Christmas Lanterns




Introduction: Christmas Lanterns

Christmas lanterns add holiday flair over doors and can also act as centerpieces on tables when you're spending time with your family. These centerpieces are made out of toilet paper rolls, painted and decorated with glitter and suspended under a light to add décor to the Christmas season. Using toilet paper rolls (cardboard), the Christmas lanterns are a representation of the three R's -- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, but most importantly, upcycling. Reduce/reduction is reducing the waste that is thrown away or disposed of. Reuse is the use of an object or item for a different purpose or function other than what was intended originally. Recycling is the conversion of waste into reusable material. However, the most important aspect of this project is upcycling. Upcycling is the reuse of waste materials (in this case, the toilet paper rolls) to make or create a product of higher quality (Christmas decoration).

Ingredients (Materials Used)

  1. Paint
  2. Paintbrushes
  3. Box cutter
  4. Scissors
  5. Masking Tape
  6. Plastic Wire
  7. Toilet Paper Rolls
  8. Glitter
  9. Pegs/clothespins

*The only materials I bought were the acrylic paints in White, Blue, Green and Red, which were 99 cents per bottle at Joann's Craft Store.

**I also borrowed this idea from

Step 1: Painting the Toilet Paper Rolls

Clip a peg to the paper roll and paint the outside of the toilet paper roll white and the inside of the toilet paper roll with a decorative color (red, green, blue, etc.) of the paint of your choice. You can also cut the paper roll before or after you paint it (I chose to cut the paper roll first before painting it).

Step 2: Glitter-It-Up

With the paint still wet, roll the toilet paper roll in the glitter, evenly distributing the glitter all over the toilet paper roll. Let the toilet paper roll dry, allowing it to stand upright in its position while drying.

Step 3: Cutting the Toilet Paper Roll

If you have not done so at this point in construction, using a scalpel or box cutter, cut the toilet paper roll along its seam after it is dry. Leave a little space towards the ends, not cutting the seam completely off. Repeat the cuts two or three times, with a few centimeters of space between the cuts. Then bend the toilet paper rolls slightly to form lanterns and to show the color inside.

Step 4: Making a Hole, Tie, and Hang

After making the seams, with scissors, boxcutter, or scalpel, make two corresponding holes to both sides of the toilet paper roll. After making the holes, cut the wire used to hang the lantern up, tie it, and tape it to the surface of a ceiling or light fitting. The lanterns will hand down and add the Christmas flare you are looking for. Happy holidays!

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    holly faye
    holly faye

    7 years ago

    How about adding paper towel rolls too or other re-used cardboard tubing for various lengths, maybe even layered as a 'chandelier' ? Oooo....


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, very nice! I like the idea of re-using paper tubes and making them into sparkly decor. Great work!