sure you have a glass hurricane lamp inside the paper. NEVER use just the paper and a candle...So dangerous.

  • Hannahbel 20 May, 2008

    "Birch Bark Biting' is an amazing Northern Canadian Cree Art form using the teeth to emboss/ pierce the bark. Muriel Demeurons, Churchill Manitoba is one artist of only four remaining. To profile her brilliant work would be wonderful. The intricate designs are worked by feel alone! Sally Barker, Victoria B.C. Canada

  • ulihelisdi 20 May, 2008

    great idea wow, how clever. The instructions only say to use decorative paper, it doesn't say how heavy the paper should be, or give any recommendations. Anyone know?

  • hannahander 20 May, 2008

    But they looked really pretty!

  • hannahander 20 May, 2008

    This has actually happened to me...the candles lit these on fire when my back was turned!

  • TriciaJay 20 May, 2008

    Personally, I would not use a candle for these. I would instead use a battery operated light. You turn your back for a minute and with one little breeze and the whole table could go up in flames! Just my opinion.

  • rlapin 20 May, 2008

    Please show close-up or zoom-possible photos of all crafts. Thank you!

  • rlapin 20 May, 2008

    Please show close-up or zoom-possible photos of all crafts. Thank you!

  • Anna_Marie 20 May, 2008

    GREAT idea, waldoh1! I even tried to copy the photo to a new document, and then enlarge it...too blurry still to see the detail.

  • wduke2 20 May, 2008

    Can't tell what it's supposed to look like. Need a enlargement function for the pictures so the insturctions will make more sense.

  • Kaziah 20 May, 2008

    This sounds like a great idea. If you read the instructions carefully you will be able to do this easilly. This would be fun to use holiday designs and put the candles along the walkway to the patio or deck. Use them like luminaries. Great craft, thanks.

  • Anna_Marie 20 May, 2008

    My daughter and I gave a personal wedding shower for her friend. The colors were black and pink. I used flat black lace wrapped around clear votive cups, with a pink candle inside. We used dots of tacky craft glue to keep the lace on, which made it easy to remove after the shower. I also wrapped the lace around a larger, pink pillar candle, using black glass head pins to fasten the lace to the candle along the seam in the back. Very pretty and carried on the theme of "lacey lingerie"!

  • waldoh1 20 May, 2008

    If you could please add a feature to allow a click to provide a "pop-up" picture
    which is larger and easier to see the detail. I notice this is a feature
    not available on any of the pictures and it sure would help to see
    the item in more detail!

  • Aigroeg 20 May, 2008

    I have no idea of how to do this project with the instructions given. And I am good with my hands - quilting, fused glass, soapmaking and stained glass. Better instructions would certainly help. Georgia Browne

  • melswen 20 May, 2008

    It would be great if we could see what the pierced paper looked like up close. I think I will give this one a try for my evening summer dinner party.

  • 1234sana 20 May, 2008

    The centerpiece table is too plain. I like the background of the old-fashion pictures hanging on the string. Therefore, this page is not very interesting.

  • nanagramms3 20 May, 2008

    It would have been nice to see a little more detail in some illustrations, The overall effect is beautiful but you cannot see detail.

  • Tanyamom 20 May, 2008

    Cool idea. Would like to see the piercing part, though. The picture does
    not show that muck detail. The photographer did a nice job of showing t
    he over-all look, just not the details.