How to Assemble a Paper Lantern


Brightly colored paper lanterns celebrate the Chinese New Year. People display the popular decorations in windows. Children carry the lanterns in parades during the first full moon of the year to celebrate change and upcoming good fortune. Have your children help you put together some Chinese lanterns and string them up around your home to celebrate prosperity in your life.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch-by-8 1/2-inch paper template
  • Construction paper, 8 1/2-inch-by-11-inch
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Align the template along one short edge of the construction paper. Draw a line on the construction paper along the inside edge of the template, using the pencil. Cut along the line, using the scissors, to create a paper strip to use as a lantern handle. Set the handle aside.

  • Fold the construction paper in half and then in half again. Unfold the paper. Mark a letter at the outside edge of the paper at each crease line, starting at the center top of the paper and moving in a clockwise direction; A,B,C, and D, using a pencil. Fold the construction paper in half lengthwise, matching sides B and D. Press down the crease with your hand.

  • Flip the paper so the side marked C is on your left. Position the ruler along the edge marked D so the length of the ruler and the outer edge of the paper are even. Draw a line on the paper along the inside edge of the ruler to create a stop line. Remove the ruler.

  • Mark one long side of the template with the number 1 on the left and the top short end of the template with the number 2. Align the edge of the template marked 1 and the edge of the folded paper marked C. Ensure that the end of the template marked 2 is even with the stop line.

  • Draw a line down from the stop line following the right edge of the template and stop at the fold. Slide the template to the right so the number 1 lines up with the line you just drew. Draw another line on the paper along the right edge of the template. Keep aligning the template and sliding it to the right until you have drawn eight lines. Use the scissors to make a cut from the fold up to the stop line along each of the eight lines you just drew. Unfold the construction paper.

  • Remove the cap from the glue stick and turn the base of the stick clockwise until the head of the glue appears. Apply glue along the length of the edge marked with the letter A. Bring both sides of the paper together so the letter C overlaps the letter A, forming a paper tube with slits in it. Press the glued edges together and hold until the glue sets.

  • Lay the paper handle flat on the table. Apply glue to each end of the handle. Place one end of the handle on the inside of the paper tube at the top edge, with the glued side of the handle attaching to the inside seam line of the paper tube, and pinch the pieces together with your fingers until the glue sets. Repeat on the other side, directly across from the seam line.

Tips & Warnings

  • Erase any pencil lines, letters, and numbers that show on the outside of the lantern or decorate over them with glitter and glue.

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  • Photo Credit Party-time! image by Ivonne Wierink from
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