Introduction: Simple Elegant Paper Lantern/Lamp Easy!

Picture of Simple Elegant Paper Lantern/Lamp Easy!

For under ten dollars I made this very stylish but simple color changing light fixture. It was soooo easy to make and the result is a great eye catcher!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

Ok so to start this project off we need:
-A white Chinese paper lantern (dollar store or I bought a 12" one off eBay for $1.25)
-A light socket extension (if you want to use it for the same application I do you need one mine cost about $3 on eBay)
-About 30-35 sheets of white computer paper
-A paper clip
-A hot glue gun
-Also optional if you want your lantern to be color changing you can buy an rgb led light bulb with remote on eBay and it looks great! ( I got mine for about $5 on eBay)

All together the cost of materials for me was approx. $8.25 to make this project and it could be even less if you want to just use it with an existing lamp as a shade or if you wish to just use a regular lightbulb rather than an rgb lightbulb.

Step 2: Let's Get Started!

Picture of Let's Get Started!

Alright so the first thing we need to do is take our computer paper and square it off. You can do this by measuring, or you can fold it diagonally and cut off the paper which excess hangs over. Then fold and cut our square into four equal squares. Now we have four of the sheets which we will use I make the texture on our lantern. We will be making those paper fortune tellers for the next steps!

Step 3: Fold Fold Fold

Picture of Fold Fold Fold

Next we take one of our squares and we fold it along both diagonals. Then we fold all the corners in toward the middle. Next very important step is to flip the whole thing over, then you simply fold all the corners in again.

Step 4: And Fold Some More

Picture of And Fold Some More

Next we can fold the paper horizontally which will allow you to notice four "flaps" that you created which are perfect spaces for your fingers. The last step is to just put your fingers in these flaps and simply push them toward the center, like your trying to touch them together. This will create the fortune teller! Well there's one. It takes about 125 of these to cover a 12" diameter circle so it's best to get some friends to help or do it while watching tv or relaxing, they don't need to be perfect.

Step 5: Glue Away!

Picture of Glue Away!

Next we heat our hot glue gun up and get ready to glue on our fortune tellers. Just a very small dab in the center of the bottom of your fortune tellers will hold them in place on the lantern. You can start from the bottom like I do and work your way up or start from the middle either way works. If you have any open spaces too small for another fortune teller you can cut or in half to fit it in as well!

Step 6: Mount the Lantern

Picture of Mount the Lantern

Once your finished gluing on your 125 fortune tellers, it's time to mount it on your fixture. If you want to use it as a shade for a lamp you can mount it on any way you can think or if you want to use a socket extender like I did from the ceiling, you can just use a paper clip! All you have to do is bend the paper clip in half and hook both sides on the wire of the lantern as shown in the pictures.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Stylin Light!

Picture of Enjoy Your New Stylin Light!

Then just twist the extender into the light socket and enjoy your new light fixture! If you used an rgb led bulb I recommend putting it on fade which looks awesome! I hope you enjoyed my ible, and if so please vote for me for the paper crafts contest! Thank you! :)


timon8778 (author)2014-05-18

Came out great!Lots of folding but end project is amazing.Clear instructions, and great idea. Here are some suggestions: you could also try stocking the 4 points together and sticking them on line that or make a pattern of the 2!

mulrich125 (author)timon8778 2014-06-25

Hey great job indeed looks better than the original! :) Thanks for sharing,


daxxvondrachen (author)2014-02-11

thanks just saved me 250$ for something very much the same at Lamps Plus or as I call them,,,,Lighting Pirates

Glad I could help! If you can, post some photos of your finished product! Thanks and happy crafting, Matt

KarloM3 made it! (author)2017-07-27

I made it last year but finally decided to upload the photos. I was having trouble deciding what kind of a lampshade I should get for my room and your idea really helped me with that! I also added a couple of origami cranes made of the same paper which really gives it a fantasy-like feel. Thank you so much for this tutorial.

sinnomeiyu (author)2015-06-14

Lovely and clever design.

tsmith157 (author)2014-06-28

I have never had a problem using regular 60 watt bulbs in lanterns. As long as there is enough space

mobiansstech (author)2014-05-19

Amazing Piece Of Art

brookefox (author)2014-04-29

Very nice, nice enough to be made with durable, quality materials.


mulrich125 (author)2014-03-31

Thanks so much! :)

chestikof (author)2014-02-17

love it!

parisphan (author)2014-02-16


alcurb (author)2014-02-12

Fantastic !! I feel I can knock this one off in an hour. Thanks for your contribution.

mulrich125 (author)alcurb2014-02-15

No thank you! and upload a photo of your completed project if you can! :) Happy crafting!

GothBoyUK (author)2014-02-14

This is excellent. I'm an Interior Design student and something like this would easily sell for several hundred dollars if it was by a named designer. You've got a really good designer look for next to nothing. Well done!

mulrich125 (author)GothBoyUK2014-02-15

Thanks for the compliment glad I could help!

jsmith347 (author)2014-02-14

Excelente !!

Vampyra65 (author)2014-02-13

Wow, that is so cool and pretty! Thanks for sharing.

thehaneyplace (author)2014-02-12

Nice job! :)

texach (author)2014-02-12

this looks cool, I'll try to make one! And as title says easy to make but also easy to burn that house down xD

agis68 (author)2014-02-12

very luxurious results.....clever

steelspark (author)2014-02-09

Unless you were using LED's wouldn't this be a fire hazard?

mulrich125 (author)steelspark2014-02-09

Most lightbulbs now are compact fluorescent and wouldnt produce nearly enough heat, but even if you had an incandescent in there, since the diameter or the lantern itself is 12", the blub would be about 5" away from any side: too far away to pose any real threat. Also there is a fairly large hole on top for ventilation so I dont really see it as being a fire hazard. If you felt differently though you could certainly spray the inside with some simple fire retardant spray which you can pick up at home depot. Thanks for your message! :)

ndjalva (author)mulrich1252014-02-12

CFL 's will not last if they are placed in the downward configuration [ base up ]

the heat cooks the electronics in short time.

Discojess (author)ndjalva2014-02-12

I've had CFL's in a downward position in these paper ball lanters for literally 6 years, same bulb. But I'm swapping to LED's anyway :D

ndjalva (author)2014-02-12

I love origami but never thought of such a simple fold could develop into such an elegant project. Your talent did awaken my thoughts in full dreamland aka sleep.

ndjalva (author)ndjalva2014-02-12

MOre ,morE moremmmmmooooore you do have a talent that should be nurtured and expanded, I wait for the next,../././././//

eqian (author)2014-02-11


mulrich125 (author)eqian2014-02-11

Thanks! :)

jbh123 (author)2014-02-11

Great idea and execution. After a while, though, I bet it'd be a real you-know-what to dust that thing! :-)

PikeMinnow (author)jbh1232014-02-11

get an air brush or a can of compressed air.

mulrich125 (author)jbh1232014-02-11

Hahahah not a bad point ;) thankd for the comment, Matt

Cgott (author)2014-02-11

It looks like my favorite flower-(Heavenly Blue) Morning Glory! Very pretty!

mulrich125 (author)Cgott2014-02-11

Thank you! :)

BurgersBytes (author)2014-02-11

Boy you could fill that up with a ton of bright LED lights hanging by the 12 volt DC wall wart cord and maybe save some electricity too. Very nice idea!

mulrich125 (author)BurgersBytes2014-02-11

Thanks! :)

azebra6 (author)2014-02-11

I too am anxious thinking of paper so close to heat but LED would certainly work. I picture 3 of these in different colors to suit the room. Nice project. Thank you.

mulrich125 (author)azebra62014-02-11

No thank you! :) also you could use the CFL bulbs (swirly kind) that are more popular nowadays! Happy crafting

rosane62 (author)2014-02-11

linda magnifica amigo, mas sabe tive uma ideia quem sabe ao em vez de fazer de papel poderia ser de resina sera que da? mas ficou muito lindo estes coloridos

Fikjast Scott (author)2014-02-10

This is fantastic - imaginary

lovemuffin (author)2014-02-09

This is awesome, but NOW I want to know about your wall decoration in the background. I LOVE it.

Adrienne Smith

mulrich125 (author)lovemuffin2014-02-09

Thanks very much, and as for the background, its actually an easel that I took apart and put together in a design with some string. Really simple and you could do the same with some scrap wood or go to home depot and pick up some! :)

YerGramma (author)2014-02-09

Wonderful project and a very well-written Instructable. Thanks!

mulrich125 (author)YerGramma2014-02-09

Thanks very much to you too! :)

awesomness2002 (author)2014-02-09

Very creative. Thank you for posting up this great idea! My school can use this for soooo many dances! ;)

bagnitsch (author)2014-02-09

Ooooh. Good idea.

emilyvanleemput (author)2014-02-09

It looks great!!

Thanks very much! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Currently in college pursuing a degree in music therapy but love working with my hands!
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