DIY: Mini Chinese Lanterns

Written by vivian gomez
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DIY: Mini Chinese Lanterns
Mark the beginning of Chinese New Year by making and hanging paper lanterns. (yellow Chinese lanterns image by Paul O'Hearn from

Making your own mini Chinese lanterns is an easy project to do with kids. Since Chinese lanterns mark the beginning of Chinese New Year, making them is also an opportunity to give a short history lesson about the Chinese holiday and the significance the lanterns hold. Decorate the lanterns in different colours, Chinese-inspired drawings such as dragons or the Chinese characters signifying "good luck" or "good fortune."

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Coloured markers
  • Craft paint
  • Black ink
  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Stapler

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  1. 1

    Pick a piece of construction paper. For red construction paper, use a gold-coloured craft marker, gold craft paint, a black marker or black ink. While lanterns are always brightly coloured, red ones are especially popular.

  2. 2

    Place the sheet of construction paper on your desk vertically and decorate it with your markers, craft paint or ink. Draw pictures of dragons or paint Chinese characters for a more authentic Chinese paper lantern.

  3. 3

    Fold the now-decorated sheet of construction paper in half vertically. Cut slits along the folded edge with your scissors so each slit is 1/2 inch apart. Open the sheet of construction paper.

  4. 4

    Fold the paper into a cylinder, so the slits run vertically, and staple the top and bottom of the lantern to secure it in place.

  5. 5

    Pick another piece of construction paper to make the lantern's handle. Measure a strip that is at least one ½-inch wide and no more than 6 inches long. Staple the handle to the top of the lantern and hang it.

Tips and warnings

  • To light the lantern, insert a string of Christmas lights through the handle and place the lantern over the lights.

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