How to Make an Origami Japanese Lantern

Written by leslie r. thompson
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In Japan, children make these colourful paper lanterns to hang during parties, festivals and holidays. It is part of origami, or paper art. Make these lanterns with a class or scout troop, using different coloured paper to achieve different looks. Any age group can make Japanese origami lanterns.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cellophane tape
  • Square (not rectangle) paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Single hole punch
  • String

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  1. 1

    Fold the square piece of paper in half.

  2. 2

    Along the folded end, measure and mark a cut line every 1/2 inch.

  3. 3

    Along the open end (opposite the folded edge), measure 1 inch inward and draw a line parallel to the edge. This is where you will stop cutting in the next step.

  4. 4

    Cut along the folded end on your 1/2-inch marks up to the line you drew in step 3. Stop cutting when you reach this line. Continue cutting along the folded edge until you have cut slits all the way across the paper.

  5. 5

    Open the piece of paper and roll it into a tube with both ends meeting. The cut lines should run vertical (up and down). Tape the ends together.

  6. 6

    Punch two holes opposite each other at the top of the lantern.

  7. 7

    Thread a piece of string through each hole and tie both strings together above the lantern for easy hanging.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use these as luminaries for candles. They are flammable.

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