Your DIY Manual to Decorating and Making Charming Paper Lanterns

Making Paper Lanterns
Do you want to learn the art of making paper lanterns to impart a festive look to your house? In this CraftCue article, we give you easy instructions that will help you learn how to make lanterns with paper.
CraftCue Staff
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
The first paper lanterns were made sometime during the reign of the Tang Dynasty in China when the then Emperor gave out an order for making lantern towers. These towers after construction were about 1500 feet high and were ornamented with precious jewels and metals. To honor the tradition, poorer subjects chose to decorate their houses by hanging paper lanterns made of rice paper and lamps of thin silk. With the passage of time the process of making lanterns with silk came to a halt and the art of learning how to make paper lanterns became an important one.

Today paper lanterns are available in several designs, shapes, and sizes. Every country has their own traditional methods of making paper lamps. One of the easiest types of paper lanterns to make is the one in which a candle is placed inside a simple paper bag. There are many more types that are more complicated to learn. Some methods require you to construct a frame for the lamps made of paper. In China the art of making flying paper lanterns is given much importance as these lamps are released into the sky as a part of traditional ceremonies of the lantern festival. Given below are instructions so that you can learn this paper craft.

Making Chinese Paper Lanterns

One of the easiest ways to make paper lanterns, this method is perfect for teachers and parents who want easy methods of making lanterns for children. There are very few things you need in order to make lanterns.
  • Tissue paper
  • A pair of scissors
  • Tape
  • Measuring tape/ ruler
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Sequins or glitter (if needed)
  • Felt pens (if required)
Now that you know what are the requirements in order to make paper lanterns, let us take a look at the instructions for making lanterns out of paper.
  • Take the tissue paper and fold it lengthwise in half.
  • Now take the measuring tape or ruler and using it make a line one inch from the edge of the paper opposite to the end where you have folded it.
  • Now from this line make perpendicular lines across the length of the paper. The distance between each line should be about one inch.
  • Now take your scissors and cut on these lines till you reach the line which you had drawn at the edge of the paper.
  • Unfold the paper and fold it in the opposite direction so as to re-crease it.
  • Now using the tape that you have, stick the long edges of the paper together. Ensure that the edges match.
  • Now cut out a piece of tissue paper which is about one inch in width. Use this piece of tissue paper to make a handle for the lanterns and staple it in place.
There you have it; your very own paper lantern. You can use sequins and glitter to decorate it if you want. You can take a candle and place it inside the lantern to illuminate your house with a soft light that enhances the ambiance of the house. Alternatively you can also make many paper lanterns and hang them all around the house for a festive look. When people ask the question, how to make paper lanterns, they assume that process is a difficult one that involves a lot of effort. In fact the process of making tissue paper lanterns is one of the easiest paper crafts that you can indulge in. If you learn how to make paper lanterns with frames, then you can use these lanterns as floor lamps, which you can place around your house. Making paper lanterns with frames is a more difficult process that will require patience and perseverance on your part.
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