How To Make A Paper Lantern

How to Make a Paper Lantern: A Step-by-Step Guide

Paper lanterns are beautiful and versatile decorations that can add a touch of elegance to any event or space. They are easy to make, and you can customize them to fit your style and preferences. In this article, we will show you how to make a paper lantern from scratch, including the materials you need and step-by-step instructions.

Materials Needed

Step-by-step guide on how to fold paper to make a paper lantern
Step-by-step guide on how to fold paper to make a paper lantern

To make a paper lantern, you need the following materials:

  • Colored tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • String
  • LED lights or a candle (optional)

You can find these materials at any craft store or online retailer. You can choose any color of tissue paper to fit the theme of your event or space. You can also use different types of paper, such as rice paper or crepe paper, for a different look.

Paper Lantern Design

There are many different designs for paper lanterns, including round, square, or cylindrical shapes. You can also add different patterns or shapes to the lantern, such as stars, hearts, or flowers. The design you choose will depend on your preferences and the occasion.

One popular design is the accordion lantern, which is easy to make and looks beautiful. To make an accordion lantern, you fold the tissue paper like an accordion and then glue the ends together. You can then add a handle and a string to hang the lantern.

Paper Lantern Design

There are various types of paper lanterns, each with its unique shape, size, and style. Some popular types of paper lanterns include:

  • Accordion Lantern: made by folding tissue paper like an accordion and then gluing the ends together.
  • Cylinder Lantern: made by rolling the tissue paper into a cylinder and then attaching a base and a top.
  • Star Lantern: made by folding the tissue paper in a specific way to create a star shape and then gluing the ends together.

When choosing a design, you should consider the occasion and the space where you will display the lantern. You can also mix and match different types of lanterns to create a unique look. You can also experiment with different colors and patterns to make your lantern stand out.

Steps to Make a Paper Lantern

Follow these steps to make a simple accordion paper lantern:

  1. Take two sheets of tissue paper of the same color and fold them in half.
  2. Use a ruler and pencil to mark one-inch intervals along the folded edge.
  3. Cut the tissue paper along the marked lines, leaving the folded edge uncut.
  4. Unfold the tissue paper and lay it flat.
  5. Fold the tissue paper back and forth, accordion-style, along the cut lines.
  6. Fold the accordion in half, and then glue the two ends together.
  7. Cut a strip of tissue paper about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long.
  8. Glue one end of the strip to the top of the accordion, and then glue the other end to the bottom of the accordion.
  9. Tie a piece of string to the top of the accordion and hang it up.

Tips for Success:

  • Use lightweight tissue paper to make it easier to fold and manipulate.
  • Be careful not to tear the tissue paper while folding it.
  • Apply glue sparingly to avoid making the paper too wet.
  • If you want to hang the lantern outside, use LED lights instead of a candle to avoid a fire hazard.

By following these simple steps and tips, you can create a beautiful and unique paper lantern that will add a touch of elegance to any space.

Decorating Your Paper Lantern

Once you have made your paper lantern, you can decorate it to fit your style and preferences. Here are some suggestions for decorating your lantern:

  • Add glitter or metallic paint to the edges of the lantern to make it sparkle.
  • Use a hole punch to create patterns in the tissue paper, such as stars or hearts.
  • Tie ribbons or bows around the handle of the lantern.
  • Use stickers or stencils to add designs to the lantern.
  • Add flowers or leaves to the top of the lantern for a natural touch.

You can also personalize your lantern by adding photos or messages to it. For example, you can add photos of the bride and groom to a paper lantern for a wedding, or add quotes or messages for a birthday or anniversary.


Making a paper lantern is a fun and easy DIY project that can add a touch of elegance to any event or space. With just a few materials and some creativity, you can create a unique and beautiful decoration that reflects your style and personality.

Whether you are planning a wedding, a birthday party, or just want to decorate your home, a paper lantern is a versatile and affordable option. We hope this step-by-step guide has inspired you to try making a paper lantern and that you will enjoy the process as much as the result.