How to Make a Chinese Paper Lantern

Опубликовал Admin
24-05-2018, 01:00
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Community Tested Chinese paper lanterns have a long tradition, dating back to the Eastern Han dynasty, when they were used to worship Buddha. Now, they are used during the Lantern Festival to celebrate the last day of Chinese New Year. Making your own lantern is easy, and while it won’t light up, it can be just as pretty and unique as a traditional light-up lantern.

Creating a Simple Lantern

  1. Get a sheet of construction paper. The size does not matter, but it must be rectangular. Something around 8 ⁄2 by 11 inches (22 by 28 cm) would be better, though.
    • For a traditional lantern, choose red paper.
    • If you want a less-traditional lantern, you can pick a color you like.
  2. Cut a 1 in (2.5 cm) strip from 1 of the short ends. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a line going across the width of the paper, 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the 1 of the short edges. Cut the strip off with scissors, then set it aside.
    • This will eventually make the lantern's handle.
    • For a longer handle, cut the strip from 1 of the long edges instead.
  3. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. This is also known as the "hot dog" fold. Make sure that the long edges match up. Keep the paper folded; do not open it up.
    • Run your fingernail back and forth across the folded edge to make it nice and sharp.
  4. Cut slits into the fold, stopping 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the raw edge. Draw a horizontal line across the length of your paper, 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top, raw edge. Next, cut slits into the bottom, folded edge. Make each slit the same with, and don’t cut past the horizontal line that you drew.
    • Make the slits about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Start and finish the slits 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the left and right edges of the paper.
    • Erase any pencil marks that you made once you have finished cutting the paper.
  5. Unfold the paper, roll it into a cylinder, then staple it. Unfold the paper first. Bring the narrow ends together, then overlap them by 1 inch (2.5 cm) to form a cylinder. Staple the overlapped ends at the top and bottom to hold the cylinder together.
    • Make sure that the folded crease is sticking out, not in. If you were to squash the lantern between your hands, the slits should flare out like a daisy.
    • You can also use a glue stick to hold the lantern together, but you'll have to secure the paper with clips until the glue dries.
  6. Staple both ends of the 1 in (2.5 cm) strip to the top of the lantern. Take the 1 in (2.5 cm) strip that you cut off earlier. Place 1 end against the top edge of the lantern. Overlap it by about 1 inch (2.5 cm) and staple it in place. Bring the other end to the opposite side of the lantern, overlap it by another 1 in (2.5 cm), and staple it as well.
    • Make sure that you are stapling both ends of the handle to the top of the lantern--not the top and bottom. They should be across from each other.
    • For a nicer finish, put the ends of the handle on the inside of the lantern.
    • You can use a glue stick or tacky glue for this step, but you'll need to clip them in place until the glue dries.

Making a 2-Tone Lantern

  1. Get 2 pieces of paper that are 2 different colors. One of the colors will go on the outside of the lantern, while the other color will go on the inside. Construction paper will work the best, but you can use cardstock as well.
    • For a traditional lantern, use red for the outside of the lantern and gold for the inside.
    • You can also use red paper for the outside, and yellow for the inside.
  2. Cut a 1 in (2.5 cm) strip from the short edge of each paper. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a line going across the width of your first sheet of paper, 1 inch (2.5 cm) from 1 of the short ends. Cut the strip off, then set it aside. Repeat this step with the second sheet of paper.
    • When you are done, you should have 2 sheets of construction paper and two 1 in (2.5 cm) wide strips.
  3. Cut two 1 in (2.5 cm) strips from the long edge of 1 sheet. Choose 1 of the sheets of construction paper to go on the inside of your lantern. Cut two 1 in (2.5 cm) wide strips from 1 of the long edges. Set these strips aside for later.
    • Don't cut a 2 in (5.1 cm) wide strip. This may seem like a time-saver, but it will just create more work later on.
    • Don't cut the other sheet of construction paper. You want to keep that sheet at full-size.
    • Use a ruler and a pencil to draw guidelines for cutting, if needed.
  4. Overlap the short ends to form a cylinder, then glue or staple them. Take your sheet of paper that you just cut. Bring the short ends together and overlap them by about 1 inch (2.5 cm) to create a tube. Staple the tube at the top and bottom edges of the seam to hold it together, then set it aside.
    • You can use a glue stick as well. Use clips to hold the paper together until the glue dries.
  5. Fold the larger piece of paper in half, hot dog style. Take your second sheet of construction paper--the sheet that you want to be on the outside of the lantern. Fold it in half lengthwise or hot dog style so that the long edges match up.
    • Run your fingernail along the folded edge a few times to make it neater.
  6. Cut 1 in (2.5 cm) slits into the fold, stopping 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top. Use a ruler and a pencil to draw a horizontal line across the length of your paper first, 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the top, raw edge. Next, cut vertical slits into the bottom, folded edge of the paper, stopping at this horizontal line.
    • Make the first and last slits 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the left and right edges of the paper. Make all of the other slits about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart as well.
    • Do not cut past the horizontal line or into the folded edge.
    • If you need to, draw cutting guides for the slits. Be sure to erase any pencil marks once you have finished.
  7. Unfold your paper and form it into a cylinder as well. Open up your paper first. Bring the narrow ends together, then overlap them by 1 inch (2.5 cm) to form a tube. Staple the seam at the top and bottom to hold it together.
    • Make sure that this tube is big enough to slide over the first tube that you made.
    • You can use glue instead of staples. Clip the tube together until the glue dries.
    • The crease needs to be sticking out, not in. If you were to squash the lantern, the fringe should flare out.
  8. Tuck the first cylinder into the second one, then staple the top edges. Take the first tube that you made, and slide it into the second tube. Align the top edges, then secure them with tape, staples, or glue.
    • The outer tube will be longer than the inner tube. The next step will resolve this.
    • The tube with the fringe cut into it should be on the outside.
    • Make sure that the side seams align for an even nicer finish.
  9. Align and staple the bottom edges of both lanterns together. Push the bottom edge of the outer lantern until it aligns with the bottom edge of the inner lantern. Secure the bottom edges of both lanterns with glue or staples, like before.
    • This should cause the outer lantern to flare out so that you can see the inner lantern.
  10. Use 1 of the shorter strips to make a handle. Take 1 of the shorter strips that you cut from the beginning. Staple both ends to the top of your lantern to create a handle, making sure to overlap them by 1 inch (2.5 cm).
    • It does not matter which color of strip you use for this step. You can use the strip that matches the outer lantern, or the strip that matches the inner lantern.
    • It doesn't matter if you add the handle to the outside or inside of the lantern. The next step will cover it up.
  11. Wrap the longer strips around the top and bottom edges. Take 1 of the long strips that you cut off from your inner lantern. Coat the back of the strip with glue, then wrap it around the top of your lantern, making sure that the edges align. Repeat this step with the second strip for the bottom edge.

Tips

  • Decorate your lantern with glitter glue or sequins. You can do this for the strips and/or the top and bottom edges.
  • Wrap patterned washi tape around the top and bottom edges of your lantern for a nicer finish. You can also use ribbon or strips of scrapbooking paper instead.
  • Cut paper streamers into 12 to 14 in (30 to 36 cm) lengths, then glue them to the inside, bottom edge of your lantern.
  • For a fancier lantern, use scalloped scissors to cut the slits. You can also alternate the width of the slits by making some narrower.
  • For a more traditional look, hang the lantern to your ceiling or a stick with a piece of string.

Warnings

  • You can hang these lanterns outside, but don’t let them get wet, otherwise they will get ruined.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Stapler
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