Celebrate., Create.
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paper lanterns.

Gearing up for Lunar New Year!

I was recently asked to host a paper lantern workshop in celebration of Lunar New Year. I had never created a paper lantern before so I did some internetting to get design ideas. My friend Rebecca created a lantern template for me and you can download it here to create along.

Gather materials and tools:

  • Lantern template
  • Printer access
  • Red cardstock (8.5” x 11”)
  • Gold cardstock
  • Gold metallic marker
  • Gold metallic embroidery floss, or similar
  • Tassel maker (cardboard or other firm board works, too)
  • Sewing needle with large eye
  • Scissors (for paper and for fabric)
  • Hot glue (can use tacky glue or other glue)

Print the lantern template onto red cardstock. I like using 65lb cardstock. Cut out the lantern shapes. Use the gold metallic marker to outline each lantern. This can be done before cutting, too, if preferred.

Use a craft needle to poke holes on each lantern “petal” (use the black dots on the template as a guide) and in the center of the lantern. The petal tips will be the top of the lantern; the center will be the base.

Curl the lantern petals slightly with your fingers.

Cut strips of gold paper ~1/2” x 4”. Create a circle; secure with glue. Attach to the bottom of the lantern with glue.

Create a tassel with the gold metallic floss. Wrap the floss around the tassel maker ~15 times.

Tie a loose single knot to the top of the tassel with a 12” piece of floss. Remove from the tassel maker and tighten the knot; secure with a double knot. This is the hanging cord. Tie an over hand knot with the hanging cord a couple of inches above the top of the tassel.

Cut the tassel loops. Wrap the tassel with a 12” piece of floss and secure with a double knot. Trim excess knot floss and tassel ends.

Insert hanging cord into the bottom of the lantern (through the hole previously made). The double knot should be pulled all the way through so it sits on the inside of the lantern. Tie another overhand knot on top of the first one to secure the tassel inside the lantern. Trim excess floss.

Cut an 18” piece of floss. Knot one end and thread onto the needle. Sew through each of the lantern petals and pull until the petals overlap and form a lantern shape. Knot the floss on the top side of the lantern to hold the shape. Tie an additional overhand knot to create a hanging loop. Trim excess floss.

Make a few lanterns to create a garland. Use embroidery floss or other cord to string your lanterns.

This was such a fun project! I might need to make these lanterns in different colors for all the celebrations. Do you celebrate Lunar New Year? How do you decorate? Share below!

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