Home Crochet baby clothesMaking lanterns with children - 3 ideas with instructions

Making lanterns with children - 3 ideas with instructions

  • Make lanterns
    • Lantern made of PET bottle
    • Paper lanterns from paper plates
    • Round lantern made of papier mache

Whether for the lantern parade or as a decoration for the nursery - there are numerous ideas and ways you can make and use lanterns. In this guide, we introduce you to 3 creative crafting ideas that you can work together with your children. From an old PET bottle, to lanterns made of paper plates, to a lantern made of papier-mâché - you will certainly already have the materials for these lanterns at home.

Make lanterns

Lantern made of PET bottle

Whether for a family celebration, the St. Martin's parade or for a nice table decoration, small lanterns are quickly made. For example, from a PET bottle. In this tutorial we will show you another crafting idea on the topic of making lanterns. With this guide you conjure up in a jiffy for your little ones or for your own atmospheric decoration, colorful lanterns made of plastic bottles.

You need:

  • Pet bottle
  • Wallpaper paste
  • brush
  • 1 pair of disposable gloves
  • Plastic cup or plastic container for the paste
  • different colored transparent paper
  • Wire for the suspension
  • Scissors, cutter knife
  • Rivet pliers or punch for punching out the suspension holes
  • LED candle, LED light, LED tealight or LED string of lights
  • Lantern wand with LED light

Step 1: Pour some of the wallpaper paste powder into a plastic jar and stir with a little water to a homogeneous mass.

Tip: You can also use liquid glue or a glue stick as an alternative. Kleister, on the other hand, can be mixed with lump-free, pollutant-free and thus also suitable for allergy sufferers.

Step 2: Pick up the transparency paper in your favorite colors. Tear the transparent paper into small pieces. The pieces of paper can also be different in size. But if you prefer to tear the pieces of paper a little smaller, they can even better be applied to the rounding of the PET bottle.

Tip: The transparent paper can of course also be cut into pieces with scissors.

Step 3: Cut the upper part of the plastic bottle with the cutter knife from the lower part of the plastic bottle. Use caution and do not hurt yourself. The cut surface should be straight so the top of the lantern will look even. With the scissors you can correct the cutting edges of the cutter knife.

Tip: You can also mark a guide with a pen before cutting.

Step 4: Now coat the bottom part of the PET bottle with the wallpaper paste and place alternately in your chosen colors, the transparent paper on the plastic bottle. If you also paint the transparent paper with glue, it will hold even better on the plastic bottle later and stick. Also, do not forget to put a transparency on the floor.

Step 5: After drying, now with two opposite holes and some wire, this lantern is attached to the lantern stick, the LED light of the lantern stick now hangs in the middle of your lantern. Alternatively, put an LED tealight or a battery-powered small LED string of lights into the lantern.

Tip: The upper part of the PET bottle can also be used for a lantern. Thus, this lantern then has no bottom and is thus the non-classical lantern. Use the cutter knife to cut the screw cap of the bottle into an X shape. Through this opening now the small LED lamp of the lantern bar is passed. To attach the lantern to the lantern stick, wrap some wire around the neck of the bottle.

And Schwupp, finished is the small, colorful lantern! Have fun after the tinkering and if you do not have enough tinkering with the lanterns, then there are more lantern crafting tutorials waiting for you in this post.

Paper lanterns from paper plates

You need:

  • 2 - 3 paper plates
  • Transparent paper or tissue paper
  • Glue (craft glue, wood glue or hot glue)
  • yarn
  • Electric Lantern Stick (LED)
  • Paint and brush
  • felt-tip pen
  • pencil
  • punch
  • scissors


The crafting possibilities for paper plates are almost limitless. Here we show you how you can make a lantern out of two paper plates. You can make both paper plates the same or different. In our manual we describe most of the time what you do with a plate, so either do everything twice or gradually with two designs.

Step 1 - Prepare the plate

Cut out a part of dish at the top. Here the light is introduced later. A piece of 4 x 2 cm should be enough. The hole can still be enlarged later if the light does not fit.

If you do not like the white of the plate you can prime it with paint, this will work in the end, but you do not risk polluting the finished lantern.

The advantage of the paper plate is that the underside is not coated and thus takes on very good color.

Step 2 - Scene selection

Think about which motive you would like for the lantern. If you can even make a sketch, you will know later which (different) materials you need and how much you need to cut away from the paper plate or have to leave it at that.

You can also draw a motive on the computer or print out a template and later place it under the tracing paper as a template.

There are almost no limits when it comes to the choice of motifs, in addition to the classic "sun, moon and stars" motifs you can also take funny faces, little stories or even signs and symbols. We chose superheroes for this lantern.

Tip: If you sketch directly onto the plate, you should always do it from the inside - on the dining area - so that you will not see the sketch lines later. When writing and numbers, remember that you have to draw it mirror-inverted.

Step 3 - Cut out the paper plate

Use the already pre-stamped edge of the paper plate and cut the circle around. Make sure that there is still enough edge left, because this later gives the lantern stability.

Tip: You can also cut motifs from the cut-out circle and then later, for example, stick them on the edge or the surface of the lantern as little stars and decorate it even further.

Step 4 - The gluing

If you have prepared the plate so far, now comes the design of the lantern motif on it. Take this measure and cut from the desired color a piece of transparent or tissue paper. But make sure that it is around 1 cm larger than the hole in the paper plate. This edge is used as an adhesive surface.

Since we see the actual bottom of the paper plate so lantern at the end, is glued from the inside.

If you want to work in the motive with different colors you can work with transparent tape. This will hardly be seen later. Different colors on top of each other can create very interesting effects, but the more layers that stick together, the less light will end up.

Did you know that opacity is also called opacity, which is the opposite of transparency.

Step 5 - The decoration

If you want to paint or glue the silk or transparent paper, the third paper plate is now used. Use this paper plate as a base, as this will support the plate to be processed from below and you will be better able to machine the transparent paper.

With a thick black pencil, you can now draw contours and visually separate transitions between two surfaces.

Step 6 - The Assembly

When both plates are done, they are now glued together with glue. Make sure that the openings for the light are exactly on top of each other and that the curved sides of the paper plate are facing outwards.

The edge of the plate must be completely stuck to the other plate. With a few clothespins you can squeeze the two plates until the glue is dried and firm. If the glue does not hold, there is the option with a stapler (spider monkeys) to staple the two plates together. Here you should perhaps afterwards but with some tape over the tacker skull over, so that no one gets stuck.

With a punch or a punch, a hole is punched in the upper left and right of the opening. Here is knotted with the thread a small handle ran, on which the lantern is hung.

Tip: If you want to put a larger light in the home-made lantern or you just want the upper opening is too large, you can also stick a correspondingly wide cardboard strip between the plates. So the two paper plates are further apart and offer more space inside.

Round lantern made of papier mache

You need:

  • wallpaper paste
  • paper towels
  • thread
  • needle
  • brush
  • balloon
  • black edigig or acrylic paint and brush
  • Craft wire and scissors


Step 1: At the beginning, the balloon is blown up. This should be the size of the lantern you want to make. Make a knot in the balloon.

Step 2: Afterwards, mix wallpaper paste with water.

Step 3: Tear white kitchen paper into small pieces and shreds. These have a maximum size of 6 cm x 6 cm. You should not be bigger. Prepare a whole pile.

Step 4: Then you paint the balloon with paste. Put a piece of paper on the spot and paint over it with paste. Shroud the entire balloon in this way. The page with the node is left open. If you have applied a layer of kitchen paper, a second one comes over. You can also apply a third layer of kitchen paper and paste, then the lantern becomes very stable. The disadvantage, however, is that it is not so transparent anymore.

Note: You can also use translucent paper instead of kitchen paper. This is available in many, colorful colors. However, it is much more expensive.

Step 5: Now attach the balloon to a safe place with a thread hanging. The paste must now dry overnight.

Step 6: Once the paper mache has dried through, pierce the balloon with a needle.

The balloon contracts instantly and the shell of papier mache remains. Take out the balloon.

Step 7: Now the lantern is decorated with black paint. We decided to do the edding and applied fine lines and patterns. You can paint any motive of your choice as you wish.

Step 8: Using the needle, prick two opposite holes into the edge of the lantern. This thread a longer piece of craft wire and twirl the ends. Now the lantern has a handle. The lantern can now be carried by hand or you attach a hook on the handle.

IMPORTANT: Since this is a paper lantern, only an electric tealight should be placed in the lantern or a small string of lights.

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