DIY Chinese Lanterns

Overview

Chinese lanterns represent the presence of light during the first full moon of the New Year. During that time, lanterns are displayed in homes and children parade through streets carrying the brightly colored lanterns as they celebrate good fortune and change. Decorate your home with Chinese lanterns and welcome good fortune into your life, too.

Step 1

Use a pencil to draw a dotted line along one edge of the long side of the template. Position the cardboard template on a short end of the copy paper so the outer edges of the paper and the template are aligned. Use a pencil to draw a line on the paper along the inside edge of the template. Use a scissors to cut along the line to create a strip of paper to use as a handle for the lantern. Set the handle aside. Fold the paper in half with the short sides together. Use your hand to press down the crease. Unfold the paper and use a pencil to lightly mark the crease line.

Step 2

Use a pencil to draw a dotted line close to the edge of the left side along the entire length of the short side of the paper. Flip the paper sideways, from right to left, and draw a dotted line close to the edge of the left side along the entire length of the short side of paper on the back side.

Step 3

Position the ruler along the long side of the paper so the outer edges of the paper and the ruler are aligned. Use the glitter marker to draw a line along the inside edge of the ruler to create a stop line. Remove the ruler. Fold the paper in half lengthwise so the long edges are aligned.

Step 4

Position the cardboard template on the folded paper so the dotted edge of the template is even with the short edge of the paper, and the short edge of the template is even with the glitter stop line. Use a pencil to draw a line along the right edge of the template. Move the template to the right so the dotted edge lines up with the line you just drew, and draw a line on the paper along the edge of the template. Keep moving the template to the right and drawing lines until you have drawn lines the length of the long side.

Step 5

Use a scissors to cut along the pencil lines up to the stop line. Make a total of 10 cuts. Unfold the paper. Apply glue along one dotted line along the short side. Bring the short sides together and line up the dotted lines so one line is positioned on top of the other to form a circular opening at the top of the lantern. Press the edges together with your fingers to set the glue. Apply glue along each short end of the handle. Glue the handle to the lantern with one side of the handle positioned on the inside of the circle at the seam, and the other side of the handle positioned inside the circle at the lightly marked crease.

Tips and Warnings

  • Paper lanterns with lighted miniature lights inside should not be left unattended.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch-by-8 1/2-inch cardboard template
  • Pencil
  • Copy paper, neon-colored
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glitter Marker
  • Glue

References

  • Kaboose: Chinese Paper Lanterns
  • Repair Home: Making Your Own Lanterns
Keywords: Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, make Chinese lanterns

About this Author

Julie Eger lives in central Wisconsin and has been writing for eHow since May of 2009. She received a scholarship to attend the Rhinelander School of Arts in 2007 when she submitted a piece entitled "Discovering the Writer Within Me." Her story, "The Drawing of the Shoe," was voted best in class.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | DIY Chinese Lanterns