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Chinese Paper Lanterns

A glittery Chinese Paper Lantern craft for kids to make from #chinesenewyear How cute - add a battery operated candle for paper lanterns that light up! Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with festive Chinese Paper Lanterns. Safe and secure when using battery operated candles inside. The colorful construction paper is wrapped around a recycled water bottle so the lantern can also be used as container for gold foil candy, money or even a vase for flowers. These paper lanterns are also a great way to add a decorative touch at your next pool party. Fold the sides or leave rounded, directions for both styles are included below.
  • Battery operated candle
  • Empty water bottle
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Tape


  • Hole punch if using a handle
  • Pipe cleaner for handle – can be left off or ribbon can be used
  • Glue and ribbon for adding decorations
  • Markers to decorate
  • Gold Christmas garland
  • ADULTS only: Cut the top off a water bottle using scissors or a razor knife.
  • Measure around the circumference of the bottle. A standard size water bottle should measure around 8″.
  • Measure the height of the water bottle. My measurement came to 5 3/4″ tall.
  • Determine the extra amount you want to add for the height measurement for your lantern. In my examples I increased the height measurement to 7″ for the blue lantern and 8″ for the red lantern.
  • Using your dimensions, cut out the rectangle on the construction paper. I used 8″ x 7″ for the blue lantern and 8″ x 8″ for the red lantern.
  • Lengthwise, place the cut out construction paper in front of you. Use a ruler to create a 1 – 1 1/2″ border across the top of the paper.
  • Fold the paper in half lengthwise.
  • Use the ruler to measure 1″ sections across the 8″ folded paper. For a straighter line, measure and mark at the top and bottom.
  • Following the lines (with the 8″ paper, I had 7 lines), cut slits through the fold to where the border line was drawn.
  • Unfold the paper and refold the opposite direction – this way your markings will be on the inside of the lantern. For a rounded Chinese lantern, do not put a hard fold in the paper.
A glittery Chinese Paper Lantern craft for kids to make from Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids.
  • Put about a 1″ section of tape at the top and bottom of the paper. Attach the paper to the top and bottom of the water bottle. This is the trickiest part of the craft since the paper is actually a little longer than the height of the bottle.
  • Securely wrap the paper around the water bottle and use tape to attach the top and bottom.
  • If you choose to use a handle, use the hole punch on opposite sides of the lantern. Twist the pipe cleaner through the hole.
  • Insert a battery operated candle into the water bottle. I added a little gold Christmas garland that I had left over from the holidays to add a little more sparkle to my Chinese lantern, this is optional but could also be used in place of the candle..

By using a battery operated candle, you can use the paper lanterns as a table decoration or a functioning outdoor lights.

A glittery Chinese Paper Lantern craft for kids to make from #chinesenewyear How cute - add a battery operated candle for paper lanterns that light up! Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids.

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About Theresa Johnston

Activities For Kids has been an on-going passion of mine since 1998. I'm a long-time Orlando resident and huge Disney Fan! Prior guide for and current editor for I hope you enjoy the crafts, recipes and ideas that you find here.

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