Guide to Making Your Own Paper Lanterns

Are you interested in learning the art of paper lantern decoration for your home? This pretty lantern would look great outside or in a lively bedroom. Make it your own by covering it with patterned paper that complements your interior design scheme.

how to decorate a paper lantern Photograph: Taken by Me

These one-of-a-kind lanterns have the appearance of having been purchased from a chic boutique. There's no need to be cunning or inventive. There is no special equipment required for this activity beyond a paper lantern, some scissors, and glue.

This paper craft is being shared as part of a blog hop. The links to the entertaining works of my companions can be found at the end of this entry.

chinese lanterns This is a photo I took.

The possibilities of paper art excite me.

You already know that I am very skilled at crafting various paper decorations, such as flowers, wreaths, banners, and more. To be honest, I've always been curious about those inexpensive paper lanterns. Last summer, I bought a bunch of them, and ever since then, I've been racking my brain for ideas on how to decorate with them.

To my delight, I have completed a paper craft of my own design.

When it comes to decorating a paper lantern, the sky's the limit.

how to decorate a paper lantern The Photographs I Have Taken

Techniques for Creating Decorative Paper Lanterns

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Balloons made of paper (with built-in battery-powered lights)

Solar-powered paper lantern with a 7-watt light bulb (we recommend an LED option).

For my paper needs, I stopped by The Paper Source - Wildflower and picked up a couple of extra-large sheets.


Mod Podge or Elmer's Glue

Brush of Colors


how to decorate a paper lantern

First, open the lantern.

Carefully insert the metal expander through the widened hole. Each corner of the expander's top reaches a pair of points. Get those prongs into the lantern's eyelets. The lower end of the expander will fit snugly into the larger one. When installed properly, your expander should curve.

fun paper project

Method 2: Prepare the Paper for Cutting

First, choose the designs you'd like to see on your lantern. I cut them into roughly 6-inch lengths. Larger patches will be more of a challenge to secure to the lantern. Creasing is possible. You can also make overlap possible by cutting the design. To do this, slits must be cut into the paper. Observe my Decoupage Egg creation for Easter!

Third, affix the paper to the lantern with paste.

Cover the back of the paper with Elmer's glue or Modge Podge and adhere it to the lantern using a small paintbrush.

Method 4: Wrap Your Paper Around the Entire Lantern

It is at this point that time is most intensively consumed. Start adhering the pieces of paper you've cut out to your lantern. In this case, it's acceptable to overlap the papers. Similar to what I described above, I hacked off sections that were roughly six inches long. As expected, if your lantern is on the smaller side, you'll need to use smaller pieces. The largest lantern in the set that I purchased from Amazon was used.

pretty wedding decorations
how to decorate a paper lantern

Adding a Second Layer: Step 5

Use the pieces you cut out to decorate the top of your lantern. Leave some of the pieces hanging loose instead of gluing them all down. It lends a more natural vibe to your lantern and its design. Keeping it is not required unless you want that style.

Lighting the lantern is the sixth step.

Either a battery-operated bulb or a solar-powered outdoor light would work inside your lantern. Notes are provided below. My lanterns originally came with the above battery-operated lights. There's a degree of care required when turning them on. They give off a nice glow if properly tightened, but only at the right angle. Ultimately, each lantern had two bulbs.

These battery-powered lights are for show and won't provide any real illumination.

Step Seven: Mount the Light Source

Put a rope, ribbon, or fishing line through the lantern's top hook. Then, fasten the other end to the object you'll be using as a hook. Mine is on our patio; I affixed it to a pergola slat there.

how to decorate a paper lantern

What Should You Use to Illuminate Your Lantern?

Take advantage of the paper lantern's built-in battery light. Two or three were used to create an ambient glow on our summer dining table outside.

LED lights are the only acceptable choice for use inside a lantern. You can find the paper lantern wattage chart here:

8″ - 25W

10″ - 40W

12″ – 60W

14″ - 60W

16″ - 60W

18″ - 100W

It goes without saying that you shouldn't put a real candle or a powerful incandescent bulb inside a paper lantern.

Image: Some of My Own Photography

Paper lanterns have a special enchantment on a starry summer night. A simple summer table was created using them here.

I really, really, really hope you get to use the beautiful papers of your choice to decorate a paper lantern.

Although the finished product is worth the effort, covering the entire lantern could take some time. For the first layer, you'll want to cut out all of your pieces of paper, and for the second layer, you'll want to cut out a smaller number. Or, if you're short on time, skip the second layer of styling altogether.

Carefully cut out pieces and arrange them at random on the paper if you don't want to cover the entire lantern. That's how I began, spacing out the flowers.

You will be pleased with your lantern no matter what style you choose to decorate it in.

Best wishes for a productive crafting session


New Concepts for Using Paper

These are the Thistlewood Farms.

Here are 9 Imaginative Ways to Use Paper as Home Decor.

If you're looking for inexpensive and easy ways to update your home, look no further than these nine paper-based makeover ideas Tutorials on making paper bowls, flowers, and even a wreath!

Dishes of mashed potatoes and gelatin

Hanging Paper Specimens of Butterflies on the Mantel

Create some whimsical specimen art for a summer mantel using scrapbook paper and a butterfly die cut.

Mother Who Does It All By Herself

Printable Stickers of Encouragement: How to Make Them With or Without a Cricut

I'll instruct you on how to create stickers utilizing a Cricut (or not) cutter. I'll send you a link to a printable PDF file containing some lovely floral motivational stickers. They don't take long to whip up and would be a lovely addition to a holiday present for a loved one.

Paper Clay DIY Pot

A Century-Old Mansion That Is Still My Home

Guidelines for Working with Paper Clay

Using Paper Clay, you can learn to make a cute clay pot decorated with lavender. In other words, this is a fun activity for kids of all ages.

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how to decorate a paper lantern pin
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