How to Make Paper Lantern Decorations for Chinese New Year

By in Fun & Games on 19 January 2011

Paper lanterns are traditionally hung by the Chinese as part of their New Year decorations. According to folklore, lanterns were originally used as defensive tool to ward off the mythical New Year beast, Nien. Nowadays, paper lanterns are displayed to add a festive touch to homes and businesses celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year.

Even in non-Chinese households, paper lanterns are also used in decorating for parties or other holidays. Kids should have lots of fun learning to make these 3 different kinds of paper lanterns with you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Tape
  • Stapler
  • Yarn or String

Balloon Origami Lantern

This paper lantern is the easiest one to make. First, fold the paper diagonally and cut the excess paper with scissors. You can skip this step if you already have a square paper. Next, fold your paper as shown in the instructional photo below (click to enlarge):


Lastly, add a lantern tail using contrasting colored paper. You can also use a lighter type of paper such as rice paper.


Pumpkin Lantern

To make this lantern, fold a piece of paper into 3 and cut 1/3 of it off for later use. Fold the bigger portion of paper into 2 and make consecutive cuts on the folded side about ½ inch apart. Make sure the unfolded end of the paper is intact. Next, unfold the paper and open it all the way to the opposite side. Attach the ends to the portion of paper that was cut off in step 1. You can use a different colored paper as shown here (click to enlarge).


To give it its pumpkin shape, roll the uncut side of the paper and stick the ends together using tape, glue or stapler. Create a lantern tail by cutting strips on a long piece of paper. Attach it inside the lantern tube.


Good Luck Lantern

This multi-use lantern design would blend well with other Chinese decorations when made with colors such as red and gold. To do it, draw circular patterns on a paper using a cup lid as your guide. Cut out the circles using scissors. 8 paper circles is enough to complete a single lantern. Fold the paper circles into equilateral triangles and stick the inner sides together using tape or glue (click image to enlarge).


Be creative and add a long tail that matches the color of your lantern. This will give it fluidity against the wind.


Once you are finished with the lanterns, cut a strip of paper and attach it on top of the lanterns to serve as their handles. Add good luck symbols on the lanterns to make them look authentic. Don’t forget to include a rabbit – 2011 is the year of the rabbit! Finally, hang them up on doors and windows for everyone to appreciate.


1 Comments For This Post

  1. gps says:

    Wow they look really pretty and they are so cheap to make! Such a creative solution.


How to Make Springtime Pop-Up Cards

You’ve just come back from the store looking for the perfect greeting card. Even if you find one you like, you may not be willing to shell out the amount they’re asking for it. Learn how to make springtime pop-up cards and you’ll be able to give a one-of-a-kind card your intended recipient will love. To […]

How to Make a Recycled Book Christmas Tree

A book Christmas tree is an easy project you and your kids can get busy with without spending much. The freezing weather outside may make the kids bored in the house so here’s something they can do indoors and it doesn’t create a lot of mess, too! They won’t even need scissors to do this. A […]

How to Make a Decorative 4th of July String of Stars Garland

If you’re like most Americans, you love your country. You can show your patriotism by flying the Stars and Stripes during major holidays. You can also decorate your home with red, white and blue decorations. Learn how to make a decorative 4th of July string of stars garland so everyone knows how patriotic you are. There […]

How to Make Christmas Stockings from Recycled Sweaters

A wonderful way to personalize your Christmas decorations is by putting up stockings for each family member. Stockings can be hung anywhere – above the fireplace, on the stair banister or on the family room wall. It’s delightful to see the kids sort through a stuffed stocking when they wake up on Christmas morning. Instead of […]

Chinese Conception Calendar

Like how your belly is carried, the chinese conception calendar is a fun way to predict your baby’s gender. Just match your conception date to your age to find if your baby is a boy or girl. […]

Advertise Here