Chinese Paper Lanterns
What you will make:
Having a family party or barbecue this summer, or for Labor Day?
Chinese paper lanterns make colorful and inexpensive decorations. Best
of all, they are so quick and easy that you can get the kids involved in
making them. Follow the simple instructions in this craft project to
make colorful lanterns using a single sheet of paper.
This project requires few materials and is great for family,
classroom or group craft time. No advance preparation is needed.
Here's what you need:
- Colored paper—computer, art or construction paper
- Pencil and eraser
- Tape or stapler
- String or twine for hanging lanterns
- Optional: Markers
This project is rated VERY EASY to do.
How to Make Chinese Paper Lanterns
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Select Paper, Cut Handle and Fold
Start with colored paper to match the color theme of your
party. You can use copier/computer paper (letter-size) or
construction paper (9" by 12").
Cut off a strip of paper ½" wide from one end of the
paper that measures the width of the paper—8½" or 9".
Fold the sheet of paper in half lengthwise.
- Step 2: Mark Lines and Cut
Mark a line across the length of the folded paper ½" in from the open edge.
Make marks every ½" along this line, then draw lines at each mark straight to the folded
edge—marking ½" wide strips.
Cut on these lines from the folded edge to the original marked line. Cut through both layers of
paper. Open the paper flat. If the marks are very noticeable, gently erase them.
- Step 3: Tape
Bring the edges together in a cylindrical shape with the cut strips running vertically. Be sure that
the fold is on the outside of the lantern. Tape the edges together at the top, middle, and bottom.
You may use staples instead of tape.
- Step 4: Add Handle and Hang
Attach the handle, cut in Step 1, to one end of the lantern with tape or staples.
The lanterns will stand on their own. They can be hung individually from their handles or
loosely tied at intervals along a cord or rope hung overhead.
Warning: This lantern is not meant to be used around fire or hot surfaces like light bulbs.
- Ideas for Chinese Lantern Variations
- Use larger or smaller sheets of paper to make larger or smaller lanterns. Vary the strip widths accordingly.
- Cut wavy or curvy strips instead of straight ones or alternate wide and narrow strips.
- Use markers to draw lines in contrasting colors on the
- Tape a slightly smaller lantern inside a larger one. Use contrasting colors of paper to make the two lanterns.
Yellow or orange inside red or blue looks particularly nice!
That's it! Now hang your lanterns
and go party!
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