How to Make a German Paper Lantern


German children celebrate St. Martin's Day on November 11 with a paper lantern procession through town. St. Martin was born in 316 in what is now Hungary and performed many acts of generosity throughout his life. Children make the paper lanterns, and as they march, they sing a song about the lantern and the light it gives in the night.

Things You'll Need

  • Round cheese box (top and bottom)
  • Cellophane or other transparent paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue
  • Wire
  • Tea light candle
  • Scissors

Making the Lantern

  • Wrap a sheet of cellophane paper around the base of the bottom of the cheese box to make a tube and determine the length of the paper. Cut the paper to size. Glue multi-colored tissue paper to the cellophane to add color to the lantern.

  • Attach the tea light by gluing it to the center of the bottom of the cheese box. Glue the rectangle of paper you made in step one around the outside of the bottom of the cheese box. You should now have a tube lantern with the tea light in the bottom.

  • Punch the bottom out of the lid of the cheese box. Take the ring and glue around the outer rim. Attach to the top of the lantern on the inside. This provides support for the paper.

  • Poke a small hole on either side of the top rim of the lantern. Bend the wire in half, linking each end through one of the holes you just made. The wire becomes your handle. Allow the lantern to dry completely before use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you have adult supervision before lighting the candle on the bottom of the lantern.

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