I made a slew of origami lanterns for a friend's wedding a few years back, and it seemed only right to add lights to the design. After all, they are lanterns! As I have no desire to burn my apartment down, I decided to use some flickering LEDs from Evil Mad Scientist that give the appearance of a candle, without the paper-eating flame. You can use whatever LEDs you like.
As these were made to look like Chinese lanterns, I chose red and yellow for my colors. You can obviously make these in different colors/shapes/sizes and customize to your heart's content.
You'll find me telling you to experiment a lot, because it's fun to tinker, and because it allows you to make this project your own. I want to see pictures of what you've modified!
Step 1: Gather Materials
Hot Glue Gun
Skewer or small screwdriver
Coin Cell Battery (optional)
Soldering Iron and Solder (optional)
Electrical Tape (optional)
6" x 6" paper
Embroidery floss or other string
Metal Nut or Washer
LED (flickering or otherwise)
AA Battery Pack with switch
Batteries for Battery Pack
Step 2: Fold the Body
A note about paper: I am a bit of a paper enthusiast. I do tons of origami, but rarely use that omnipresent standard washi paper because a) it's overpriced, and b) I find it boring. You do want something translucent or thin enough to see the light, and you can use washi, but you can also find big sheets of thin mulberry paper (~$4-5) or vellum (~$2) and cut into appropriate sized squares. I used red vellum for this example, which shows the creases more readily, but also works better with the light.
The base shape of this lantern is your basic origami ball, with the addition of a hole cut in the closed end. You'll find photos here of all of the steps to make one from a 6" x 6" square. If you need some more detailed instruction, check out this very fine video tutorial.