Wedding Paper Lantern Sculpture for $1.




About: I'm a mother of two small boys (who are fantastic!!) and a wife who loves life and living! I am the luckiest person I know when it comes to the small and wonderful things in life! I had a rocky childhood tha...

Hello gals and guys! I’m getting married!! This October on the 22nd! I’m super excited but also on a strict budget. I wanted a bunch of WOW Factor on the cheap! I found a great deal on paper lanterns last year during the off season and picked them up just in case I might need them. Now that the time has come to start planning décor for the wedding and reception, I noticed how awful the color was on these lanterns! Even without being lit up they were hideous! So I got to thinking of what I wanted to get from them. I love hanging lights and lanterns but we don’t have a big budget. I decided to “trick out” these cheesy paper lanterns with MORE PAPER!! I love the end result and think they will be fabulous hanging in the sea breeze at the reception! I hope you enjoy and if you love it then VOTE for me! I want that honeymoon! Thanks guys!

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Step 1: Supplies..

All you need is:
  1. scrap paper,
  2. pencil,
  3. clear scotch tape,
  4. paper cutter or scissors,
  5. a ruler
  6. a paper lantern (which can be bought for a dollar at most craft stores or dollar stores)
  7. TIME AND PATIENTS!! (This may be the hardest to find... lol)

Tip: You'll notice in my photo's that I have glue and glue dots as part of the "things you need" but I quickly figured out that neither would work for this project. I wanted it to feel like a floating piece of art. The glue was too heavy and the glue dots too constricting. Clear scotch tape was perfect!!

Step 2: Measure..

This is the fun part! Lay your paper on a clean hard surface. Put your ruler along one side as seen in the picture. Put a small pencil mark every one inch. After you finished the first side align your ruler to the other side. THIS IS THE TRICKY PART.  You want to align your ruler a half inch above the paper and mark every inch. This is so when you cut you will be lining up your pencil marks and cut a triangle shape instead of a rectangle. If you get this wrong your cuts will be off and your lantern will look very different from this one.

Tip: Look at my photo's to make sure to do the cuts right.

Step 3: Cut..

Cutting can take a while but once you get into the rhythm it should go faster. Put your paper into your cutter. Align it so that you cut from one side of the paper to the other on the top pencil marks. Your cuts should look slanted. This is where you get the tapered ends look to the paper. You will slide your paper from side to side as seen in the pictures. It sounds harder than it is. 

You will continue measuring and cutting paper until you have a mound of paper cut.  

Step 4: Tape..

This step takes some time as well but again, once you get a rhythm down this will go faster.

You will start at the bottom most wire and work your way up. My lantern has a wire that spirals up so this step was easy. I started at the bottom and taped each piece of paper to the lantern on the wire until I reached the top end of the wire.

I've added a few pictures to show how this was accomplished.

Tip: I tried to space the paper out so that the piece on top would be in the space of the piece under it. (Like a checker pattern.)

Step 5: Finished Sculpture..

Now that you've worked your way through your first Paper Lantern Sculpture it's time for a quick break then on to the next! lol. I am making 16 of these to hang at varying heights from the ceiling to catch the eye. Wish me luck!! Enjoy your new lantern and VOTE for me in the wedding DIY contest! I could go for a nice honeymoon! lol. Thanks again!

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    25 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Made one this weekend!! It took about four hours for a 10 inch lantern and it was totally worth it!!! Thanks and good luck winning that honeymoon!!!

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    this would look super cute as a schandleer in my room !!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What about the acid in the clear tape? Surely there is something acid free that you could use that would let you pass these awesome lights down to your kids..... Thoughts?

    2 replies

    You can use special library tape. You can get it online or at library supply stores. Its made so that it wont color and block the text. = ]


    7 years ago on Step 5

    how many strips of paper did you end up using for one lantern

    These "lanterns" are beautiful! I just wish I had space in my tiny apartment for 3 or so of these. I'll keep it in mind for when I move. Just gorgeous!

    1 reply

    Thank you soooo much! My family have also fallen inlove with these and have asked me if they could keep a few after the wedding! They are so easy to do and well worth the time put in:)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm thinking of a total DIY to this one. They should look fabulous also with one of those string balls we see lately. In this way you can have them at different sizes.
    I'm thinking of making some small one like this and with pretty colors for my girl's room.
    Thank you for the instructable.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds fantastic! Post a pic if you do! And you're very welcome. It's this community of amazing people that keep me coming back! You all rock!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks so much! I thought so too. I couldn't stop myself from making more than I needed! lol.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Post a pic if you do make one! They turned out so nice! If grouped in varying hights they are majestic!