Picture of instant party paper lanterns
here is how to make your own origami paper lanterns!
easy, fun, inexpensive...a great way to brighten your room--and party!

materials : origami paper, christmas lights
time it takes: depends on your folding skills, approximately 30 minutes per light chain.

cheers and enjoy :)


Step 1:

Picture of
buy small origami paper, approximately 6" x 6"

buy a set of christmas lights
Turtle111 month ago
Gardener751 year ago

these are great! Thank you for sharing :)

azebra63 years ago
This looks like fun for any occasion. Thank you so much.
vasilena (author)  azebra62 years ago
Thanks for taking the time to say hello!
motleyjust4 years ago
Left over bits of most Christmas, Birthday, Shower, Wedding, etc. wrapping paper are about the same weight, just cut them into 6" squares and make light strings to go with your party.

You could even make some at the party from the paper after the gifts are unwrapped.
or just show people how to make them during the party and after the gifts are unwrapped people can take a bunch of the scrap paper home to make their own.
Thank you for your ideas and sharing.
Good Idea.
urtlesquirt3 years ago
This with some magnetic led throwies...amazing potential
Owlgirl3 years ago
Wow! Super Cool!
vasilena (author) 3 years ago
Seems like there are a number of websites trying to make $$ off of this SIMPLE easy instructable (please note these were not around until after I submitted this back in October 2008). Do NOT be fooled. Viva la open source!


Mary 836 years ago
Love these, loved them as water bombs, these days I prefer your idea. Excellent Instructable.
how do you make them water bombs?
Make them exactly the same as the paper lanterns. When you've blown them open just put water into the hole, although they are made of paper they are still quite sturdy and great fun when you have to entertain kids in the summer time, preferably in the pool, or even the bath will do. My kids used to love them, and so do their kids. Good luck with them. Mary
i love them,so does my brother!
vasilena (author)  Mary 835 years ago
Thanks Mary :)
This is great! I'm surprised at how pretty the colors show up. Definitely a good grown-up use for the water bomb :D
PseudoJunk5 years ago

What are the chances of my paper catching fire if I use a string of regular Christmas lights that aren't LEDs?
I have 12x12 scrapbooking paper that I plan to cut into 6x6 sqaures. It's not too thick (like cardstock) but probably slightly thicker than origami paper. I'm pretty sure they would look illuminated.
I'm just worried about the fire risk.
Should I just scavenge for some LEDs?

vasilena (author)  PseudoJunk5 years ago
I've used regular Christmas lights before, and they seem to work fine...but as with any lanterns, you should never leave them unattended for a long period of time.
jzyk5 years ago
I recommend a good resource of paper lanterns: http://www.reddoublehappiness.com/
 Wow, I've not made origami balloons since I was a kid.  I bet these would make a fantastic night light for my son's room when placed over a string of LEDs.  

Has anyone tried it with recycled magazine paper?  
dadakj6 years ago
I love this. Is there any fire hazard from the paper catching on fire though?
Use LED xmas lights. They use a tiny fraction of the energy regular xmas lights use, and put off very little heat. --- Thanks for posting this, it's a great idea!
I was just about to ask that. I love this though.
Darter766 years ago
in 8th grade i had to do an instructional speech on something and i did it on the paper ballon lol
kttecatt6 years ago
What a great idea. I just started working on these for my living room which has the lights up around the ceiling. But, I am making mine out of magazine/catalog pages, cut down to 6 X 6. This way I recycle and beautify!! Thanks so much.
crlzbth6 years ago
i love how it looks, but i can't quite get how you do the folding part..
I just hung mine in my room, and they look glorious. :]
tracidraw6 years ago
Two words: How. Fun. I think I've found a way to hook up my Christmas lights!
JustBunny6 years ago
this is exactly what I need! is origami paper a particular weight? i have a loads of 12x12 scrapbooking paper that i could work with... just don't know if it might be too heavy/thick?
vasilena (author)  JustBunny6 years ago
the best size to use is the 6 x 6...the 12 x 12 is fairly large and will probably sag and not stand up properly. you can experiment with the paper though. i usually use the ready made origami paper sold at craft stores, because it's light and somewhat translucent. although, if you want something a bit simpler without patterns for everyday use, a thick translucent vellum will look phenomenal. good luck :)
vasilena (author) 6 years ago
these lanterns are made in the traditional manner of making origami balloon boxes. i figured that posting the video would be the fastest and easiest way to show how i folded them together....rather than posting a ton of pictures. there are plenty of websites dedicated to paper folding techniques.

this woman's website is pretty good...

and check out MIT's Media Lab Futurecraft class for more do-it-youself ideas...


Kaiven6 years ago
This is a cool idea, an there are other instructables showing how to fold those boxes. Why not post some links?