How to make a simple DIY lantern for Mid-Autumn

It’s Mid-Autumn festival this week! Have you been enjoying mooncakes with your family?

We spent our previous weekend making and decorating a simple paper lantern.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1. A4 coloured paper
2. Clean cake boxes (or any other thin cardboard material)
3. Paint (or old pieces of artwork)
4. Scissors, pencil, double-sided tape and craft glue
5. Clean wooden chopsticks

Step 1: Make diagonal folds on an A4 coloured paper, starting at one corner and working your way to the end. Unfold and do the same starting from the opposite corner. Unfold, and you’ll get nice regular diamond shapes throughout the paper.

Step 2: Decide with your child how you wish to decorate the lantern. For instance, JJ likes ladybugs, and I got him to stick black circles at intervals all around the paper. (It’s easier to do this when the paper is flat, rather than after it’s rolled into a circular lantern shape at the next step.)

Step 3: Roll up the paper and fasten the ends with a double-sided tape. This forms the body of the lantern. *You may need to help your child with this, and it’s not easy to stick the ends together without creasing the paper.

Step 4: Place the circular end of the lantern on a thin piece of cardboard (I used an old cake box I had lying around). Use a pencil to trace the circumference. I found that the double sided-tape matched the size of the circular base, so you can use that too as it forms a more perfect circle. Draw 4 extra rectangular strips sticking out from the circle. (These extra strips will be folded in later and stuck to the inside of the lantern.)

Step 5: Cut the circle out together with the 4 rectangles. Use double-sided tape to attach the rectangles to the inside of the lantern. (Optional: You may decorate the base with some coloured wrapping paper, by sticking it on and cutting around the edge.)

Step 6: Use a pin or sharp pencil to poke two holes at opposite ends of the lantern. Fasten a piece of tape just above the hole to prevent tearing. Insert a string and tie the ends. This string will be wound around the end of a chopstick later on. 

Step 7: Re-use old artwork done by your child, by cutting it up into the shape of a butterfly (or another animal if you like). Decorate it with glitter glue or other art materials that you have around the house.

Step 8: Fasten the decorated butterfly onto the lantern body with double-sided tape.

Step 9: Use some craft or super glue to attach a tea-light candle to the base of the lantern. *Because the lantern has a tall body, it’ll be easier to light the tea-light using a lighted candle instead of a lighter.

Step 10: Wind the string around the end of a chopstick and use a drop of craft glue to help secure it.

Happy Mid-Autumn, folks!  🙂

Happy butterfly lantern

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    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Oops, yeah I wanted to post it earlier but just couldn’t make the time to. Well, hope you guys still had fun doing up your very own lanterns, Candice!

  1. says

    Love how you folded it to create some pattern and texture! We’ll be making the paper bag version, but I might try folding the paper!

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Hey Jus, thanks for your note. Yup the pattern was really easy to do, and helped to “dress up” a rather plain looking paper. I love your paper bag lantern too!

  2. Sofia says

    Thank you! I have a day off today with my son and we’re going to the mid autumn festival this evening – instead of buying a lantern I want to start a tradition of making one. Your post is perfect – something nice we can do together…