Mother and Baby

How to make a Chinese lantern


What better way to mark Chinese New Year than making some traditional Chinese lanterns with your tots? They're easier than you think to make, and they'll look so effective hung around your home while the family tucks into some tasty Chinese food! 

So if you want to get involved with the festivities and keep your little ones occupied for a while, we've found a fun craft project from the Craft Factory on how to make your very own DIY Chinese lanterns. 

You will need: 

  • Square piece of plain paper (as large or as small as you like)
  • Ruler 
  • Pen and pencil 
  • Scissors 
  • Coloured paper (red is a traditional colour) 
  • Drawing pin
  • Gold tassels and thread


  1. Fold the paper diagonally in half and diagonally in half again so you have a small triangle shape. 
  2. Open it back up so you have the paper folded in 1 half (diagonally) and fold one corner from the middle over the centre and fold the top of the triangle over that fold to create an arrow-like shape. 
  3.  Use a ruler to make a line down the middle of your folded shape. Either side of the line, draw two flowing lines to make a petal shape. 
  4. Use scissors to cut around the petal before unfolding your petal to make a flower. 
  5. Place your flower on top of your coloured paper and draw around the flower using a pencil, making sure you draw a circle around each point of the petal. 
  6. Cut out your petal shape from the colours paper, not forgetting to include the circles when you cut. 
  7. Take your pen and make a dot in the centre of the flower and in each circle shape at the end of the petals. 
  8. Use a drawing pin to pierce a hole where you marked dots with the pen. Then, thread your gold tassels through the middle hole and secure with a knot before cutting off any excess thread. 
  9. Curve each petal shape into the centre using your fingers, then use your gold thread to thread each petal together, weaving the thread through all the petal holes to create a lantern shape. 
  10. Pull the thread tight and make a knot - you are now ready to hang this up!

Craft supplies for your Chinese lanterns

These gold tassels are perfect for adding that finishing touch to your lantern. And with 100 tassels for just £7.99, you really can't go wrong!

This thread is essential for tying each petal together to form the lantern shape. This thread is 250m in length so you'll have plenty for your lanterns, however many you choose to make.

This bright red paper makes the perfect base for your lanterns if you're looking to make a traditional design.

Add a design on the outside of the lantern with this metallic gold Sharpie pen.

Coloured paper

£15.47 - RRP: £20.00

You don't have to use red for your lantern, mix it up with this huge 500 sheet pack of paper, containing 17 colours.

Don't feel like doing it yourself? These ready made, indoor lanterns are great for decorating your home. You'll get 20 in a pack so there's plenty to go around the house.

  • Author: Lorna White Lorna White
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!

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