Adorable DIY Chinese Lantern Craft for Kids

Are you looking for Chinese New Years activities for kids? Keep scrolling to learn how to make this DIY Chinese Lantern Craft for Kids!
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If you’ve ever been to Hawaii in January or February, you know about the awesome Chinese New Year festivities in the islands.

There’s Chinese lion dancing, parades, and tons of events at shopping malls and around town.

Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal in our family and we love sharing our traditions with friends.

Every year, we celebrate Chinese New Year at my kids’ schools. Usually, I read a story about Chinese New Year, we pass out lucky red envelopes filled with chocolate coins (or sometimes real quarters), and we do some sort of craft.

Personally, I think this would be such a fun lantern making for kindergarten class activity. You’d just need to prep it a bit more.

It looks so pretty when you have a bunch of these paper lantern crafts that you can hang together!

But this is also an easy way to make homemade paper lanterns with your family as you celebrate Chinese New Year at home.

Be sure to check out our Chinese Dragon Puppet Craft and Chinese New Year Activity Pack!

Chinese New Year Lantern Craft for Kids

Chinese Paper Lantern Making Supplies

How to Make Chinese Lanterns for Kids

Paint the cardboard tube with yellow paint and allow it to dry completely. It might take a few coats.

To make this paper lantern craft, you'll need to paint the cardboard tube yellow. Image of a cardboard paper towel roll being painted yellow.

Fold the red paper in half through the width. Using scissors, cut even slits from the fold towards the opposite side in straight lines but do not cut all the way through the other side. Leave about 1 inch remaining.

For these homemade paper lanterns, cut slits in the red cardstock using scissors. Image of a piece of red cardstock with many slits in it.

For one strip, cut all the way across. This will be the handle for the lamp.

Cut a complete strip to use as your Chinese paper lantern craft handle. Image of red cardstock with slits cut into it.

Open the paper and curl it around the cardboard tube, allowing the fold to pucker out. Glue where the paper meets the cardboard tube around the top and bottom.

For these Chinese lantern crafts, wrap the paper around the tube so that the strips pucker out. Image of a halfway done Chinese paper lantern craft.

Trim away any excess cardboard tube.

Cut the gold ribbon into two lengths to reach around the tube. Attach the ribbon with glue to the top and bottom of the tube.

Glue the ribbon around the cardboard tube at the top and bottom of your Chinese lanterns craft. Image of sparkly gold ribbon being glued to a Chinese paper lantern.

Glue the cut strip on the inside of the top of the cardboard tube as a handle.

The last step for Chinese paper lantern making is to glue the strip of cardstock to use as a handle. Image of a Chinese lantern craft.

And that’s it! Now you know how to make Chinese lanterns out of cardboard rolls and cardstock paper!

DIY Chinese lantern crafts for kids by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a cardboard tube Chinese lantern

Looking for more Chinese New Year activities for kids? Find out how to make a Chinese Dragon Puppet and get my free Chinese New Year Printables for Kids!

Yield: 1

Chinese New Year Lantern for Kids

DIY Chinese lantern crafts for kids by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a cardboard tube Chinese lantern

Celebrate Chinese New Year with this easy DIY Chinese lantern craft for kids that's perfect for celebrating at home or in school.

Active Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 1 paper towel-sized cardboard tubes
  • Yellow paint (I used tempera but acrylic would also work)
  • Red cardstock or construction paper
  • Glue or glue dots (I used glue dots)
  • Gold ribbon

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush

Instructions

  1. Paint cardboard tube with yellow paint and allow it to dry completely.
  2. Fold the red paper in half through the width. Using scissors, cut even slits from the fold towards the opposite side in straight lines but do not cut all the way through the other side. Leave about 1 inch remaining.
  3. For one strip, cut all the way across. This will be the handle for the lamp.
  4. Open the paper and curl it around the cardboard tube, allowing the fold to pucker out. Glue where the paper meets the cardboard tube around the top and bottom.
  5. Trim away any excess cardboard tube.
  6. Cut the gold ribbon into two lengths to reach around the tube. Attach the ribbon with glue to the top and bottom of the tube.
  7. Glue the cut strip on the inside of the top of the cardboard tube as a handle.

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