How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns

Written by jennifer walker
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How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns

When you think fall, you think pumpkins. Here are the steps to simple paper pumpkin lanterns that are an ideal craft for kids--as well as a quick-and-easy festive decoration for the season of witches, goblins, ghosts and turkeys.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Card stock in orange, yellow and brown
  • Ruler
  • Paper trimmer or scissors
  • Glue
  • Bone folder
  • Clamps or paper clips
  • Stapler and staples (optional)
  • Tape
  • Battery-powered tea light

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  1. 1

    Cut a 6-inch square piece of yellow card stock for the center of your lantern, a 7.5-by-1 inch strip of brown for the stem and 6 orange strips, 9 inches long and 3/4 inches wide, for the pumpkin ribs.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
  2. 2

    Glue one end of each of the yellow strips to one side (this will be the back) of the yellow piece and let dry completely. Start the first strip a half inch from the bottom-right corner and leave a small gap between each strip.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
  3. 3

    Fold the orange strips over to the front of the yellow square, flush with the bottom edge of the yellow paper, using the bone folder to make a crisp fold in the strips.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
  4. 4

    Glue the free ends of the orange strips to the opposite (top) edge of the yellow square, clamping into place until dry. If you're in a hurry or the glue doesn't seem to be holding, you can staple the strips into place.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
  5. 5

    Bend the yellow piece of card stock into a tube, lengthwise, overlapping that 1/2-inch leading edge we left strip-free; then tape together. You can also staple the two ends together to help the tape hold.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
  6. 6

    Wrap the strip of brown card stock around the top edge of the tube, covering where the orange strips are attached, and glue into place. If you bend the orange strips up a bit at the base of the brown strip you'll have a more round pumpkin, or you can leave them belled for a butternut squash or gourd look.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns
  7. 7

    Turn on your battery-powered tea light and set the lantern tube over it, creating a soft glow.

    How to Make Paper Pumpkin Lanterns

Tips and warnings

  • Making the strips thinner and using more of them will create a lacier-looking pumpkin, or criss-cross the strips for a woven look.
  • Using vellum for the yellow square will let out more light; there are some pretty patterned ones available that could be interesting.
  • Attach face cutouts to the orange strips to make it more like a jack-o-lantern.
  • Never use open flames in this sort of lantern, as the paper could catch on fire.

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