The Lantern Festival ends the Chinese New Year celebration on the 15th day of the first lunar month. It’s a day typically spent with family eating and depending where you are in Asia, there is likely to be a community celebration with lion dances and traditions of that nature. Colorful lanterns will appear seemingly everywhere—in parks, on store fronts and, of course, outside of homes.

While lanterns these days have grown quite elaborate, shaped like zodiac animals and the like, kids often carry ones made from paper. Riddles are often attached to the lanterns. Kids who guess correctly can win a prize.

Paper lanterns are an incredibly easy kids craft, so here is what you need to make them.

Chinese New Year Lantern Craft Supplies

Tape or a stapler
Decorations (stickers, crayons, glitter, paint)

How to make an easy Chinese New Year Lantern craft

Lantern Craft Instructions

1. Measure 1 inch off the short (horizontal) end of the unfolded sheet of paper and cut it off. This will serve as the lantern handle.

2. Fold the remaining paper in half.

3. Measure another 1 inch line at the cut end of the paper, opposite the folded end. This line signifies where you stop cutting in step 4.

4. Measure and draw lines approximately 1 inch apart, starting at the folded edge and ending at the “stop cutting” line. Cut the lines, ending at the “stop cutting” line.

5. Unfold the paper and re-crease it in the opposite direction. The pencil marks will now be on the inside.

6. Lay the unmarked side facing up and decorate as you please.

7. Shape the lantern by securing the long ends with tape or staples.

8. Secure the handle on top with tape or staples.

9. Write riddles directly on the lantern or use small pieces of paper that can be secured to the lantern.

If you’re short on time, you can omit the ruler and eyeball the scissor cuts. Stiffer paper will enable the lantern to hold its shape better. You may also want to advise your little Picasso that heavy glitter paint and stickers on the top of the lantern can cause it to fall over—and of other lessons in gravity.

Enjoy! Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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