ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Crafty Ideas for Dazzling Handmade Paper Lanterns

Updated on December 13, 2019
lindacee profile image

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.


Add a soft glow to gatherings of family and friends with handmade paper lanterns. These handcrafted creations provide an interesting layer of lighting and decoration to indoor and outdoor festivities alike. Imagine an evening cookout illuminated by a whimsical string of paper lanterns. Inside the home, hanging lanterns add warm, flattering light to a casual dinner or impromptu cocktail party.

Make decorative and functional paper lanterns that suit your personal style. Go with a minimal look or create an elaborate design to coordinate with your home’s decor or special party theme. Pick up the necessary supplies from the local craft store and have fun making any of these handmade lanterns for all to enjoy.

History of Paper Lanterns

The original paper lanterns came from China and Japan around 230 BC. They were made from silk or paper and designed with bamboo and other types of wood frames. Centuries ago, the lanterns were lit with wax candles to create a beautiful glimmer light source.

Asian paper lanterns were cultural images of legends, nature and spirits. They also highlight the Chinese New Year. There are many different shapes of the Chinese zodiac animals, flowers and popular icons. Paper lanterns often manifest joy, good luck, long life and prevent evil. The festival lasts about 23 days that begins the lunar month at the end of January and into February that changes dates each year.

Luminarias from the Latin culture first appeared within the 16th century. The lanterns were used to lead the way to the Catholic midnight mass on Christmas Eve of Las Posadas, which Spanish translates to the shelters of the inn. The celebration originated in Spain and started on December 16 and ended nine days later on December 24. The holiday tradition is common in the southwest region of the US and also in Mexico.

Simple Chinese Lanterns

These easy-to-make lanterns introduce the children to an ancient cultural tradition known as the Lunar New Year. Hanging lanterns central to the celebration decorate villages and cities in China and southeast Asia. Get the family involved in making these colorful paper lanterns to hang throughout the house from late January through mid February.

Fold a sheet of construction paper in half and cut strips along the length of the paper taking care not to cut through to the end. Unfold it and create a cylindrical shape by taping the ends together. Staple a construction paper handle to the lantern.

Make a tabletop version by eliminating the handle and placing an LED tea light inside each lantern. Group the lanterns on any surface to create a romantic centerpiece. To add a touch of glam, decorate the lanterns with glue and a dusting of super-fine glitter.

These holiday Chinese lanterns are easy to make with colorful construction paper.
These holiday Chinese lanterns are easy to make with colorful construction paper. | Source

Painted Lanterns

Use a round, white paper lantern purchased from an import store as the basis for this painted handmade lantern project. To stabilize the lantern, place it in a large bowl or pot. Use a child’s watercolor set and a soft artist’s brush to paint a custom design right on the paper lantern.

Rotate the bowl to avoid touching the lantern during painting. Let it dry, flip the lantern over and paint the other half. Purchase a paper lantern cord kit, insert a low wattage light bulb and sit back and admire your hanging lantern artwork.

These pre-made paper lanterns from import stores are beautiful designs painted with acrylic craft paint.
These pre-made paper lanterns from import stores are beautiful designs painted with acrylic craft paint. | Source

Exotic Floral Paper Lights

Throw a bohemian-themed party replete with exotic floral lanterns made from inexpensive round paper lanterns. Determine your color scheme and purchase coordinating shades of tissue paper. Cut the tissue paper into large half-round petals and overlap them onto the round paper lantern. Use craft glue, double-sided tape or a cold glue gun and run it along the straight petal edges.

Proceed to cover the entire lantern surface with the delicate tissue petals to create an exotic lighting effect. Affix LED tealights inside with floral wire. Hang the oversize lotus flower lanterns in a staggered grouping over a table for an eye-catching display.

Cut the large tissue petals and glue or tape them onto a traditional round paper lantern.
Cut the large tissue petals and glue or tape them onto a traditional round paper lantern. | Source

Luminary Paper Bags

These handmade lanterns offer a new twist to paper bag luminarias that typically line walkways during the Christmas holiday. Use small brown or white paper bags and place sand in the bottom for so they don't blow away. You can also hang the paper luminarias to create delicate lanterns among the trees. Gently fold the top edge of each bag down one inch to create an inverted cuff. Draw a design on the side of the bag using a decorative stencil and carefully cut out the shape with a craft knife.

Insert a small grommet on each side of the bag approximately 1/2 inch from the top. Create a handle with fine gauge wire. Loop each end through the grommets and secure by twisting the wire onto the handle. Put a tealight in each bag and place them along the sidewalk or hang them inside or outdoors.


© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      10 days ago from Arizona

      Umesh Chandra, I'm glad you enjoyed the crafty paper lanterns!

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      11 days ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Good ideas for making paper lanterns. Thanks.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      6 weeks ago from Arizona

      Rebecca, the paper lanterns are for really any holidays and celebrations!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 weeks ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These are so cool! Good for all holidays or anytime fora festive atmosphere.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      6 weeks ago from Arizona

      Liz, I made paper lanterns for a new year celebration last year. The glow is fun for a sparkling gathering!

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      6 weeks ago from Arizona

      Lora, I live in Arizona and we have many Christmas luminaries in Sedona that are absolutely beautiful!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      6 weeks ago from UK

      These take me back many years. Great idea for the festive season.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      6 weeks ago

      These are beautiful especially for the holidays! A wonderful way for a family to have fun together creating something festive and that will add some glow to the season! Thanks for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)