Introduction: Cardboard Dazzling Platonic Solid Lantern

This zebra pattern Lantern is a fairly easy build with access to a Laser Cutter and 3d Printer, it's also a great way to brighten up a space with an attractive lighting fixture. I chose a fun zebra pattern to cut out of the panels, but this will work with any pattern you like.

I also discovered the laser cutter I was using during the project could cut through 2 layers of cardboard, which sped up my cutting time.


• Laser Cutter

• 3D Printer


• Adobe Illustrator

• 3D Printing Software


  • Corrugated Cardboard (4' x 3')
  • Tissue Paper (white)
  • Black spray paint
  • Spray adhesive
  • 3D printed Connectors (12)
  • Light Bulb + Wired Fixture

Step 1: Design Panels

Design 20 equilateral triangles (all one size). I used a border around each for strength holding everything together, but as long as all 3 corners have material connecting them they will work just fine.

I included my .ai design file here if you would like to cut the same design.

Step 2: (3D) Print Connector Pieces (12 Needed)

I have included the .stl files for printing the connectors. A 20 sided icosahedron has 12 vertexes which will connect 5 points.

These connectors will connect triangles of any size, I printed mine at 40mm which works great for connecting panels up to about 12" together.

Step 3: Cut Out Panels

A laser cutter is best for this step, but of course with a printer and some patience you could complete this with a utility knife.

Step 4: Spray Paint Panels and Line With Tissue Paper

Using flat black spray paint spray each panel black on one side.

Once dry, I sprayed the back with a spray adhesive and lay white tissue over top. Give about a minute to dry, then lay the tissue overtop - trim edges with scissors.

The tissue lining is of course not necessary, but gives the lantern a cool ambient glow when illuminated.

Step 5: Assemble Using 1/4" - #1 Size Robertson Screws

Using small 1/4" (length) screws poke holes in each triangle panels's corners (being careful to line it up with the connector's hole). Connect 5 to one connector, then start moving out from there.

The cardboard can be a little flexible, but the more panels you connect, the more rigidity it will gain.

Step 6: Finish Assembly and Install Light Fixture in Top

Once you have connected all of your panels, take a look in any edges a little tape for alignment, I had a couple i taped just to keep everything together.

I cut the last panel from extra cardboard and poked a hole in the middle. After putting the male plug end through the cardboard I added some tape to the inside of the panel to ensure the light cord wouldn't slip through.

Step 7: Hang Up and Enjoy the Light

Find a spot that needs a little brightening and hang up your new light. For bonus points use a smart bulb to really step up your finished product with multi-coloured light shows!


Cardboard Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge