How to Make a Paper Lantern

How to Make a Paper Lantern

These paper lanterns are so easy to make you will want to use them as decorations for all of your celebrations.  They make them now to use as decorations for Chinese New Year, and then save them to decorate for other occasions. If you don’t want to save them, that is fine because they are so easy to make. You need very few supplies and very little time to make this craft.

Supplies Needed to Make a paper Lantern:

  • Paper – 8.5″ x 11″
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Crayons, paint, or markers (optional)
  • Staples

Tools Needed:

  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

To start this project, lay a piece of paper on your table and grab a pen or pencil and a ruler.

How to draw a line on the lantern paper

Lay the ruler down about 3/4 of an inch from one of the short edges. Use the ruler to draw a straight line. Cut off this strip and set it aside to use as the lantern’s handle.

fold lantern paper in half

Now you need to fold the piece of paper in half – you want the colorful side of the paper on the inside. Line up the long edges as well as you can. Use the ruler to draw a line along one of the long edges opposite the fold. It should be about 1-inch from the edge. You start out by folding your paper the wrong way so that your pen or pencil line will be hidden on the inside.

cut fringe in the paper lantern

Starting at one of the short edges, cut a strip on the fold about 3/4 of an inch from the edge.  Stop at the pencil line you drew. Continue in this fashion until you have evenly-spaced strips along the entire folded edge.

refold and decorate your paper lantern

Open your paper up and refold it so that the decorated side of your paper is now on the outside. Use your fingertips to make a good crease in the fold. Open the paper back up but don’t press the creased edge flat. If you want to color or decorate your paper, do it now.

Roll Lantern Paper and Staple

Roll the paper into a tube, right side of the paper facing out, and staple the edges together. You will want the edges of the paper to overlap about 3/4 of an inch. Stapling the top and the bottom should be enough.

attach the handle to the paper lantern

To finish your lantern, grab the strip you cut off in the beginning.  Decorate it if you like. Staple each end inside the top edge of the lantern opposite each other.

Your lantern is now done. You can hang it up or use it as a table decoration.


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1 comment for “How to Make a Paper Lantern

  1. 07/17/2014 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that I linked this post in a post of mine. We are making all kinds of lanterns at the moment for a lantern parade. Here is my link:

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