Instant Party Paper Lanterns




About: Vasilena Vassilev is currently an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University School of Architecture, where she teaches undergraduate studio and professional elective coursework. Her current r...

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:

buy small origami paper, approximately 6" x 6"

buy a set of christmas lights

Step 2:

make your own origami paper lanterns, using this great instructional video

Step 3:

attach the balloons to the lights via the blow-hole of the balloons

Step 4:

hang and enjoy!



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34 Discussions


3 years ago

Hi, not sure, I will get a reply, as it has been a very long time, since this instructable has been posted.

I was wondering if you had a special tricks to make the cube on to the lights. I have introduced mine in, some they stay in place perfectly, others keep falling (it's hanging over my ceiling).

I had a thorough thing about what I could do, but my ideas come short, maybe some kind of paper hook attached to the bulb... or attach it with a string (sewed)?

Thank you very much for your expert opinion on that.

1 reply

Reply 4 months ago

You're right, I haven't logged in in AGES. Glad to see this instructable still going strong. With regards to balloons falling off, it may depend on the lights that you are using, the LED lights tend to not have a base so I can see where slippage can occur. I think the trick to keeping these in place is to be super accurate with your balloon folding so that you get a tight grip. I am by no means an expert--if you have any suggestions, feel free to post!


8 years ago on Introduction

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.

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

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 83

10 years ago on Step 4

Love these, loved them as water bombs, these days I prefer your idea. Excellent Instructable.

4 replies
Mary 83Otheirony!

Reply 9 years ago on Step 4

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


This is great! I'm surprised at how pretty the colors show up. Definitely a good grown-up use for the water bomb :D


9 years ago on Introduction

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?

1 reply

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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.