Paper Lantern Craft

This tutorial was originally posted on my old website, Handmade Cuddles.

In the Netherlands children celebrate St. Martins Day (11th November) by making paper lanterns, and then walking around the neighbourhood, knocking at peoples door and singing them traditional song in the hope of being rewarded with candy.


  • Lantern template (at the bottom of this post)
  • Cardstock
  • Tissue paper, wax paper or acetate sheet
  • Decorating materials, this can be what ever you have on hand, pencils, glitter, stickers, felt etc.
  • Scissors
  • Glue


Print off the template onto cardstock.
Cut around the outer edge and cut out the 4 square windows.
Score along the fold lines.
If you are making the medium sized lantern, glue the two pieces together to make a single long piece.
Cut the tissue paper into squares big enough to cover the lantern windows and glue them on the inside of the lantern.

On the outside, colour in the tissue paper and decorate with your craft materials.
When finished, clue the end tab of the lantern to the other side to form the main lantern shape.
Glue the tabs for each top section to complete the lantern.
Optional: Glue each end of the handle strip on to opposite sides of the top section.

In the Netherlands you can buy lantern sticks that have a little LED bulb that you can attach your lantern too. Alternatively use a LED candle, NEVER use a real candle as this is a fire hazard.

Free Paper Lantern Template

Click below to get access to the free paper lantern template and start creating!

I created this paper lantern template to create a lantern for St. Martins Day, but you can use it to make lanterns for lots of different events, here are some ideas to customise your lantern.

  • Diwali: Use the template to create your own Diwali paper lantern.
  • Christmas: Using the small template, make 24 lanterns and light one in the count down to Christmas.
  • Chinese New Year: Make it using red card and decorate with gold ribbon.
  • Thanksgiving: On each side of the lantern, write something you are thankful for.

We love to see your finished projects! Feel free to share them in a comment below, or on Instagram or our Facebook page.