DIY Paper Lanterns: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making your own paper lanterns is a fun, easy, and affordable way to add a touch of elegance and warmth to any occasion. Whether you’re decorating for a party, sprucing up your room, or celebrating a festival, these DIY paper lanterns will surely enhance the ambiance. This guide will walk you through the process of creating your own paper lanterns in about 5 minutes.

Materials Needed

  • Paper (construction, rice, or any paper you prefer)
  • Scissors
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • Glue or tape
  • String or fishing line
  • A small candle or LED light (for illumination)

Step 1: Prepare the Paper

Start by cutting your paper into a rectangle. The size can vary depending on how large you want your lantern to be, but a good starting point is 12 inches by 9 inches. If you want a round lantern, you can adjust the dimensions as needed.

Step 2: Fold and Cut the Paper

Fold your paper in half longwise. With the pencil and ruler, draw light lines across the folded paper, leaving about an inch unmarked at each end. These will be your cutting lines. Next, use the scissors to cut along the lines you’ve drawn, making sure not to cut all the way through at the ends. This creates a lantern framework.

Step 3: Unfold and Shape

Gently open up the paper. Then, bring the short ends of the paper together to form a cylinder. Secure the edges with glue or tape.

Step 4: Add a Handle and Light

Cut a strip of paper about an inch wide and long enough to comfortably serve as a handle. Attach one end of the strip to each side of the top of the lantern with tape or glue. For illumination, you can place a small candle in the center of the lantern (be sure it is in a glass container for safety) or use a small battery-operated LED light.

Decorating Your Lantern

Feel free to get creative with your lantern design by adding paint, glitter, or colored tissue paper to give it a personalized touch. Just remember, if you’re using candles for light, avoid highly flammable decorations.


Creating DIY paper lanterns is a delightful project that adds a special glow to any setting. These easy-to-make decorations are not only satisfying to create but also set a mood that’s both inviting and magical. Be it a festive occasion or a cozy evening at home, your handmade lanterns will surely make it more memorable.






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