Picture of Lovely hanging lanterns

The inspiration for this project comes from when the kids needed light up in their tree fort.  I thought about some hanging lanterns up in the tree, but it needed to be safe.  Flickering LED lights to the rescue!   This version of the lantern is more indoorsy.  The good news is that one forage through your recycling bin will yield you a whole roomful of lovely soft lights.

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Step 1: Supplies/Tools

Picture of Supplies/Tools
Scrap cardboard
Tissue paper
Flickering LED tea light (I got some from the local dollar store - super cheap!)

Xacto knife
Glue gun/glue sticks

Optional stuff:
Wrapping paper (decorate it any which way you like, right?)
Thread, ribbon, string, or chain to hang the lanterns

Step 2: Cut the main body of the lantern

Picture of Cut the main body of the lantern
You can go with oodles of designs for this project, but this one was pretty and pretty easy.  I cut my cardboard into a rectangle measuring 8" x 5.15" (it was random - I just cut the bad ends off a scrap box lid).

Step 3: Cut the vertical slits

Picture of Cut the vertical slits
Using the Xacto knife, cut through the TOP layer of the cardboard.  I made them 1" apart, giving this lantern eight sides. Since the length was 8.5, that leaves us with a half-in overhang on one end.  This will be used to seamlessly attach the two edges together.  Cut the vertical slit down that last half-inch; cut off the top layer and the corrugated middle layer of the cardboard.  That will leave a half-inch tab along one end.

Step 4: Measure and cut the windows

Picture of Measure and cut the windows
I selected every other vertical section to have a window.  They are 1.25" from one end and 1.75" from the other, making them just under 3" long.

Step 5: Add the screens to the windows

Picture of Add the screens to the windows
Cut pieces of tissue paper slightly larger than the windows.  Glue them on the inside of the lantern.  I waited to paste the one by the tab until I assembled the lantern (next step).  It was just easier that way.

Step 6: Roll the lantern into an octagonal tube

Picture of Roll the lantern into an octagonal tube
Hot glue or tape the ends of the cardboard together.  Cut away any of the tab that is showing.  I had to glue the last piece of tissue on using a Q-tip to spread the glue.
artworker3 years ago
Adding some solar panel, batteries and light sensitive switch will make it numero uno! Ofcourse you can not keep it unattended in the rain. Awesome project!
Lissastrata (author)  artworker3 years ago
That sounds good! I went with the little lights I happened to have on hand (I had a whole bag of them from a recent event). However, a solar panel would be pretty cool.

A more outdoorsy version was where I used disposable coffee cups in lieu of the cardboard. It is quicker, easier, and more rain tolerant.
sunshiine3 years ago
Very creative! Thanks for sharing your hard work and great fun!
Good looking project.
ChrysN3 years ago