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Homemade Paper Lantern DIY

I saw a window of paper lanterns at an art store last year and I have been wanting to try my hand at them. Below, you’ll find tutorials for 4 different kinds of paper lanterns. They can be hung up for a party or strung across the backyard patio. I like the variety of all the shapes and sizes, it makes it look like a big festive party.

Click through for instructions.

Materials: Construction Paper, Quick Dry Tacky Glue, Scissors, String, Flat Wooden Sticks

Square Paper Lantern
Step 1: Tape four wooden sticks together to make a square – repeat (you’ll need two.)
Step 2: Measure the length of your four sticks and cut paper so that it is long enough to wrap around.
Step 3: Glue the outside of the four wooden sticks to the paper – you’ll want to do the top and bottom at the same time.
Step 4: Glue the outside seam of the paper together.
Step 5: Decorate to your liking.
Step 6: Attach String and hang!
Wide Cylinder Paper Lantern
Step 1: Cut out a large rectangle shape.
Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise.
Step 3: Measure and mark every 3 inches along the fold.
Step 4: At these markings, cut 3/4 of the way up the paper.
Step 5: In between each of these cuts, alternate between cutting a fringe and not.
Step 6: Unfold the paper and glue it into the cylinder shape.
Step 7: Pull the fringed sections outward, and push in the other sections.
Step 8: Decorate however you like.
Step 9: Attach string and hang!

Triangle Paper Lantern
Step 1: Cut the thin wooden sticks down so there are two 7-inch sticks, four 5-inch sticks, and one 3-inch stick.
Step 2: Glue two 7-inch sticks together to make a “+” sign.
Step 3: Glue the 3-inch stick vertically in the middle of the “+.”
Step 4: Lean a 5-inch stick from one end of the base to the top of the vertical stick in the middle. Glue into place. Repeat with the remaining 5-inch sticks.
Step 5: Allow glue to dry completely.
Step 6: Cut out several thin strips of paper.
Step 7: Wrap this paper horizontally around the sticks and glue in place.
Step 8: Cover the leaning 5-inch sticks of wood vertically with a long strip of paper. Glue in place on the top and the bottom.
Step 9: Leave as is, or cover with crepe paper fringe.
Step 10:  Attach string and hang!

Thin Cylinder Paper Lantern
Step 1: Cut out a small rectangle shape.
Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise.
Step 3: Cut 3/4 of the way up the paper and fringe the entire folded rectangle.
Step 4: Unfold and glue the ends together. Set aside.
Step 5: Cut another small rectangle and glue it together lengthwise so it creates a thin cylinder.
Step 6: Place this thin cylinder inside of the already fringed cylinder.
Step 7: Push both sides of the fringed cylinder down so the fringe pops out. Glue in Place.
Step 8: Decorate however you like.
Step 9: Attach string and hang!

Photography by  Aubrey Trinnaman
for Oh Happy Day
Art Direction by Jordan Ferney
Produced by Stacy Wichelhaus
Crafting by Jessica Heywood
  1. PARIS BEE kids blog

    May 20, 2013

    They look amazing all hung up together!!!! Would be fun to use wallpaper prints on these for some really cool looks too.

    xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

  2. Lisette Wolter-McKinley

    May 20, 2013

    There are endless things you can do with a piece of paper.

  3. Kayleigh

    May 20, 2013

    Love the idea of creating these. Your steps look wonderful to follow as well, which I am sure is not always easy!

  4. Meg

    May 20, 2013

    These are serioulsy awesome!
    So bright and colorful!

  5. Kathleen

    May 20, 2013

    These are gorgeous!! Love the look of all the different shaped lanterned grouped together.

  6. lauritapurple (@lauritapurple)

    May 20, 2013

    Great DIY!! Very nice lanterns!!

  7. Natalie / Half Asleep Studio

    May 20, 2013

    Such a wonderful concept! So creative!

  8. Liese

    May 20, 2013

    thanks for the idea!

  9. Kate

    May 20, 2013

    These are so perfect.

  10. Mackenzie

    May 20, 2013

    WOW, those are so gorgeous hung up together!! I would love to have those hanging over my bed!!


  11. Julia's Bookbag

    May 21, 2013

    HOLY MOLY MACARONI! Fun paper lanterns are my favorite. This is the mothership of paper lantern awesome!

  12. lyndsay

    May 23, 2013

    wow! they look awesome all bunched up together, so cute! (as some other commenters have noted, too!) that is all the decoration you would need for a fun party! or, when you just want to sit down and eat a big old slice o’ cake and a glass of milk! :)

  13. Anne

    May 25, 2013

    This is a really good idea! I’m planning a big party for the bday my BFF’s sister. This is awesome. Thanks!

  14. Paulette Leto

    May 31, 2013

    I think mixing a huge variety of styles really makes them all look cool together. I wonder if it would be possible to take a similar style and make minor variations on it, like cutting the paper in different ways or using a different color of paper, to make different lanterns using the same few basic styles?

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