Paper Chinese Lanterns

For Chinese New Year (January 23rd), lanterns symbolize the light of a person's soul. Help celebrate the holiday with our fun Paper Chinese Lanterns!
Materials List

Construction paper (two colors)



Glue dots or tape (optional)

Markers, crepe paper streamers, stickers, other decorative items (optional)

How to
Step 1

Select one piece of construction paper to be the inner color of your lantern. Cut a 1-inch strip off the short side of this piece of paper. This strip will become the lantern's handle.

Step 2

Fold the same piece of paper in half the long way, like a hot dog bun!

Step 3

Cut strips from the folded side about an inch wide. Your cuts should stop 2 inches from the end, leaving an uncut border. You should end up with about 10-12 strips.

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your second piece of paper.

Step 5

Unfold both pieces of construction paper and place them horizontally in front of you. Now it is time to staple!

Step 6

Roll the first piece of paper into a tube, with the folded end facing towards you. Overlap the long edges about an inch and secure the ends with your stapler.

Step 7

Repeat again with the second piece of paper. Make sure that your outer lantern is slightly larger than your inner lantern.

Step 8

Finally, slip one lantern inside the other! Make sure that the slits are slightly offset so that you can see both colors.

Step 9

Take the slip of paper your previously cut; it's time to attach the handle. Staple one end of the handle on the top of your lantern, and repeat by stapling the other side on the other end. You can staple the handle on the inside or outside of you lantern, depending upon your preference.

Step 10

Your lantern is ready for hanging!

Craft Length
5 - 15 minutes

In Chinese culture, the lantern symbolizes hope. Each lantern is made to represent the light within each person's soul.

Easy peasy (fun and simple)
Prep Time
5 minutes or less
1 adult per 10 children

1. Make sure that you inner lantern tube is slightly thinner than your outer tube for easy insertion.
2. Use glue dots or tape instead of staples.
3. Be careful with little fingers and staplers - staples have sharp points and the stapler itself can pinch fingers. Adult should definitely help little ones.


1. Make them any size and any color!
2. Single lanterns are just as pretty as the double lanterns you see here. Simply make one instead of two.
3. Feel free to embellish your lantern any way you want - before you staple the lantern, add designs with markers and crayons.
4. Add crepe paper streamers to the bottom of your lantern; they look pretty when they blow in the breeze.
5. Instead of cutting your inner piece, leave it whole and draw fun images or scenes. Remember when you staple into a tube to make sure it's thin enough to slip into the lantern.

Variation Photos