Easy Lantern Craft for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is coming and I have the perfect, simple craft for your students to make in the classroom in celebration of this annual event: paper lanterns! When I taught first grade, we celebrated Chinese New Year in the classroom and this was one of my favorite crafts to make during our China study.

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tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

The best part of this paper lantern craft is how few supplies it requires. All you really need is 12×18 sheets of red construction paper, a ruler, a pencil, and a stapler. I like the idea of decorating the paper ahead of time with yellow tempera paint and cookie cutters shaped like stars (mine were included in this pack of 101 cookie cutter shapes) because it references the flag of China.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

To begin, I prep each sheet of paper ahead of time by folding them in half (taco style). I then use a pencil and a ruler to draw parallel lines that are 1″ apart and extend from the fold to 1.5″ away from the edge of the paper.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

I know that it may seem a bit confusing so here is a quick diagram that should clarify how to draw the lines on the construction paper.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

Once the lines are drawn with a pencil, the paper can be opened and the stars can be stamped onto the paper.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

After the paint has dried fully, refold the construction paper and cut with scissors along each of the lines previously marked with a pencil.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

The completed paper will look like this.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

As a final step, reopen the construction paper and form it into a tall and skinny roll. Overlap the edges by 1 inch and staple the ends together at the top and bottom of the paper.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New yeartutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

When your lantern looks like this, you are nearly finished!

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

As a final step, take a 2×12″ strip of red construction paper and form a loop along the top of the lantern so you can easily carry or hang it in the classroom.

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

And there you have it – a simple Chinese lantern paper craft.
It’s the perfect decoration to create and hang in the classroom while your students celebrate the Chinese New Year!

tutorial for creating paper lanterns to celebrate Chinese New year

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for the detailed list of how to make these adorable paper lanterns. I hadn’t thought about stamping on them or doing anything before the cutting process. But, this added touch makes them so much cuter and so fun! I imagine the kids really enjoy these and it’s a great way to teach them that other countries don’t celebrate New Year’s in the same way as we do in America and they don’t always celebrate on the same day either.

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)

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