How to Make a Paper Lantern Ball That Folds


A paper lantern ball provides soft illumination along outdoor paths as well as an indoor lighting solution for difficult-to-light areas. Many craft and party stores offer inexpensive paper lanterns that fold, but you may not be able to find the color or style you like best. Creating your own provides you with the opportunity to choose your materials and pattern your own folds for the effect you want. This craft also makes a good project for kids with adult supervision.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper, such as construction or gift wrap
  • Stapler, glue or tape
  • Cut the paper into a rectangle. The bigger the rectangle, the larger your lantern will be. Experiment with various dimensions to create different effect, but use a standard 11-by-8 1/2-inch rectangle for your first lantern.

  • Fold the rectangle in half like a hot dog bun to make a very slim rectangle.

  • Cut a design, a pattern or simple slits along the fold line. Be careful not to cut to the edge of the paper.

  • Open up the paper. Line up the shorter rectangle ends so that they meet. Glue, staple or tape the shorter ends together.

  • Cut off excess paper above or below the folding cuts, being careful to leave a small amount of connecting paper intact. This creates a more rounded, ball-like shape.

  • Cut one strip of paper and attach it across the top of the lantern, creating a handle. The lantern should fold along the cut section.


  • Photo Credit Colorful paper lanterns on wind image by Przemyslaw Borkowski from
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