Make Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are the perfect craft activity for children in flats or small houses - they don't make much mess and will brighten up a child's bedroom in an afternoon.

Tidy Fun: Paper lanterns

Remember these? Paper lanterns can be easily made by children of all ages, and they are sure to brighten up a dull bedroom!

You will need: 

  • Sheets of A4 paper in various colours 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Ribbon to decorate


1. Cut and fold paper: Cut a strip of paper approximately 1cm wide from the shortest side of the piece of paper and set aside. This will be the hanging loop. Now, cut a square 20cm x 20cm and fold in half.

2. Cut strips: Cutting inwards from the folded edge of the paper, use scissors to snip flaps that finish approximately 3cm from the top of the paper. Each flap should be spaced about 2cm apart. It may be easier to mark the lines first using a ruler and pencil.

3. Glue into shape: To make the lantern shape, unfold the creased edge and roll the paper to form a tube with the paper slits standing vertically. Glue the edges of the paper together to form a round lantern, then gently press downwards to form a splayed lantern shape.

4. Decorate: Cut a length of ribbon to fit around the top of the lantern and glue in place. Glue the ends of the hanging loop to the top of the lantern on both sides and allow to dry completely.

This craft idea is one of hundreds in Crafting with Kids by Catherine Woram (Ryland Peters & Small RRP £14.99). Photographs by Vanessa Davies.


Related links

  • Play Doh Recipe: Play doh is still one of the easiest (and cheapest!) activities you can share with your child. This recipe takes 5 minutes, and you can store the play doh to re-use later.  
  • Make Peg Doll Christmas Angels: Old fashioned peg dolls make delightful Christmas angels, but can also be made into Santa Claus with red felt and a cotton wool beard. 
  • Make your own Snow Shaker: Snow shakers are deceptively quick and easy to make, and make fantastic gifts or table decorations for Christmas!

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