How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns (Japan)

To continue with our Kids’ Culinary Passport journey to Japan, my kids really loved making these pretty paper lanterns! Paper lanterns are often associated with festivals, and they are very common in both China and Japan. I love how festive these paper lanterns look hanging from the ceiling in our craft room, and they can be made at a moment’s notice using common household items you probably have on-hand. This is such a great project for kids who are starting to master the use of scissors!

Want to make some paper lanterns of your own? Here’s a simple step by step guide:

How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns -- Kids Culinary Passport (Japan)

To make paper lanterns, you will need two sheets of colored paper, scissors, pencil, and stapler. Begin by cutting two strips down the long side of one of the sheets, and set them aside.

How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns -- Kids Culinary Passport (Japan)

Next, fold the second sheet of paper in half to form a long and skinny rectangle, as shown.

How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns -- Kids Culinary Passport (Japan)

Draw pencil marks as a guide as shown, and invite the kiddos over to cut along the lines with scissors. Be sure not to cut all the way to the edge of the paper, leave about an inch at the end.

How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns -- Kids Culinary Passport (Japan)

 Open it up, and roll it to connect both of the ends. Staple into place as shown.

How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns -- Kids Culinary Passport (Japan)

Roll up the first sheet of paper and insert it into the lantern. Staple it into place. Use the strips of paper you first cut off to decorate your lanterns, if desired.

How to Make Easy Paper Lanterns -- Kids Culinary Passport (Japan)

Hang your paper lanterns from the ceiling, or place them on the table for a colorful and festive center piece!

Kids Culinary PassportThis post is part of our Kids’ Culinary Passport series, designed for parents and kids to cook and craft their way around the world together! Every week this month, we’ll feature a new country with a recipe and quick craft project. It’s FREE, fun, and educational. Share photos of your kids’ creations on Instagram using hashtag #KidsCulinaryPassport, or on our Inner Child Food Facebook Page.

Join us, and get your free printable passport with stamps here!

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About Valerie

Valerie is a creative play advocate and the founder of Inner Child Fun Media, LLC. She enjoys drinking tea, crafting, and blogging at Inner Child Fun. You can find Valerie on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


  1. Dear Valerie,

    When I was a kid I tried to make paper lanterns that flew into the air like a hot air balloon, using a small ball of twine wrapped around some wire and soaked in alcohol. The book made it look so easy to do, but I just ended up with a rather large fireball. This looks far easier to do. :)


  2. Wonderful! I live in India and I am going to give these a try for Diwali, our festival of lights!
    Thanks so much for the easy instructions.

  3. I made a wreath out of these cute little lanterns. I loved it!

    = )

  4. I would just like to say I love your site. I have a 3 year old and she loves the crafts. I love the fact they are easy and inexpensive. Thank you.

  5. lookss so pretty,I can’t wait to try

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