Chinese Paper Lanterns

Chinese paper lanterns are a  traditional symbol of new year celebrations. This easy to follow step-by-step guide is a great way to explore children’s understanding of the world’s many cultures, while developing fine motor skills. Our lanterns follow a classic design, and are perfect for Early Years settings, as well as reception and lower key stage 1.



To make Chinese paper lanterns you will need

Coloured Craft Card
Sticky Tape
Glue Stick
Glitter Glue
Ribbon or other colourful decorations

1. Take the coloured card, and cut a strip (3-4cm) off one of the short edges – this will form the handle.

2. Fold the remaining card in half lengthways, and starting from the folded edge, cut a straight line around 2-3cm from the side, stopping when you reach 2-3cm away from the far edge of the card.

3. Continue to cut straight lines roughly 2-3cm apart until you reach the opposite short edge of the paper.

4. Unfold the card to reveal several slits running right across the centre of the card.

5. Now you can decorate the card using a variety of ribbons, glitter glue, and any other colourful decorations you like.

ChineseLanterns-5 a

6. Transform the card into a Chinese Lantern by folding into a cylindrical shape, ensuring that the fold in the card is pointing outwards, and runs horizontally through the centre of the lanter

7.Attach the handle (which you cut off earlier) to the top of the  Chinese paper lanterns using sticky tape (or staples if required) and decorate in a similar way to the rest of the lantern

chinese paper lantern

8. Once completed, hang a row of lanterns together with string or ribbon to create a fantastic Chinese New Year decoration, either for home or the classroom

Extension Idea

Adding decorative Chinese writing is a great way for older children to enhance these decorations while exploring different languages and alphabets.

Looking for more Chinese New Year ideas? Check out our dedicated page, or follow us on Pinterest.

Follow The Consortium Education’s board Chinese New Year on Pinterest.