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Make a Chinese Lantern

Make your own Chinese New Year Lantern

Here's an easy way to make a Chinese Lantern decoration which is ideal if you are working on a Chinese New Year project. We recommend this project for 8 - 11 year olds.

You will need:

  • 2 red paper cups - 9oz size
  • red curling ribbon
  • 1.5cm wide red ribbon
  • 10cm square of red paper
  • glue stick
  • sticky tape
  • red poster paint
  • scissors

What you do:

  1. Cut the top curled rim off one of the paper cups. Cut the rim off one of the cups
  2. Mark round the inside rim of the cup with a pencil at equal intervals of about 2cm as a guide to where you will cut the sections. Cut sections by cutting straight up to the base of the cup. Reduce the ends of each section by trimming and shaping as in the photograph. Curve each section to give it more of a lantern shape. Cut the cup wall into strips and shape
  3. Mark the centre of the bottom of the cup and carefully make a hole with the tip of some scissors. You may need the help of an adult here.
  4. To make the lantern base, take the second paper cup and cut it down to a depth of about 2cm. Make a hole in this end in the same way as before. Cut the second cup down to 2cm high
  5. The bottom of the cups we used were white, so we painted them in a matching red colour and they were allowed to dry.
  6. To make your tassel draw a pencil line 1cm from the edge of your red square. Cut up to that line in thin strips to make your tassel. Stick a 10cm length of curling ribbon at one side of the square as in the photograph. Make a tassel for your lantern
  7. Begin tightly curling up your tassel starting at the ribbon end and glue down the top end only. The tassel should then hang from a ribbon in its centre. Curl up your tassel
  8. Thread the end of the curling ribbon through the hole in the lantern base and stick it down inside with sticky tape when you are happy with the length of the tassel. Cut the excess ribbon off once it is stuck down. Stick your tassel to the base of your lantern
  9. Thread a longer length of ribbon tape through the top hole of the lantern. The length will depend on how you are going to display the lantern. Stick about 3cm of the ribbon down inside the cup with sticky tape to secure the tassel and trim off any excess ribbon. Add ribbon to hang up the lantern
  10. The next part is the most tricky. You may need a friend to help. Stick the lantern onto the base. It is easier to stick the lantern strips on to the outside of the base as shown in the photograph. Just apply the glue stick onto the ends of the strips and hold them until they stick. Stick the lantern to the base
  11. You now need the strip of red ribbon to cover the ends that you have just stuck down. Measure round how much you need first, then cut, overlapping the ends slightly. Stick the ribbon on. Your lantern is now ready for display. Stick ribbon around the bottom rim of the lantern