How to Make a DIY Paper Party Lantern

  • 01 of 10

    Gather Paper Lantern Supplies

    round paper lantern
    Rita Shehan

    We just love the look of outdoor party lights on my deck on a summer night. Why not hang paper lanterns in pretty colors around your deck or in your garden at your next event? Make these cute paper lanterns from ordinary cardstock, vellum, and plastic beads and your space will be looking festive in no time.

    This lantern craft is circle shaped and has pony beads as an added decorative element. You can construct several of these lanterns very quickly. Pick out the colors and patterns from your favorite cardstock sheets, cut the lantern parts on your die cut machine and assemble. 

    All the die cut files are included in this free download. (These types of files are included: dxf, pdf, eps, jpeg, ai, and SVG )

    Supplies Needed

    • 8 bamboo kkewers
    • 1 sheet 12 x 12 card stock
    • 1 sheet vellum
    • Hot glue gun
    • Electronic digital die cut Mmachine
    • Scissors
    • Digital die cut files (download here)
    • 160 pony beads
    • Battery operated tea lights
    • Paper hole punch
    • Wire or ribbon for hanging
    • Sandpaper
    • Ruler
    • Xacto knife
    • 18" length of floral wire or another type of thin wire.​
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Cut the Paper Circles

    die cut paper lantern parts
    Rita Shehan
    • Download files for cutting paper lantern parts.
    • Cut one bottom piece and three circles from a cardstock sheet.
    • Punch the inner circles with a hole puncher.
    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Add Bamboo Skewers and Base Beads

    paper lantern bottom
    Rita Shehan
    • Place a pony bead on the bottom blunt end of the bamboo skewer. Make sure that the pony bead is able to slide down the entire length of the skewer. Use hot glue to adhere pony bead in place
    • Repeat above step for each bamboo skewer.
    • Take the base of the paper lantern—the circular piece that has no center hole—and insert the skewers as in the photo above. This will be the bottom support of your paper lantern.
    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Add Beads to Create First Layer

    round paper lantern bottom
    Rita Shehan
    • Slide six pony beads onto each bamboo skewer.
    • Place a paper ring onto the skewers as in the photo above. 
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Build Second and Third Layers

    pony bead paper lantern
    Rita Shehan
    • Slide six more pony beads onto each bamboo skewer, and top with another paper ring. Repeat this step. Your lantern should now have three paper rings and a paper base, each separated by six beads.
    • Slide one final pony bead onto each bamboo skewer and attach with glue to finish off the lantern.
    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Trim Skewers

    pony bead paper lantern craft
    Rita Shehan
    • Trim bamboo skewers using needle nose pliers or craft knife. Smooth edges with a little bit of sandpaper if desired.
    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Cut Vellum Rectangles

    vellum sheet cut instructions
    Rita Shehan
    • Take an 8.5" x 11" piece of vellum paper and, using a paper cutter or a ruler and craft knife, cut to create two pieces of vellum measuring 5.25 x 10.5". 
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Add Vellum to Lantern

    vellum placed inside paper lantern
    Rita Shehan
    • Roll one of the vellum rectangles into a cylinder shape lengthwise and insert into the center of the paper lantern. The vellum should cover half of the circumference of the center of the paper lantern.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Add Second Piece of Vellum

    three circle paper lanterns
    Rita Shehan
    • Roll the other vellum rectangle into a cylinder shape lengthwise and place it into the center of the paper lantern facing the opposite of the first lantern insert.
    • If you are planning to hang the lanterns punch two small holes on opposite sides of the top ring and run a piece of thin wire to form a handle.
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Add Tea Light and Display

    pony bead and paper party lantern at night
    Rita Shehan
    • Place a battery operated tea light into the center of the lantern and hang or display.

    These paper lanterns will add a festive ambiance to any outdoor gathering without breaking the bank and can be customized to coordinate with any theme.​