How to Make Paper Lanterns

Brighten up your patio or next outdoor gathering with these simple paper lanterns.

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Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Photo By: Photo by Sam Henderson

Instant Color

Your patio gets a shot of color with these simple paper lanterns.

Gathering the Materials

You will need: 12"x12" paper/ pencil/ ruler/ craft knife/ cutting board/ glue stick/ 8.5"x11" paper or parchment/ hole punch/ ribbon/ tacks for hanging/ lights (optional) 

Marking the Paper

On the back side of the 12"x12" paper, make a line 2.25" from the top and bottom of the paper. If using a patterned paper, be sure it is lined up correctly.

Cutting the Strips

Along the top and bottom lines make a dot at one inch intervals. Using a ruler or cutting guide and a craft knife, carefully make a cut from the dots on the top line to the corresponding dots on the bottom. Be careful to keep your cuts inside the two lines.

Apply the Glue

Add glue to the last strip of the paper on the back. Roll the other side over and press the front side to the glued side lining the last strips up evenly.

Matching up the Sides

Take a little extra time to match up the sides and press them firmly together.

Shaping the Globe

Bend back each strip at the top and bottom to help it form the center globe when fully assembled.

Adding the Liner

Roll up a piece of 8.5"x11" paper or parchment to create tube that is 8.5" tall. Insert the tube in the lantern. You may wish to hold the two together with paper clips while you work.

Punching the Holes

Using a hole punch, make a hole about 1" from the top and bottom on one side of the lantern and liner. For added strength, make the first set on the glued seam where the paper is doubled. Repeat the holes on the opposite side of the lantern.

Adding the Hanger

Cut the ribbon into 36" lengths. At the bottom of the lantern, insert the ends of the ribbon through the holes from the outside. Run the ribbons through the center of the liner and out the holes in the top. The ribbon ends should be on the outside of the lantern.

Adding the Top Knot

Work with the ribbon and the lantern to make the ends even at the top. Tie a knot as close to the ends as possible, pulling it tightly.

Lantern Options

These lanterns are great for hanging, but equally cute on a patio table. Place a small flameless candle in the center to light up your table.

Daytime Color

Bright, fun colors add an element of fun to your patio or outdoor gathering. Make them all one color or mix up complementary colors and patterns.

Light the Night

Brighten up your patio in style by adding patio lights to your lanterns.