Pierced-Paper Hurricane

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

Pierced-Paper Hurricane

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September 2007


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

  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. 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. 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.)


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


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