How To Make A Paper Lantern

Paper lanterns are a lovely way to decorate your home. Using a simple design allows everyone in the family to be involved in a fun activity. Lanterns can be made to decorate a room in your house or as a decoration at a party to celebrate a birthday or other anniversary. Paper lanterns are traditionally carried in a Chinese New Year parade, so you may want to join in with our Chinese lantern design below. You can make paper lanterns in different sizes and colours and decorate it how you wish. You can also make a few and hang them across the room on twine or string.


All you need to make your Chinese lantern is a sheet of rectangular coloured paper or thin card, scissors, glue, sticky tape or a stapler and a ruler. Consider using thick wrapping paper to make a colourful lantern, or decorate your paper or card with your own design, which may be easier to do before you start.


1. Fold the paper lengthways

2. Make a sharp crease in the folded edge with your fingertips.

3. Use scissors to cut into the folded edge of the card. Leave 2cm clear from the end before you make your first cut and leave 2cm uncut along the edges.

4. Make another cut in the same way about 2cm away from the first one, and repeat until you’ve made cuts all the way along the card, stopping about 2cm from the end.

5. Unfold the card and you should have a set of separate strips that are in the centre of the card and the edges solid.

6. Roll the card around so the two short edges are together. Now you can see how your lantern will take shape. If the paper is heavy, you may have to force it into shape a little.

7. If you’re using glue, put glue down one of the short sides of the card, making sure the card is ‘right’ side up.

8. Press the two short sides together firmly so the glue sticks. If you’re using sticky tape or staples, hold the sides together and fasten them in place.


9. If you’re using glue to stick your lantern together, you might want to hold it in place with paper clips while the glue dries.

10. To give your lantern a handle, cut a strip of card or paper about 2cm wide. The handle needs to be long enough to curve over from one side of the top of your lantern to the other. Stick the handle across the inside of the top of the lantern.
You now have your very own Chinese lantern.