Introduction: Paper Winter Solstice Lamps

About: During the COVID-19 crisis, all of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's religious services moved into an online-only format. I generally organize Sunday school activities for the children of the Fellowship …

It's almost the Winter Solstice! Lighting candles, lanterns, and Yule logs is one of the ways that humans celebrate, honor, and hold onto the sun's light during the longest, darkest night of the year. Let's make simple paper lanterns to do this, too!


-1 piece of 8.5 x 11 paper for each lamp (construction paper is best, but you can use plain, too!)

-markers, crayons, or other decorating materials


-tape (or a stapler)



Step 1: Cut a Strip From One of the Short Sides of the Paper

It should be about an inch wide, but it doesn't need to be exact! This will be your lamp's handle. Set it aside for now.

Step 2: Fold the Paper in Half Length Wise.

Put it down in front of you with the folded edge towards you.

Step 3: Draw a Line About One Inch From the Top of the Unfolded Edge.

Use a pencil, because this line will just be a guide for you. If you have a ruler or other straight edge, you can use that to make your line neater, but you don't need it!

Step 4: Cut Slits in the Paper, Stopping at the Line You Just Drew.

Cut them about an inch apart, but again, it doesn't need to be exact!

Step 5: Unfold Your Paper.

Set it down on the table, fold up. Now it's time to decorate!

Step 6: Decorate Your Lamp.

You can doodle all over it, but I decided to just do the edges and the handle with a pretty pattern. If you have stickers, you could decorate it with those! Or you could glue on some ribbon or sequins. Get creative!

Step 7: Form Your Lamp Into a Tube.

Tape the outside and the inside edge. If you have a stapler, you can use that, and it will look much neater, but since I didn't have a stapler, I just used tape. Do this on both the top and the bottom.

Step 8: Attach the Handle.

You can do this with tape or staples, too.

Step 9: It's Done!

If you have a small tealight candle, you can light it and very carefully set the lamp over it. (Get an adult or older sibling to help you!) Turn off your lights and enjoy the glow.

Note: Make sure not to leave your lamp unattended if there's a candle in it!