Chinese Paper Lantern Craft

  • 01 of 11

    Making a Chinese Paper Lantern

    Three Chinese paper lanterns
    Chinese Paper Lantern Craft. Rita Shehan

    The longest and most important holiday in China is the New Year’s celebration. It is called the Spring Festival and lasts for two weeks. The festival traditionally begins on the 23rd day of the twelfth month and continues until the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar year. The 15th day is celebrated with The Lantern Festival and signals the end of the holidays and the beginning of spring.

     It is a time of family, food, and celebration. The business world shuts down for the holiday so that workers can spend time with their families. People celebrating the Chinese New Year practice century-old traditions, such as the elders giving children red packets filled with money for good luck, eating dumplings, gift giving, lighting firecrackers and watching firework displays.

    The Lantern Festival is most closely related to our Valentine’s Day. In ancient times this holiday would be one of the few times women were allowed out and were able to mingle with eligible single men. Although social customs have changed drastically since then, the Lantern Festival today is still a day of love and romance.

    The papercraft featured is a Chinese style paper lantern. It would be a fun craft to make with your children helping them learn more about the country of China and its traditions. After making the lamps, have a party with dumplings, gifts, and firecrackers to celebrate the Chinese New Year!

    This lantern is strictly decorative and should be hung for display only. Please remember always to use common sense and do not attempt to add a candle!


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  • 02 of 11

    Supplies Needed to Make a Chinese Style Paper Lantern

    Supplies to make a chinese paper latern
    Supplies to make a chinese paper latern. Rita Shehan
    • Download pdf template
    • 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of red cardstock
    • Two sheets of 12 x 12  gold glitter cardstock
    • Ruler
    • Bone Folder
    • X-Acto knife
    • Scissors
    • Glue runner
    • Hot glue gun
    • Tacky glue
    • Pencil or pen
    • Paper hole punch
    • Light wire for the handle


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  • 03 of 11

    Download the Cutting Template

    Chinese lantern template
    Rita Shehan
    1. Download the zip file containing the PDF cutting template here.
    2. Unzip the file into your choice of folder.
    3. Print the pdf template onto one side of the 8.5 x 11 sheet of red card stock. The printed side will be the underside of the sheet.
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  • 04 of 11

    Cut out the Printed Lines With a X-Acto Knife

    score-and-folld a Chinese paper lantern template
    Rita Shehan


    1. Using the ruler and X-Acto knife, cut along the printed cut lines. Score the top and bottom fold line with a ruler and bone folder. Fold the top and bottom of the red sheet of card stock on the fold lines, and bend towards the front.
    2. Using the ruler and X-Acto knife cut along the cutting lines. Score the top and bottom fold line with a ruler and bone folder. Fold the top and bottom of the red sheet of card stock on the fold lines, and bend towards the front.


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  • 05 of 11

    Cut the Gold Glitter Card Stock Into Strips

    Gold glitter paper strips
    Rita Shehan

    Cut 10 .25' x 7' inch strips out of the gold glitter card stock with a craft knife or scissors and ruler.


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  • 06 of 11

    Glue the Gold Strips Onto the Red Cardstock

    Gold glitter stripes on red paper
    Rita Shehan

    Glue a gold strip on every other red band as in the photo above. You can use a glue runner or tacky glue for this step. I have found that tacky glue has better adhesion but takes longer to dry.


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  • 07 of 11

    Cut a Square of Gold Glitter Cardstock into Fringe

    Gold paper template for Chinese lantern
    Rita Shehan
    1. Cut a 10.5" x 10.5" square out of the gold glitter card stock.
    2. Using a ruler and pencil or pen, draw the measurement guides. Use the photo above as a reference.
    3.  The top right box is where you apply your glue. The bottom area is the fringe section of the lantern.
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  • 08 of 11

    Cut the Bottom Fringe of the Chinese Lantern

    Chinese paper lantern craft back-side-of-gold-glitter--paper.jpg
    Rita Shehan

    Cut the bottom paper fringe of the lantern with a ruler and X-Acto knife.

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  • 09 of 11

    Make the Insert of the Lantern from Gold Glitter Cardstock

    Chinese paper Lantern glued-gold-paper.jpg
    Rita Shehan
    1. Roll the gold glitter paper as in the photo above and glue edges together with a hot glue gun.

    *A quick tip: Hot glue will have a stronger, more secure bond on glitter paper than other types of glue.

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  • 10 of 11

    Assemble and Glue the Chinese Paper Lantern Craft

    Chinese paper lantern craft
    Rita Shehan
    1. Using a hot glue gun attach the top of the red card stock to the top of the gold cylinder.
    2. Place a bit of hot glue to join the bottom edges of the red card stock. Slowly pull the red card stock upwards forming the balloon shape of the lantern and secure with hot glue.
    3. Punch two holes on the top using a paper punch.
    4. Run the light wire through the holes to make a handle.
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  • 11 of 11

    Hanging the Chinese Paper Lanterns

    Chinese paper lantern craft
    Rita Shehan

    Hang the beautiful lanterns and enjoy! Make several Chinese paper lanterns and hang together to make a stunning display. So pretty! So festive!