Paper Lanterns (with LED lights)

Paper lanterns everywhere. These non-flammable, simply beautiful, versatile, paper lights, have been a staple in our summer entertaining — scattered on dinner tables, added to picnic blankets, strung across the patio; they’re even a excellent kid’s craft: the kids have made night lights for their rooms.


After making “night lights” for Grayson’s camping birthday, I just couldn’t stop. My personal current favorite are the ones made of news print. They are just so fresh. See? You can hold light in the palm of your hand, if you use LED lights. Why not do these with your kids and paint each face of the pyramid a different color? Since they’re lit with LED lights, they’re non-flammable and don’t require matches. How cool is that? This is how they are made: how-to below.

aug16paper-lantern aug16paper-lantern-a



Paper: regular, transparent, news print, etc.
LED tea light candles
Hole Punch
Scotch tape
1. Begin by either printing out the template, (PDF TEMPLATE HERE), on your desired colored paper OR print one template which you will use for tracings. I have one cardboard template ready at all times and like to have this handy. For a group of kids or party, having sheets already printed is a time saver.
2.  Cut the lantern shape out of desired paper. Above, we’ve used both colored and newspaper print.

3. Punch holes with hole punch.
4. Fold the corners up.
5. Using the longest piece of tape possible, place in on the INSIDE of the box and very, very carefully pull the opposite side up and seal tightly. You do not want light coming out of the edges, so take time to seal these well.
6. Carefully insert the LED candle.
7. Press to light when desired.
I hope these bring beauty tables and even, corners of your home! Enjoy.
Pictured below is the metal “camper’s bedlight” we made for Grayson’s Camping Birthday Party:
Sheet metal (craft store)
or use recycled metal, as we did. I went to our local sheet metal company.
They gave me large metal sheets which are used in 4 color printing. I washed these up, being careful of edges. Sand if necessary. These made fantastic material to work with and added to the rustic feel I was looking for. Follow the same instructions, as above. Our regular paper hole punch worked on this thin metal but I wanted the kids to feel that they had created a “real” outdoor project so I had them do a little more. Under adult supervision, we watched them one at a time, punch further holes into the template with the point of a screw driver pointing into the metal and then, tapping it to create a hole with a hammer.
As a final touch, we thread wire through the top of the lights so that these could hang, as well. Not only were these a fun craft, but I strung them on a twine string, this summer and swung them across our patio one night for ambiance. This was how the idea of working with paper was born. This shape has provided so much inspiration!SOMETHING YOU MIGHT LIKE:


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