Making Paper Lanterns

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Fold paper lanterns for your next party.
Fold paper lanterns for your next party. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Using ordinary construction paper, glue and scissors is all that is needed to design these awesome paper lanterns. Make them as simple or fancy as you choose. Hang your paper lanterns over a strand of lights to give off a beautiful glow in any room. Or use them to decorate for a birthday party or hang around your outdoor deck for an evening get-together. Wherever you choose to display them, you are guaranteed compliments.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Stapler or craft glue
  • Stickers
  • String of clear lights

Cut an 8 1/2-inch wide by 11-inch long piece of construction paper in half lengthwise so you have two rectangles that measure 4 1/4 inches wide by 11 inches long. One rectangle will make one lantern.

Fold 1/4 inch along both of the long edges of the rectangle and crease the fold. Unfold the edges. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise so the long edges are together.

Hold the rectangle so the folded edge is facing you. Make cuts through the paper that are approximately 1/4 inch apart. Cut through the fold of the paper to 1/2 inch of the other long edge of the folded paper. Do not cut all the way through to the other long edge.

Unfold the paper. Bring the short ends of the paper together so the middle crease faces out and you form a tube. Overlap the short ends of the paper and staple or glue to hold them together. This forms a lantern. Repeat steps 2 through 4 with the remaining piece of paper to form another lantern.

Cut two 4-inch-wide by 11-inch-long strips out of a piece of construction paper. These are the handles for the lanterns by which you will hang them. Staple or glue one end of a strip of paper to each side of a lantern. Repeat on the other lantern.

Decorate your lanterns with stickers if desired. Hang the string of lights wherever you wish. Hang one lantern over each light.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with various types of paper found at a local craft store.
  • Use colored paper or paper with a design already on it.
  • Use string to hang the lanterns by punching a hole on each side of the top of the lantern and tying a piece of string to make a loop.
  • Do not leave on overnight or unattended as the lights could get hot against the paper.
  • Use cool lights so the paper lanterns don't get too hot.

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